A Conversation for Numeral Shapes

Writing Workshop: A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 1


Entry: Numeral Shapes - A695973
Author: pikachurinpoche - U189692

How do I get my footnote to be a footnote?

Thanks, Pika

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 2


I like this piece, Pika, smiley - ok.

Very interesting and certainly informative. Once again I fear you may have been too frugal with your background info, but this time it works very well.

This will come out as a numbered footnote in GML pages

You might like to check out this handy tip on using GML that you see in other entries: A662384.

Perhaps a Your subheader text here after the word list, to prepare the reader for a change of subject. Although in some ways I would question whether the second section really fits with the first.

Did you do a search for some maths and numbers entries on h2g2? There's one here that seems relevant: A600427. And I'm sure there are others. Might be worth a look and a link or two.

Anyway, nice idea and very clear info, just felt it lacked that little something to make it an entry rather than a reference chart. smiley - sadface

Don't worry about that, though! smiley - biggrin Either you like it the way it is, which is fine, or you can make a few changes, whatever you feel like. Good luck with it.


A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 3

Gnomon - time to move on

I've heard this theory about the shapes of the numerals before. But is it theory or fact? I've never seen it in any encyclopaedia (maybe because I never looked smiley - smiley). Did someone in facts sit down and devise the numerals or did they just evolve from squiggles? I think you will have to provide some backing for your claim.

Well done! It's good to see people writing for the guide.

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 4


The web address listed at the bottom of the entry has pictures of the numerals and references. I heard about this 4 different times. I only wrote it up because it's so cool.

It makes sense that the numerals would hint at their place value.

I believe in ancient times, the Pantheon dictated the numeric base system used. 7 baboons and Ra is base 8, and they call them the ogdoad. 5 Dhyani Buddhas indicates base 5. Six days of creation and one day of rest is not a Pantheon, but it does indicate base seven, and perhaps lack of a Pantheon in this case is significant.

Eve exiting from Adam's side, is a numeric metaphore. Odd followed by Even.

I saw on your space you like math. Could you look at the Sieve of Eratosthenes and tell me if a program can be written so a computer can run this?

What of a computer could do better with a high base system than base 2. I know a bit about semiconductors and 'on, off' or 'yes, no'. That's base 2. Maybe AI will come when we give a computer more than our base 10 go work with. Right now, we translate base 2 into base 10 so we can function in our preferred base. Well, what if the computer prefers base 260?

I just had a thought about this, and I don't know enough to grow the thought into an idea.

Take care.

Still, Pika

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 5

Gnomon - time to move on

Hi Pika!

The Sieve of Eratosthenes is dead simple to program on a computer. This is often done as a test of the speed of the computer. But it is a very inefficient of finding prime numbers, so it is not used for any serious mathematics.

I've looked at the site using the link at the bottom of your page. While I agree with all that stuff about mathematics originating in the Arabic world, I'm not convinced about the numerals and the angles. The site presents this with no background. It doesn't give any dates as to when these numerals were first used or examples of inscriptions using them. This looks to me like folklore.

Base 2 is the best base for computers because it is very easy to make electronic components with two possible states. Since translation from base 2 to base 10 and back is trivial, it is easiest to use base 2 entirely in the computers. Some modem transmission systems use base 4 to pack more information into the message. One of the very first mechanical calculating devices, the Babbage Difference Engine was built using base 10. It was full of cogs with ten teeth each. A copy of the machine can be seen in the Science Museum in London.

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 6


Now I'm confused. The sieve with MONAD, stepping down columns 1 and 5 has been programmed?

A math professor in Seattle said he has never seen this version. I have never seen it with MONAD, or explaining the stepping process.

You are the second person who said this is common knowledge, but when I go to websites dedicated to the sieve, I find tedious equations that promise possible primes only. Some are not prime.

My friend who wouldn't program it must have been pulling my leg.

Is there a different name for that square above column 6. I call it MONAD. It does set the size of the unit and the extent of the baseline. When I drew a version of the sieve with negative numbers included, I noticed that all patterns begin at this square and continue around and down (or up for the negatives) forever. After reading some of Pythagorus' works, I named that square MONAD. It seemed to fit.

You have seen this on a computer somewhere? Could you tell me where?
Can I get a copy of the programming?

Did it also explain the reason for using a grid of base 6? Did it explain why the multiples of 7 ruin higher based grids. I know it's true, I just don't know why. I actually drew them all to try and see. I still don't know why a grid on 6 is stable, while a grid on any higher number is not.

Thank you for time and your help.

Still, Pika

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 7

Gnomon - time to move on

Pika, I don't understand your description of the Sieve at all. In the original Sieve, devised by the Greek Eratosthenes, you write out all the numbers in a line starting at 2. You ring the first number, which is 2. You then go through the line of numbers in steps of 2 crossing out oevery one you come to. Next you go to the first number which is not ringed and not crossed out. This happens to be 3. You ring it, then you go in steps of this number (3), crossing out every third number. You continue on like this for as far as you like. The ringed numbers are the primes, the crossed out numbers are the composites. It's easy to do this in code. Here's a program in a pseudo-language which can easily be converted to any programming language.

Dimension Array a(MAX)
print current time
For j=1 to LOOP
For i=1 to MAX
a(i) = true
a(1) = false
n = 1
while (n < MAX) do
n = n + 1
if (a(n) = true) then
for i=2*n to MAX in steps of n
a(i) = false

print current time

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 8


Gee whiz, that was confusing. I had to read the whole thread or string or whatever it is, to see how this happened.

Oh, by the way, WOW on the programming stuff. Do you have that in your brain (like my son) or did you have to look it up (like I'd have to)?

Okay, we are not on the same page at all. When I originally asked you if you could visit the Sieve of Eratosthenes, I meant the Guide Entry on my page. I think it might be in the Alternative Writing Workshop, but I don't remember right now.

I know what the other websites say about the sieve.

Did you see Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Well, some people were drawing detailed pictures of a mountain, and they didn't really know why, but they felt they had to. They were compelled by unknown motivation.

I've been drawing grids of numbers for over 10 years now. If you go to the Guide Entry for the Sieve, you can see that I was able to make a table. That was so cool. A young man helped me with the code, and I did it. I even changed the size. That's why I asked if you knew how to write my sieve, because I'll type for as long as it takes, but I want to know what it looks like in code. I know it in various base systems crossed with various grid sizes. I know it with negative numbers, multiple columns of positive and negative numbers, and I've colored hundreds, maybe close to a thousand, of the base one (pyramid) sieves in a multiple mirrored pattern that is awesome. It's awesome to draw and to look at. You can see why a prime is prime. I describe it in the entry.

There is also a recurring pattern which is easily visible in the base one sieve. The first six integers repeat their pattern every 60 columns. (It's a cute pattern which often reminds me of Sumerian cylinder seals.) Anyway, this pattern makes the base 6 sieve very stable. As I explained, sieves over base 6 don't work forever. The first 60 columns of the base one sieve allows only 17 possible prime positions. because the pattern repeats, all primes will fall into these columns only.

When translating from the base one sieve to the base six sieve, the long, stretching arms of each number's multiples are twirled around in a pattern that kind of looks like DNA strands. These patterns apparently go on forever.

Could you please read the entry for me?

Sorry for the confusion, I was shocked to look up and realize this started in Numeral Shapes and not The Sieve of Eratosthenes.

Still, Pika

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 9

Gnomon - time to move on

I didn't do that piece of programming straight out of my head. It was one I had done before as a test of the speed of computers I was evaluating. Still, it wouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to write it.

I've put some comments on your Sieve article. I'm afraid they're not very positive. I hope you don't find them too discouraging.

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 10

Gnomon - time to move on


I've looked into your theory about the shapes of the numerals coming from the number of angles in each. I can't find anything to support it. In 300 BC, the 6 and 7 were already curvy squiggles, almost exactly the same as they are now. There was certainly no sign of six angles in one and seven in the other. But at that time, the 1, 2 and 3 were just one, two and three horizontal lines. Later, these evolved into curvy letters that looked suspiciously like one, two and three horizontal lines joined by not lifting the pen. Later still these became the modern digits.

So it appears that although it is a nice theory, it is not true.


A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 11


I'm still not convinced of the truth of historical documents. After all, Plato suggested burning the truth and lying to change history.

I believe THAT. I, therefore, don't believe everything I read.

You may well be correct.

However, lack of evidence proves nothing, if those things were on the list to be burned.

I don't think the Alexandrian Library fire was an accident. OOPS, the library. I just don't buy it. I'm also unsure if documents were removed and hidden.

I don't expect you to believe me. I'm not trying to convince you. However, I don't mind practicing on you to develope my ability to transfer the information.

Because of this, you critics do not discourage me, they guide me. If there is evidence supporting any of my claims and you are shown that evidence, I'm sure you will look at it with an open mind. Your help, and the help of other smart people like you, only succeeds in pruning my information.

If I'm wrong, I want to know. After all, in this maze of history I study, it is easy to get wrong ideas. In fact, I think interpretation mistakes have been made for centuries. So if I'm really wrong, I want to know.

However, what if I'm not wrong, and I have tons of cool evidence? I have to learn how to present it in a good way, so people understand me.

To that end, I took a writing course, and I just last night read the chapter on internet etiquette, or netiquette. I must not come off too well, yet.

That will change. I'm endeavoring to create usable guide entries, and nonusable guide entries, both of exceptional quality. Some of my theories need to be organized to this level of quality, but may not be suitable for actual entries. Of course, this takes time. I'm working on some stuff right now, but it's still on paper. I'll transfer to GuideML when they're perfect.

Oh. When I transfer something from MSWord to this sight, all the apostrophes turn into number codes. Is there a way around this?

Thank you for all your time.

Still, Pika

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 12

Gnomon - time to move on

It is generally accepted by historians that the burning of the library in Alexandria was a deliberate attempt to destroy the knowledge held in it.

I think the problem with the apostrophes in Word is that h2g2 uses the "straight apostrophe" which has a code of 039. Some versions of MS-Word convert typed apostrophes to the curved one which has a code of 0180. You can turn off this conversion with Tools/Autocorrect/Autoformat as you type and remove the tick/check beside Change Straight Quotes to Smart Quotes.

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 13


It worked.

Thanks for the word words.

Still, Pika

A695973 - Numeral Shapes

Post 14

Gnomon - time to move on

You're welcome.

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