The trouble with standards is, that they are often the wrong ones, especially is they are defined when their subject is in its infancy.

Take decimal numbers, for example. Everyone uses them. Virtually nobody questions them. But, are base-10 numbers the best choice? Apparently, the choice of base-10 is because most people have 10 digits (fingers). The quirks of human anatomy is hardly the reason to make fundamental choices about our systems of mathematics.

Mathematically, base-12 would be so much more convenient. The reason is that, compared with 10, 12 has so many more numbers that will divide into it (1, 2, 3, 4 and 6; rather than just 1, 2, and 5).

I guess it is a bit late to change things now. If only they had asked me at the time…


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