Re: Cuneiform Tens

From: Stephan Stiller <>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 17:32:47 -0700

(Well, that's a long thread delay. I just realized that this email never
made it to the list - I previously sent it from an unsubscribed address.)

> I was, however, planning on submitting a proposal for support for
> Cuneiform numerals in CLDR (and thus also ICU) via so-called RBNF, when
> this has settled. More for fun than expecting heavy use...
If it's more for fun - wouldn't base-30 digits be better? We don't need
the additional factor of 2, because the exact same set of rational
numbers will have terminating "decimal" representations ("decimal" here
as opposed to representations as integer vulgar fractions). Base 30 has
lower average radix economy than base 60.

If representing angles and time is a goal, base 60 has its uses, but
this is /only/ for historical reasons, it seems. The historical
prevalence of base 60 over base 30 might have to do with the fact that
there are approximately 12 lunar cycles in a year, with the count having
been routinely rounded to the integer 12 by various cultures. (12
divides 60 but not 30.) If more peoples had "rounded" months to strictly
30 days, the situation might be different.

Received on Fri Sep 21 2012 - 19:37:05 CDT

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