# Polynesians May Have Invented Binary Math

#### samzenpus posted 1 year,2 days | from the original-number dept.

170
sciencehabit writes *"How old is the binary number system? Perhaps far older than the invention of binary math in the West. The residents of a tiny Polynesian island may have been doing calculations in binary—a number system with only two digits—centuries before it was described by Gottfried Leibniz, the co-inventor of calculus, in 1703."*

## There were 10 types of ancient societies (4, Funny)

## Cryacin (657549) | 1 year,2 days | (#45708877)

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (5, Funny)

## Mr D from 63 (3395377) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709043)

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (4, Funny)

## NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709201)

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (1)

## Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709551)

So now they are also credited with OOP? What's next, a professor on the island who makes nuclear reactors out of cocoanuts, cave rocks, and urine from a Hollywood babe wearing an "S.S. Minnow" dress?

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709581)

Yes, they are polymaths.

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (1)

## TheInternetGuy (2006682) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709513)

I thought they invented polynomials.

No polynomials were invented by the Bhinese.

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710297)

But the Polynesians speak Bhinese. They're polyglots.

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709141)

If you RTFA this joke has double meaning ;-)

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (1)

## houstonbofh (602064) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709169)

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709317)

I think AC was referring to the fact that these people did not use binary. They just had special words for 10 and a few multiples of 10 like 20, 40 & 80.

There are 10 types of people who understand AC's joke: those who RTFA and those who didn't.

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (0)

## synaptik (125) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709931)

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (1)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710147)

Someone needs to hit these "researchers" upside the head with an Abacus and a copy of the I Ching.

## Re:There were 10 types of ancient societies (1)

## VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710529)

Actually, there are 10 types of people: Those who understand Arabic numerals and applied them to binary, and all the rest.

## How is this news? (2, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45708893)

Different cultures have been counting in bases other than base-10 for all of human history. Of course a gentleman in the 18th century wasn't the first to use binary.... that's preposterous.

The Mayans, for example, counted in based 20 (supposedly because they counted on both their fingers and, thanks to a warm climate, exposed toes).

## Re:How is this news? (5, Funny)

## JustOK (667959) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709151)

There was a Mayan tribe that went around naked. The men used base 21 and the women base 22

## Re:How is this news? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710301)

There was a Mayan tribe that went around naked. The men used base 21 and the women base 22

The men could have used based 23.

## Re:How is this news? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710509)

The male Mayans used base 21 because they weren't fat enough to use base 23; it's opposite of the reason that most male /.ers can only use base 22 -- because they're not long enough to use base 23.

## Re:How is this news? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710937)

There was a Mayan tribe that went around naked. The men used base 21 and the women base 22

The men could have used based 23.

Only those with moobs.

## Re:How is this news? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709171)

That would mean that women counted in 20's and men counted in 21's. Thus the start of the communication problems between the sexes.

## Weak evidence indeed (1)

## Geoffrey.landis (926948) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709187)

Different cultures have been counting in bases other than base-10 for all of human history.

Yes, the actual article discusses that.

The article, however, is remarkably weak in support for the hypothesis that the people of Mangareva (the "tiny Pacific island" mentioned) actually used binary arithmetic, since in fact it doesn't give any evidence at all that they actually used binary arithmetic. What it says is they have number words for three binary powers of ten:

pauafor 20;tatauafor 40; andvarufor 80.The jump from there to "thus clearly they invented binary arithmetic" is speculation. They state that none of the islanders use binary arithmetic

now, and there's norecordthey once did-- just those words for binary-multiples-of-ten.Of course a gentleman in the 18th century wasn't the first to use binary.... that's preposterous.

I don't know what is "of course" about that statement. There doesn't seem to be any evidence of anybody using binary before then. Maybe somebody did, but it seen they didn't tell anybody.

## Re:Weak evidence indeed (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710071)

There doesn't seem to be any evidence of anybody using binary before then.

