001 Numerography Introduction
Currently, there is no dictionary listing for the the word Numerography, (not to be confused with Numerology), and only a handful of vague references on the web. I have decided to hijack this term, as it seems that the root words apply; Numeral (A symbol or mark used to represent a number) + ography (Writing or representation produced in a specified manner or by a specified process).
Though a novice in the field of mathematics, I have always held a deep interest and curiosity on the subject. I suspect that if any real mathematicians came across this site, they might pronounce that it is riddled with dead end philosophies and unsound theories. I thankfully welcome any and all criticism and suggestions.
The primary focus of this site is to explore numerical representation and interaction of alternative base systems, not advanced mathematics, though I will be using basic mathematics to explore interactions between the bases. I believe that there are easier and more practical systems then base ten. It's my guess that if human beings had 8 fingers instead of 10, everyone would be using octal instead of decimal. I am not suggesting that people abandon our current Arabic System of base ten. Rather, I am suggesting that we use multiple systems. I believe that there shouldn't need to be only one base. Different bases are useful for different applications. We can use them side by side, in our day to day lives.
In fact, we already do use alternative bases; 12 months, 7 days, 24 hours, 60 minutes, 12 inches, a dozen eggs, 16 bits... One problem though, we use them through tinted glasses. We apply decimal numbers to them. It’s like trying to speak Chinese with a translation book when you don’t know the language. We haven’t really been thinking IN other bases, we’ve been TRANSLATING into other bases. To speak fluently, we need to use single symbols for every unit in the system. (ex. Eleven inches is very confusing and difficult to add with other inches because it uses two digits.) Mathematical notation has addressed this problem by using letters to represent numerals higher than nine. Our current system uses the same numerals and letters for all base systems, which can lead to confusion and restricted notation. ex. 18, (base10) equals 12, (base16).
One of the ideologies behind this site is to use unique symbols across a selected set of commonly used base systems. I plan to explore the idea of using symbology to define mathematical patterns and geometric associations between the base systems. The results of this exploration will generate ideas on how to graphically represent numerals in a way that visually simplifies those relationships. I’m suggesting that we encode their graphical representation with functional symbology.
Let’s step back and look at the big picture. Why does a five look like a 5? Does it symbolize anything important about the quantity? Are there symbolic patterns in the way we display numerals? Numerals have been morphing for thousands of years. Could it be that the collective minds of mathematicians and typographers have been secretly or unconsciously guiding our glyphs, embedding a deeper form of logic that aides advanced calculations? If I had to guess, I would answer no. Numerals are probably just a bunch of squiggles with very little symbolic significance.
Imagine a collection of base numeral systems that convert back and forth between each other by simply reconfiguring or rotating the lines that make up the individual numerals. Or maybe being able to instantly extract the digits of pi by combining geometrical aspects of numerals that are arranged in a spiraling pattern on a sheet of graph paper. Or being able to visibly morph pieces of numerals together to see if they’re prime, or to get close approximations of their square roots, cubic roots, logarithms...
Are there ways to write numerals that have mathematical symbology embedded into them, that provide easy shortcuts for the more common calculations that they are often used for? I think there is. It is the ultimate purpose of this blog site to discover these shortcuts.
Thanks for visiting the site.