i'm tired of only being able to count to ten with my fingers.. that's pathetic. we're capable of much more. in fact, we're capable of counting up to 1023 using our fingers, and the base-2 binary system.

so here's the plan, teach youreslf how to count in binary and, when you have kids, teach them. it's really simple, though a bit rough to explain. i taught a friend how to count in binary by telling her how similar it is to counting normally (base 10):

let's say you're counting from zero to nine, writing it on paper. so far, you only have one column (the ones column). you can count from zero to nine here without using the second (tens) column. when you go from nine to ten, the nine becomes a zero, and you increment the tens column (which was zero before). now, you increment the next lowest column as much until it rolls around again, so you count from ten to nineteen. then you increment the highest available column: the tens column, and reset the nine in the ones column to zero. now you're at twenty. hooray. now, to apply this to binary counting.

with binary, instead of counting from zero to nine, you count from zero to one. you still apply the same incrementation method as before. with your hands, a fist is a zero, as all fingers are 'off.' a one is simply your thumb. since you can only increment to one, you have to roll around to go to two. so you make the first column (your thumb) a zero (by closing your thumb) and increment the next column (by sticking out you index finger). for three, you put out your thumb and leave your index finger where it is. now for four, it's time to roll around. you have to reset the tingers you've incremented to zero (like going from 999 to 1000), and stick up the next finger by itself. your middle finger.

so we went like this, from zero to four (each number here is a finger, starting with the pinky, ending with your thumb). 00000, 00001, 00010, 00011, 00100. you see? pretty simple. to calculate a number, you take all the fingers that are sticking out, and add 2^position, where the position is how far up the number is, the thumb being position zero.

this might take awhile to get down real fluidly but, if you teach your kids, years down the line, from a young age, they'll pick it up like nothing. and imagine, if you use both hands, you can count to 1023! that's hardcore. and with just one hand, you can count up to 31. not bad either!

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