The Chinese Abacus dates back to at least the 2nd Century BC. That's pretty solid proof, even if the researchers don't understand how to use one. (Hint- look at the top row)

Also, ever heard of the yin/yang symbol? How about the I Ching? Both philosophical systems are based on the concept of a binary universe.

## Re:Weak evidence indeed (3, Informative)

## icebike (68054) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710271)

The article, however, is remarkably weak in support for the hypothesis that the people of Mangareva (the "tiny Pacific island" mentioned) actually used binary arithmetic, since in fact it doesn't give any evidence at all that they actually used binary arithmetic. What it says is they have number words for three binary powers of ten:paua for 20; tataua for 40; and varu for 80.

The article wasn't so much weak, as it was in awe of an accident of hindsight. (It only looks "special" because we settled on binary for computers.)

It explicitly made the point that base 10 was used except to refer to large groups.

Their "special words" took hold only after they ran out of fingers.

In fact, if you look at it as counting the number of "bodies worth of fingers and toes" it looks less like using binary and more like "We can't count that high, but there was one fish in the pond for every finger and toe of each person in our boat). After that they just counted boats.

Its really not much different than westerners counting in dozens, and grosses (something that wiki unconvincingly attributes to the convenience of 12 having many divisors [wikipedia.org] . From the same article you learn there were Latin terms for groups of 15, 20, etc. It seems that special, extra ordinal counting numbers for baskets full of stuff are not that unusual.

## Re:Weak evidence indeed (1)

## Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710665)

You've got it nailed. There is nothing in the article to suggest that Polynesians used base two. Wild speculation based on a few words in an almost extinct language. Wow. There is more evidence to support the idea that ancient space men visited the earth at various times, and THAT evidence is exceedingly thin.

## Re:How is this news? (1)

## LordLimecat (1103839) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710785)

Its not news, as indicated by the journalistic codeword "may" as in "there MAY not actually be a story here but its good for click-throughs, so we're going to run it anyways".

Its very similar to Bettridge's Law of headlines: If a headline uses the word "may", you can generally assume that there will be little actual substance and a lot of overstatement in the article.

## "Discovered" would be more appropriate (2)

## jatoo (2393402) | 1 year,2 days | (#45708909)

Binary mathematics was always there.

Australian aborigines have been known to use the binary system as well.

Being able to count to 512 on your fingers can be handy!

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (5, Funny)

## PIBM (588930) | 1 year,2 days | (#45708949)

I'm sorry for you! If you had all of your fingers, you'd make it to 1023!

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (4, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709029)

GP probably uses signed integers.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (5, Funny)

## mugnyte (203225) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709395)

That's called thumb's-complement - still in IEEE committee, but quite handy.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (2)

## pesho (843750) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709073)

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709991)

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709087)

You must be from Chernobyl - most non-mutants can only get to 255 using their fingers alone!

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709341)

You only have 8 fingers?

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709885)

Yep. At least I'm not all thumbs!

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (1)

## bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709973)

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## hguorbray (967940) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709189)

http://numberwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/is-one-two-many-a-myth/

-I'm just sayin'

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (2)

## dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710251)

Not sure if one, two, many is a myth, but one to many is a database relationship.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710391)

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (1)

## bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709427)

I'm sorry for you! If you had all of your fingers, you'd make it to 1023!

Floating point will get you further, if you don't mind loosing some digits of precision.. Should work great for 4 digits at +- E16 - E-16.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (1)

## djdanlib (732853) | 1 year,2 days | (#45708993)

Either you're using a sign bit, or you are missing a finger. 10 bits gets you a range of 0-1023 or 1-1024.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (1)

## Roachie (2180772) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709019)

Lets not forget finger #11

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (2)

## sconeu (64226) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709083)

You have six fingers on your right hand.... Someone is looking for you.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709369)

You have six fingers on your right hand.... Someone is looking for you.

"You killed my father, prepare to DIE!

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (1)

## icebike (68054) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710313)

If you are holding a 6th finger in your right hand, the left hand must be taking the selfie.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709037)

'Sign bit' is my dick's name you insensitive clod.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (5, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709419)

So you are always negative when good looking women are around..... Sorry for you.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (1)

## PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709129)

Maybe he has limp digits, and needs one as a parity bit . . . ?

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709211)

Just don't count to 132 while facing someone... they might take it the wrong way.

## Re:"Discovered" would be more appropriate (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709509)

Isn't that when you're behind someone?

## Professor Farnsworth Says... (1)

## CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,2 days | (#45708999)

Bad News, Everyone!

It turns out that we've been trying to figure out binary math for hundreds of years longer than previously believed, which means we humans are worse at math than we thought!

## FTFA (1)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709033)

But their special counting words are all decimal numbers multiplied by powers of two, which are 1, 2, 4, 8 . Specifically,

takauequals 10;pauaequals 20;tataua, 40; andvaru, 80. Those big numbers are useful for keeping track of collections of valuable items, such as coconuts, that come in large numbers.There must be a

Gilligan's Islandjoke in here somewhere...## Sounds like they're trying to hard (1)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709041)

So this tribe had special numbers for 10, 20, 40, and 80, so that means they had a binary number system? That's a big stretch. That probably means they counted on two people's fingers and toes.

BTW the French word for eighty is quatre-vingt (four twenties). Same idea, probably.

## Re:Sounds like they're trying to hard (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709253)

I thought the same thing but then I realized that anthropologists don't get much ink anymore and once in a while we have to throw them a bone (I mean how many Tutankhamuns are out there anymore?).

BTW the French word for eighty is quatre-vingt (four twenties). Same idea, probably.

I guess that's why this island is in French Polynesia?

## What's with this "may"? (5, Insightful)

## newcastlejon (1483695) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709047)

## Re:What's with this "may"? (2)

## jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709099)

## Re:What's with this "may"? (1)

## bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709529)

There is true, false and carry.. Unless you are out of fingers in which case the carry signal sets overflow.

## Re:What's with this "may"? (1)

## flaming error (1041742) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709385)

"If God forks the Universe every time you roll a die, he'd better have a damned good memory."

What's with this "if"? Either He does or He doesn't.

## Re:What's with this "may"? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709391)

I think "may" implies a lack of certainty whether they did or they didn't. It's generally that, or the fifth month of the Gregorian calendar.

## Re:What's with this "may"? (1)

## Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709495)

They also invented half-dead cats before Schrodinger....or not.

## Language (2)

## Dan East (318230) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710105)

Studies of the Mangareva language in the 1930s recorded that it contained specific words for 10, 20, 40 and 80. Sort of like how English has special words "dozen" and "score" for specific quantities. Their culture and language has been nearly obliterated by external influences over the centuries, so all that remains is the fact that they had special words (beyond their normal numbers) for those values. That could be pure coincidence, or it could indicate that they worked with binary numbers and thus had special words for 0b0001, 0b0010, 0b0100 and 0b1000.

The thing that doesn't make much sense to me is why they would have multiplied their binary digits by decimal 10. Instead of special words for 1, 2, 4 and 8 they have special words for 10, 20, 40 and 80, and that doesn't make any sense mathematically. Unless originally they used binary and had special words for 1, 2, 4 and 8, then gradually adopted decimal. The special words for such small numbers wouldn't have been useful, so the meaning switched to indicate 10 times that value. 10, 20, 40 and 80 would be useful quantities to have special words for when it comes to trading, buying and selling, and even talking about a person's age.

Either way, it sure seems to hint that they used binary math at some point in the past.

## Re:What's with this "may"? (1)

## Princeofcups (150855) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710207)

But that is a much more catchy headline than simply stating that they probably used binary math for some things.

## They may not. (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710327)

God wills it, save the queen!

## Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709059)

So many easy divisors.

## Re:Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (1)

## Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709115)

Or how about Base 13 just to fsck with people and make math teachers rich. It would also make QWERTY look sane in comparison.

## Re:Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709217)

Clocks are base 12, so are feet.

