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  • john.hertford john.hertford Nov 3, 2012 1:59 PM Flag

    Numbers Theory # 2; Or, How I Won a Bar Bet. Plus, a Mystery.

    On a related note, I once read that there is an african tribe that only differentiates between "one" and "many" and does not know numbers as we know them.

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    • Actually, I remember something like that, too. Weren't they a Brazilian rain forest tribe, maybe called the Quiet People, or something like that?

      But that's what confuses me, shouldn't every country on earth have developed its own symbols for the concept of "one" in the same way that every country on earth developed its own written words for everything else?

      Take any example, let's say a chair. We call it a chair, the Spanish call it a silla, the French say a chaise, the Germans a stohl, etc. Yet all of those countries use the same exact word and representation for the concept of one: "1".

      Was there a Johnny Appleseed type person a thousand years ago who travelled from country to country, converting the people to one unifying number system, or something?

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