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Major Kong
06-01-2003, 03:08 AM
What is Base Six? It has something to do with math if Principal Skinner is to be believed.

Skinner: [talking with his teachers]
Just think what we can buy with that money...
History books that know how the Korean War came out.
Math books that don't have that base six crap in them!

http://www.snpp.com/episodes/8F17.html

Bill H.
06-01-2003, 03:21 AM
The way bases work: when we talk about a number, say 1,406, we mean 1x103 + 4x102 + 0x101 + 6x100. There are ten digits, 0 through nine, and when one counts, the progression goes 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9... and then goes back to 0, and the next highest place gets increased by one. This is base ten because there are ten digits.

We humans use base ten because we have ten fingers. It's natural for us, but really not "natural" in the mathematical sense of things. Computers use base 2, and in some way also base 16 and base 8. It could be argued that genes use base 4. But the use of base 6 is just silly because practically noone uses it for anything.

Which is why this is very funny.

Spiny Norman
06-01-2003, 03:24 AM
This is a WAG: Skinner is tired of the old math books from the "New Math" era where - in the words of Tom Lehrer - "the important thing was to understand what you were doing, rather than to get the correct answer". One of the ideas behind the New Math was to teach children how a number system works - so apart from our day-to-day base 10 (decimal) numbering system, the poor kids were asked to do arithmetic in base 6 , base 8 etc.

As for what constitutes a base six numbering system - it's just a system of counting where you only use the symbols 0-5, instead of 0-9 as you're used to. So in order to count to ten in base six, you'd go: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Simple, eh ?

Major Kong
06-01-2003, 03:26 AM
Shouldn't the Simpsons use base 8?

Joe Random
06-01-2003, 03:27 AM
There are different numbering systems that use different bases. The system we use (the decimal system) is base 10. There's also hexadecimal (base 16) and binary (base 2), which are commonly used with computers. Octal (base 2) is also common. The different bases work like this:

0 0 0 0
1 1 1 1
10 2 2 2
11 3 3 3
100 4 4 4
101 5 5 5
110 6 6 6
111 7 7 7
1000 10 8 8
1001 11 9 9
1010 12 10 A
1011 13 11 B
1100 14 12 C
1101 15 13 D
1110 16 14 E
1111 17 15 F
10000 20 16 10
10001 21 17 11
10010 22 18 12
10011 23 19 13
10100 24 20 14
10101 25 21 15
10110 26 22 16
10111 27 23 17
11000 30 24 18
11001 31 25 19
11010 32 26 1A
11011 33 27 1B
11100 34 28 1C
11101 35 29 1D
11110 36 30 1E
11111 37 31 1F
100000 40 32 20
These different bases are actually useful. Also, be aware that everything in the same row is the same number, just in a different base. Binary 1010 = octal 12 = decimal 10 = hex A

Base 6 would go like this:
0, 1, 2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,10 ,11 ,12 ,13 ,14 ,15 ,20 ,21 . . .

However, base 6 isn't really useful, and thus it's never used.

As a side note, in the normal decimal number 3.14159, the dot is called the decimal point. In the binary number 101.110110, the dot is called the binary point. The naming convention extends to other number bases.

Joe Random
06-01-2003, 03:29 AM

Octal (base 8) is also common.

Of course, anyone who didn't already know that should be able to guess from the name.

RM Mentock
06-01-2003, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by Major Kong
Shouldn't the Simpsons use base 8?
Hence the joke? They're subtle.

Patty O'Furniture
06-01-2003, 07:12 AM
Way off base (http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/bases.html)

StarvingButStrong
06-01-2003, 09:01 AM
I think base 6 is when the sex get *really* kinky.

drhess
06-01-2003, 09:12 AM
I think, considering the history books not having gone up to the end of the Korean War, Skinner's joke was that their Math books were soooo bad, that they didn't have a complete system.....maybe....

ultrafilter
06-01-2003, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Joe Random
As a side note, in the normal decimal number 3.14159, the dot is called the decimal point. In the binary number 101.110110, the dot is called the binary point. The naming convention extends to other number bases.

In general, the dot is referred to as the radix point.

SirMuffinMan
06-01-2003, 10:52 AM
ARGH!! NOOOOO!

I am doing the whole binary/octal/hexadecimal thing for my Computer Science degree....I have my exam in a week....thanks for bringing it up guys! :mad: