Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Every Base Is Base 10

(image from http://cowbirdsinlove.com/43).

Took me some time to get this one. Basically every base is called 'base 10'. Even though the alien actually does count in what we would call 'base 4'. The alien would still call it base 10.

This makes more sense when we count in different bases.

decimal(how spaceman counts): 0,01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10
quaternary(how the alien counts): 00,01,02,03,10
binary: 0,01,10,11
hex: 0,01,02,03,04,05,10

Thus you can see how both the spaceman and alien end up with base 10. Maybe we should really call it by the highest number before 10. So decimal would be 'base 9' and the alien would count in 'base 3'