24 SEP 2021 by ideonexus

## Recursive Self-Improvement in Human Civilization

Let’s consider Arabic numerals as compared with Roman numerals. With a positional notation system, such as the one created by Arabic numerals, it’s easier to perform multiplication and division; if you’re competing in a multiplication contest, Arabic numerals provide you with an advantage. But I wouldn’t say that someone using Arabic numerals is smarter than someone using Roman numerals. By analogy, if you’re trying to tighten a bolt and use a wrench, you’ll do better than someone...29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

## Roman Arithmetic

...basic Roman arithmetic is largely rather simple, even for those of us spoiled by Arabic notation. Addition is no sweat, because complex Roman numbers already use what math pros call additive notation, with numerals set beside one another to create a larger number. VI is just V plus I, after all. To add large numbers, simply pile all the letters together, arrange them in descending order, and there’s your sum. CLXVI plus CLXVI? CCLLXXVVII, or CCCXXXII. And one of the advantages of the Rom...02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

## Math Games

Buzz. An example of a low-stress, win-win game is Prime Number Buzz. Students stand in a circle or at their desks and go around the room in order, saying either the next sequential number if it is a composite or “buzz” if it is a prime. If they are incorrect, they sit down, but they keep listening and when they catch another student’s error, they stand up and rejoin the game. (The same game format works for Multiples Buzz, using multiples of, for example, 3, 4, and so on.) Telephone. T...01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

## The Pioneer 10 Plaque

On the title page of this chapter is shown the message. It is etched on a 6-inch by 9-inch gold-anodized aluminum plate, attached to the antenna support struts of Pioneer 10. The expected erosion rate in interstellar space is sufficiently small that this message should remain intact for hundreds of millions of years, and probably for a much longer period of time. It is, thus, the artifact of mankind with the longest expected lifetime. The message itself intends to communicate the locale, ep...Carl Sagan describes everything that went into the symbolism of this message sent to the stars.