# We all understand this very complex thing

Posted

(old 2020-01-16)

This post is supposed to be about simplicity, but today I decided to turn it over its head and talk about a topic that we consider simple but is very complicated.

I remember at Uni being very confused about how non-decimal based numbers work. For example, hexadecimal and binary numbers. I felt that the way of counting was just crazy, 10 in hexadecimal is 17 in our standard way (i.e. decimal) of counting. And 10 in binary is 2 in decimal! So painful.

But recently I noticed that you and I are using, every day, an extremely complex non-decimal counting system. TIME!

Think of it

- Seconds are 60 based: 60 seconds = one minute
- Minutes are 60 based: 60 minutes = 1 hour
- Hours are 24 based: 24 hours = 1 days
- Days are seven based: 7 days = one week

AND

- Days are 28,29, 30,31 based (almost randomly it seems): 28, 29, 30, 31 days = 1 month
- Months are 12 based: 12 months = 1 year
- Years are decimal…

Plus all the very confusing non-standard other things like months being more or less four weeks, but not exactly (they are a little more). Years are 365 or 366 days but only every four years, etcetera.

But it is simple (or so we say)