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reidenschneider
2007-Oct-23, 11:08 AM
some years ago i half watched a television program where a character was using his fingers and knuckles to add, subtract, divide and of course, multiply.

since then i have wiki'ed, researched in math (not obsessively) and asked math types; students, teachers and interested others - with little if any luck.

though i was assured that such a system did in fact exist and that it was practiced by people in exotic locales or were the initiation practices of obscure mystery cults.

i dislike travel and do not wish to join any organization that would have me as a member.

so does anyone have any information as to whether or not such a system(?) exists.

help us obi wan bauters, you are our only hope.

Moose
2007-Oct-23, 12:03 PM
I've never heard of such a system. But your description seems to indicate several strong hallmarks of an urban legend: especially the "friend of a friend" aspect of the rumor. And it wouldn't be the first time a television program presented a vague (or outright implausible) rumor as some degree of semi-fact.

If it were possible to do arithmetic in a rapid, accurate way using only your fingers and knuckles, I believe engineers and mathematicians would have discovered it a very long time ago. I suspect the apollo astronauts would have been trained in its use. Saves the weight of a backup slide rule or two. Every pound saved on the ground is worth 100lbs in orbit.

It's not completely implausible, I suppose, but it's definitely unlikely.

reidenschneider
2007-Oct-23, 12:23 PM
It's not completely implausible, I suppose, but it's definitely unlikely.

thank you for your response.

while experience has already warned me that this is in all probability no more than some writers gimmick i have been heartened by a teacher of the blind that told me that this might have been a math system practiced in the earlier part of the last century.

though urban legend is a thought. perhaps snopes.com has something.

thank you once again. :)

SeanF
2007-Oct-23, 02:05 PM
Chisanbop or chisenbop. It's Korean, apparently.

Here (http://www.cs.iupui.edu/~aharris/chis/chis.html) is an online tutorial, but you need RealMedia to see the demonstrations.

Amazon has at least one book (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Chisanbop-Calculation-Created/dp/0442275684) about it, as well.

Tobin Dax
2007-Oct-23, 04:00 PM
Chisanbop or chisenbop. It's Korean, apparently.

Here (http://www.cs.iupui.edu/%7Eaharris/chis/chis.html) is an online tutorial, but you need RealMedia to see the demonstrations.

Amazon has at least one book (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Chisanbop-Calculation-Created/dp/0442275684) about it, as well.

Base-10 is so limited, though. You can get higher values by applying binary values to your digits.

reidenschneider
2007-Oct-24, 08:35 AM
[QUOTE=SeanF;1095547]Chisanbop or chisenbop. It's Korean, apparently.

thank you very much. i had thought that moose was in all probability correct but here it is. again, thank you. :)

the program was "northern lights" or exposure.

Serenitude
2007-Oct-24, 08:39 AM
Not exactly an Urban Legend. My wife, a math and science teacher, teaches it to 6th graders ;) I was shocked also, when I first saw her doing it, but she assures me it's rather common ;)

reidenschneider
2007-Oct-24, 09:05 AM
Not exactly an Urban Legend. My wife, a math and science teacher, teaches it to 6th graders ;) I was shocked also, when I first saw her doing it, but she assures me it's rather common ;)

as mentioned in an earlier post i have been looking for information on this system for a number of years or at least since i first became aware of it on "northern ..."

so the obvious question is how did your wife's 6th grader's know about it? :confused:

Serenitude
2007-Oct-24, 09:36 AM
I'm not sure. I remember her saying it's used in Japan. It's part of the curriculum in our school district, and she says the students find it quite handy and fast. She's asleep now, and I won't have a chance to talk to her until tomorrow evening, but I'll ask her a few questions and post her response for you ;)

Moose
2007-Oct-24, 11:58 AM
thank you very much. i had thought that moose was in all probability correct but here it is. again, thank you. :)

So did Moose, for that matter. Interesting.


the program was "northern lights" or exposure.


Probably Northern Exposure (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098878/).

PetersCreek
2007-Oct-24, 05:32 PM
Upon reading the OP, I flashed back to a television program I saw about students in Japan who had advanced to the point of no longer needing a physical abacus. It was fascinating to watch 'em go through their calculations while their fingers flew through very small movements as they manipulated an abacus visualized in their mind's eye.

Tobin Dax
2007-Oct-25, 04:12 AM
Not exactly an Urban Legend. My wife, a math and science teacher, teaches it to 6th graders ;) I was shocked also, when I first saw her doing it, but she assures me it's rather common ;)
tinaa teaches sixth, too, IIRC. I wonder if she's aware of this.
(I'm tempted to make a comment about Texans and advanced math, but I'll refrain from that.)