## Re:Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (1)

## WillgasM (1646719) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709301)

## Re:Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709285)

## Re:Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710097)

I keep hearing this argument in the favor of the imperial system... but we have this magical thing called decimals.

Decimals are imprecise. For example, try writing the EXACT (not approximate) value of 1/3 (one third) in decimal. Or "pi". Have fun with that.

## Re:Too bad we didn't settle on base 12 (1)

## mc6809e (214243) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710633)

Decimals have nothing to do with it.

Base 12 is incredibly convenient for breaking up one thing into several parts in many ways. A dozen divided in half gives six each. Into thirds gives 4 each. Into fourths gives 3 each. Into sixths gives 2 each.

Easy.

But anyway, even duodecimal is somewhat easier than decimal, too.

Base 10

1/2 = 0.5

1/3 = 0.3333...

1/4 = 0.25

1/5 = 0.2

1/6 = 0.1666...

1/7 = 0.142857...

1/8 = 0.125

1/9 = 0.1111...

Base 12 (using A for 10 and B for 11)

1/2 = 0.6

1/3 = 0.4

1/4 = 0.3

1/5 = 0.2497...

1/6 = 0.2

1/7 = 0.186...

1/8 = 0.16

1/9 = 0.14

## bool (1)

## Citizen of Earth (569446) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709061)

bool"s instead of "leib"s?## Re:bool (1)

## SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709291)

George Boole. He invented the formal mathematical system of boolean logic.

## Re:bool (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709459)

Why are variables called "bool"s instead of "leib"s?

Because boolean variables can hold true or false as values. Binary is a way to represent numbers. I'm not sure how you could consider them the same, except that bits in binary have two possible values 0 or 1 and a boolean variable can have two possible values true or false.

## Re:bool (1)

## hazah (807503) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710803)

## Poly? (4, Funny)

## Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709067)

Wouldn't that be "

Binesians"?## Re:Poly? (1)

## PPH (736903) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709791)

Right. And the Micronesians invented fractions.

## Re:Poly? (1)

## Freshly Exhumed (105597) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710853)

They're "Some O 1 s"

## If only we had eight fingers (1)

## tomhath (637240) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709105)

## Re:If only we had eight fingers (1)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709227)

I only have 8 fingers.......and 2 thumbs!!!

## Binary is much older than Leibniz... (5, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709179)

Leibniz freely admits that he took ideas from the I Ching: http://www.leibniz-translations.com/binary.htm

## "Ethiopian" or "Egyprian" multiplication (2, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709281)

This uses binary math, though not quite explicitly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_multiplication

## Re:"Ethiopian" or "Egyprian" multiplication (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709613)

This uses binary math, though not quite explicitly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_multiplication [wikipedia.org]

As a computer geek and a history geek I thank you. :-)

...

Off to google how the romans multiplied numbers

## Cretinous Article (1)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709329)

Why is it that people who are actually terrible at understanding the basics of maths think that because they express an interest, they are some kind of mathematical genius.

There is NOTHING inherently special in binary, base10 or whatever. What ***IS*** special is the realisation of using ANY form of number-base system to handle calculations. The same garbage about a particular base choice being 'magic' led the French morons experimenting with so-called decimal systems for times and dates- fundamentally ignoring why we have 12 hours to a half-day, and 60 minutes to an hour (here's a clue- how many ways can you divided these numbers, and get whole number results?).

Base2 is the WORST possible base choice for a general counting and calculation system for people. Morons dribble "it's used in 'computing' so it must be clever". As soon as base arithmetic was invented, mathematicians KNEW about base2 as a special case of base-n. How can people here be so thick they do not get this? Was high-school maths really this hard for you to understand.

Knowing you can use base2 (binary) is NOT having a practical reason to deploy base2. Only when binary state computing was developed did the use of Base2 (or base8, or base16) make sense. Any society using base2 in a pre-computer age can be labelled as seriously retarded.

AGAIN. All base arithmetic follows the same principles. Therefore an awareness of base-x, where x is a specific integer, gives awareness of any base-n, where n is any positive integer greater or equal to 2.

