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Cliche no longer accurate


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5 minutes ago, Alpo said:

Who thinks in 12s and 60s?





Hours and minutes are logical and useful units of time. And are easily factored.


But but but we have 10 fingers! So why not 10 or 20 hours and 100 minutes per hour? Well, true we do have ten fingers but the four fingers on each hand have 12 joints. And the thumb can keep track of a joint by touching it. So using base 12, we can easily count from 0 to 143 on our hands. One hand for keeping track of the "ones" place and the other hand for keeping track of the "twelves" place.


Base 12 is just as arbitrary a choice as base 10.


For advanced finger math in base 10 (how to use your hands as a abacus), see:



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On 1/26/2024 at 8:13 AM, Alpo said:

A sundial was, and still is, a clock. It shows the time based on some arbitrary method of deciding what time it is.


When the sun is straight up overhead, that's noon. No problem. But why, 60 minutes later, is it now one? Why not 75 minutes later, or 45? Who decided that the day should be divided into 24 sections and these 24 sections shall be divided into 60 sections and those 60 sections shall be divided into 60 other sections.


Since, as the metric users keep telling us, ten is such a much simpler way to do things, why don't we have a 20 hour day - 10 hours of day and 10 hours of night? And then the hour could be divided into 100 minutes. And the minutes into 100 seconds. So much easier to count. Who thinks in 12s and 60s?

Sumerians use base 12.  Because you have 4 digits with 3 parts and a thumb. So counting in ancient sumerian started by counting the base of the index finger with the thumb tip  then then next joint then the third. Move to the base of the next finger till you got to 12 then keep going. Of course 20 in sumeriam was 24 in decimal math.


60 and 360 are divisible by 12


so 12 hours of daylight and dark 60 equally divided subunits between sundial ticks and the next thing you know you have a world spanning military empire that leaves a legacy of technology behind.

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My main exercise for years was carrying a heavy pack up 12 blocks of steep city hills.  I only counted the uphills.


I liked 12 because I could divide the thing into one sixth, one fourth, one third, one half, two-thirds, three-quarters, five-sixths, and-- done. 


Made it go faster somehow. Couldn't do that with 10 blocks....

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