Because we have ten fingers, grouping by ten seems natural, but twelve would be better for divisibility, and eight is well suited to repeated halving. Grouping by two, as in binary code, has turned out to have its own remarkable advantages.
Paul Lockhart presents arithmetic not as rote manipulation of numbers―a practical if mundane branch of knowledge best suited for filling out tax forms―but as a fascinating, sometimes surprising intellectual craft that arises from our desire to add, divide, and multiply important things. Passionate and entertaining, Arithmetic invites us to experience the beauty of mathematics through the eyes of a beguiling teacher.
As mentioned in:
- Episode #76 – The Wonder Years (Quintilian and the Classical Preschool) during the Scholé Everyday segment by Abby Wahl