## Re:Cretinous Article (1)

## bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709619)

There is NOTHING inherently special in binary, base10

Oh but there is. Count your fingers. People normally have 10 fingers, so base 10 is how language defined the basic numbers. Once we started writing things down, place value creeps in and we have the decimal system.

Mathematically, there is no unique reason to use base 10 except that one has to invent new digits when you go above 9 (OK above F for you Hex types). Binary, Octal and Hex are all used for convenience because the devices we have use multiples of 4 bits (usually). We used base 10 when all we had was fingers. What base you use is about what makes the problem easy. More often than not, that's going to be decimal, unless perhaps you are working with computers doing hardware interfaces.

## The Chinese (of course) (5, Interesting)

## nightcats (1114677) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709337)

## Re:The Chinese (of course) (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710193)

As I have mentioned in many previous posts, the Chinese have often lead the way in technology but failed to capitalize on it due to political stupidity.

We ask for cheap shit and people complain that we get cheap toxic shit? The Chinese are ahead of the US in terms of education and there are many smart people doing progressive technology there.

## "Invented?" (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709399)

"Invented?"

## Re:"Invented?" (1)

## VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710557)

"Invented?"

Biscovered.

## Due to leprasy (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709437)

Because when you only have one digit left ... yes, ONE!

## Dear World (3, Funny)

## Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,2 days | (#45709655)

You now owe us royalties on every digital computer built in the last century. Please pay the total of one gazillion dollars to the following bank account.

-Signed, Polynesia

## Re:Dear World (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45709993)

You now owe us royalties on every digital computer built in the last century. Please pay the total of one gazillion dollars to the following bank account.

-Signed, Polynesia

Of course, here, take this freshly minted gazillion dollar coin. Good luck finding change.

## Re:Dear World (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710023)

You now owe us royalties on every digital computer built in the last century. Please pay the total of one gazillion dollars to the following bank account.

-Signed, Polynesia

Yes, let me know how that works out. I hear the Romans are still trying to collect on the written representation for the decimal system.

## Re:Dear World (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710031)

Dang.. I thought we already had paid enough for Bikini Atoll... So, how about we order up some more tests eh?

## Re:Dear World (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710409)

Is that a binary gazillion or a "hard drive" gazillion?

## Europeans used binary before Liebniz or Polynesia (3, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710047)

Humans used binary long before Leibniz and long before the Polynesians mentioned in the article. For one example:

2 tablespoons = 1 ounce

2 ounces = 1 jack

2 jacks = 1 gill

2 gills = 1 cup

2 cups = 1 pint

2 pints = 1 quart

2 quarts = 1 pottle

2 pottles = 1 gallon

2 gallons = 1 peck

2 pecks = 1 kenning

2 kennings = 1 bushel

2 bushels = 1 strike

2 strikes = 1 coomb

2 coombs = 1 hogshead

2 hogsheads = 1 butt

## "Invent" (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710233)

Did they "invent" it or "become aware of" binary math?

## Binary - A Number System With Only Two Digits (4, Insightful)

## TranquilVoid (2444228) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710439)

So, decades of stories containing obscure acronyms deemed unworthy of explanation, now the editors decide

binaryneeds to be defined for the Slashdot audience.## Re:Binary - A Number System With Only Two Digits (2)

## VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710607)

Binary - A Number (counting) System (way of doing) With Only Two (one more than one and one less than one more than one more than one) Digits (stick like things [above your waist] that are on your hands [digital things in your pants]).

## Whoopdie Freakin Doo (0)

## Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#45710477)

## That's not binary (1)

## Megane (129182) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710911)

But their special counting words are all decimal numbers multiplied by powers of two, which are 1, 2, 4, 8 . Specifically, takau equals 10; paua equals 20; tataua, 40; and varu, 80.

That's not binary, it's BCD.

## How fitting (1)

## ChrisMaple (607946) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710969)

## That would be cool! (1)

## edibobb (113989) | 1 year,2 days | (#45710981)