John Jacobson wrote: > Rudy Velthuis <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message > <185272@forums.codegear.com> > > "Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always > > come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." > > -- H. L. Mencken > > Actually the fact that there are ten of them is purely arbitrary. Who cares? -- Rudy Velthuis (TeamB) http://www.teamb.com "Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head." - Carol Burnett.

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11/20/2009 7:44:21 PM

"Rudy Velthuis (TeamB)" <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message news:185607@forums.codegear.com... > John Jacobson wrote: > >> Rudy Velthuis <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message >> <185272@forums.codegear.com> >> > "Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always >> > come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." >> > -- H. L. Mencken >> >> Actually the fact that there are ten of them is purely arbitrary. > > Who cares? Apparently H. L. Mencken cared.

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11/21/2009 1:14:08 AM

John Jacobson wrote: > "Rudy Velthuis (TeamB)" <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message > news:185607@forums.codegear.com... > > John Jacobson wrote: > > > >> Rudy Velthuis <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message > >> <185272@forums.codegear.com> > >> > "Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always > >> > come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." > >> > -- H. L. Mencken > > > > >> Actually the fact that there are ten of them is purely arbitrary. > > > > Who cares? > > Apparently H. L. Mencken cared. Who cares that the number is purely arbitrary? -- Rudy Velthuis (TeamB) http://www.teamb.com "C++: an octopus made by nailing extra legs onto a dog" -- unknown

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11/21/2009 1:31:34 AM

Rudy Velthuis (TeamB) wrote: > John Jacobson wrote: > > > Rudy Velthuis <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message > > <185272@forums.codegear.com> > > > "Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always > > > come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." > > > -- H. L. Mencken > > > > Actually the fact that there are ten of them is purely arbitrary. > > Who cares? It's probably not true anyway. Ten commandments, ten fingers, that doesn't seem purely arbitrary to me. -- Emil Lizardo

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11/21/2009 3:46:17 AM

"Rudy Velthuis (TeamB)" <newsgroups@rvelthuis.de> wrote in message news:185734@forums.codegear.com... > John Jacobson wrote: >> Apparently H. L. Mencken cared. > > Who cares that the number is purely arbitrary? Incidentally, last night I (re)watched the 1999 remake of Inherit The Wind, the movie made about the infamous Scopes "Monkey Trial". All the characters were fictionalized (I guess so that they could take a certain amount of poetic license), but it was pretty obvious who was based on what. H. L. Mencken had some priceless commentary on the real trial. If you haven't looked it up before, I'd highly recommend it. I'd also highly recommend the movie, by the way. It offers a good insight into the Bible Belt, that is still applicable today. (It probably looks like a complete loony bin to people in Europe, at least if all the polls I've seen of religious opinion in Europe are accurate.)

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11/21/2009 6:47:28 PM

> It's probably not true anyway. Ten commandments, ten fingers, that > doesn't seem purely arbitrary to me. If we had sixteen fingers the hexadecimal system would be much more natural even for non-programmers. On the other hand sixteen commandments were harder to remember. I even have my problems with ten of them ;-) -- Jens Gruschel http://www.pegtop.net

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11/21/2009 11:14:42 PM

Jens Gruschel wrote: > > It's probably not true anyway. Ten commandments, ten fingers, that > > doesn't seem purely arbitrary to me. > > If we had sixteen fingers the hexadecimal system would be much more > natural even for non-programmers. On the other hand sixteen > commandments were harder to remember. I even have my problems with > ten of them ;-) If we had eight fingers, which two commandment do you suppose wouldn't have made the cut? -- Emil Lizardo

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11/22/2009 12:19:48 AM

> If we had eight fingers, which two commandment do you suppose wouldn't > have made the cut? Interestingly people used eight fingers (excluding the thumbs) to count at first. Nine was the "new" number, which is more obvious in the Italian "nove" or Spanish "nueve". But back to your question. Although I must admit that I had to google for the ten commandments, because I had forgotton some of them, I think some of them are very important for a functioning society, probably "you shall not murder" being the most important one. And while "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy" seems to be less important at first glance, the older I get the more I understand the importance of a day that's completely free of workaday life. I thought about it for ten minutes now (or was it eight?) and I must say that it's a very hard question. My solution is not to discard any of the existing ones, but to rewrite them completely, simplifying them somehow: 1) Don't adore material things. 2) Have a break at least once a weak. 3) Be nice to others, just like you expect others to be nice to you. Since the latter includes stealing, murder etc. it's quite universal :-) -- Jens Gruschel http://www.pegtop.net

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11/22/2009 1:21:03 AM

Jens Gruschel wrote: > Interestingly people used eight fingers (excluding the thumbs) to count at > first. Nine was the "new" number, which is more obvious in the Italian "nove" or > Spanish "nueve". actually, i think base six is the natural base for people. count to five on one hand, then close those fingers and raise one on the other hand for six. that way, a person can count from zero to 35 on two hands. my niece, age 7, found this "scarey"

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11/23/2009 2:25:46 PM

> actually, i think base six is the natural base for people. count to five > on one hand, then close those fingers and raise one on the other hand > for six. that way, a person can count from zero to 35 on two hands. I like that. So "digital" (from digitus = finger) should stand for base 6, not base 2 :-) > my niece, age 7, found this "scarey" Of course she does. There is no 7, she is 11. -- Jens Gruschel http://www.pegtop.net

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11/23/2009 8:31:58 PM

Jens Gruschel wrote: > I like that. So "digital" (from digitus = finger) should stand for base 6, not > base 2 :-) the dexterous can do it in base 2.

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11/24/2009 2:26:20 PM

> the dexterous can do it in base 2. True. And count to 1023. But you convinced me that base 6 is the most natural for humans. I should really learn to handle that blindfolded :-) -- Jens Gruschel http://www.pegtop.net

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11/24/2009 2:39:49 PM