Re: hexatridecimal internationalisation

From: George W Gerrity (
Date: Fri Jun 22 2007 - 22:15:07 CDT

  • Next message: Marnen Laibow-Koser: "Re: hexatridecimal internationalisation"

    On 2007-06-23, at 06:01, JFC Morfin wrote:

    > At 17:07 22/06/2007, George W Gerrity wrote:
    >> It seems to me that a lot of effort has been wasted in discussing
    >> something that has no earthly and not even any theoretical use.
    >> Could we drop it?
    > Sure, this is what I had done ....
    > However, I must point out the great power of human imagination. I
    > just asked a typographer level question, and responses including
    > yours did not address my problem, but were a good exercise for the
    > mind.

    You asked a question that has no meaning, typographically.
    Typographers (as typographers) don't create new symbols: rather, they
    create consonant sets of symbols based on existing ones, that are
    legible and beautiful based on prior forms, for a given use. For
    instance, the symbols may be Roman glyphs, and the typographer may be
    asked to create a form that conveys a certain mood for an
    advertisement, or a company logo.

    If, in fact, a typographer is being asked to create a Logo, then (s)
    he is acting as an industrial design artist, while using their
    background as typographer as creative sources for this entirely new

    There is no use for human-readable symbols for numbers with mixed
    bases, or bases greater than 16, say, and the typographer (qua
    typographer) has no interest in creating entirely new symbols for them.

    In making that comment, I am well aware that the Babylonians used a
    mixed-base system whose bases where 60 and 36 (from memory), and that
    about the same time, scholars in North India were doing computations
    with similar bases. I don't believe either group used 36 or 60
    separate symbols: rather, they did their computations using mixed
    bases because they found it to be easier, since a true positional
    single-base system was yet to be developed.

    Even if these ancients did have a separate set of symbols for base
    60, say, we have no need of them. I have an article somewhere that
    discusses computations and computational algorithms used by the
    ancients, even translating the source text into English, with
    illustrations of the computations involved. The author of this
    article found no need to use symbols other than 09 to talk about the

    Dr George W Gerrity Ph: +61 2 6386 3431
    GWG Associates Fax: +61 2 6386 4431
    P O Box 229 Time: +10 hours (ref GMT)
    Harden, NSW 2587 PGP RSA Public Key Fingerprint:
    AUSTRALIA 73EF 318A DFF5 EB8A 6810 49AC 0763 AF07

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jun 22 2007 - 22:19:55 CDT