I understand why there are many different alphabets, but why did the Arabic numeral system so effectively replace all others?

I understand why there are many different alphabets, but why did the Arabic numeral system so effectively replace all others? There's literally no country that doesn't use it.

  1. 7 days ago
    Anonymous

    Didn't Japan and China (and maybe Korea too?) still use their traditional numbers?

    • 7 days ago
      Anonymous

      Sometimes informally or ritually, but mostly no, the Arabic numerals have become dominant even there, especially for maths, accounting etc

      • 7 days ago
        Anonymous

        It's also an ongoing process. In the early 20th century, you still saw numeral kanji used to number book pages in Japan for example, in the 21st century it's almost completely disappeared except as a stylistic choice for a retro feel.

        • 7 days ago
          Anonymous

          Sometimes informally or ritually, but mostly no, the Arabic numerals have become dominant even there, especially for maths, accounting etc

          Mainland China still uses them extensively, in Japan they're basically unheard of but mainland China uses them between 25% to 50% of the time.

          • 7 days ago
            Anonymous

            Shouldn't the communist inquisition have executed everyone who used them for being too backwards and outdated? What a failure.

            • 7 days ago
              Anonymous

              Mao originally wanted to ban characters for that very reason, but Stalin advised him not to.
              Interestingly Taiwan, like Japan, have practically abandoned them.

              • 6 days ago
                Anonymous

                >tfw your ideology kills so many people that you ban numbers to hide it

          • 6 days ago
            Anonymous

            They're not unheard of, Japanese people can read numbers in kanji it's just impractical. Kinda like how we write 7362 instead of seven thousands three hundreds and sixty-two.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      Anything serious uses Arabic numeral

  2. 7 days ago
    Anonymous

    It works very well and the people who used them conquered most of the world so it spread with them

  3. 7 days ago
    Anonymous

    Inb4 Hindu Internet defense force

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      Meds

  4. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >Japan practices Germanic law
    Really?

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      There was substantial Prussian institutional influence, so it may be that.

  5. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >why did the Arabic numeral system so effectively replace all others
    This seems just-so, but honestly it is the most efficient way of doing things. A single compressed symbol to represent large quantities just works. That's probably the reason why Indians were quick to get into maths, algebra, pre calculus, and so on

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      i mean, its derivative and not really an exclusive phenomena, hindu numerals are derived from semitic scripts, which in turn were themselves used as numerals, like how the greeks used their alphabet as numerals previously, the practicality of arabic numerals really is that its exogenous and thus allows for them to be used abstractly

      • 6 days ago
        Anonymous

        Kinda unrelated, but would it make more sense to call them hindu or arab numerals? Apparently the Persian and arabs called them Hindu numerals, while the Europeans called them Arab numerals.
        I honestly think hindu numerals is more fair, because it was the hindus who invented the point decimal system, fractions, exponents, and the concept of 0 as its own symbol.
        Also kinda interesting how every Indian ethnic group has its own form of numerals (related and maybe even ancestral to the original Hindu-arab ones) and all of them have zero

        • 6 days ago
          Anonymous

          >all of them have zero
          It's because zero as its own symbol, as opposed to the just the concept, came in very late

          • 6 days ago
            Anonymous

            How late?
            >The concept of zero as a written digit in the decimal place value notation was developed in India, presumably as early as during the Gupta period (c. 5th century)

            This is more than enough time for the rest of India to adopt "zero" in the modern sense of the word

            • 6 days ago
              Anonymous

              Well, it seems that I was quite off with the dates in my mind
              I thought the 0 as a symbol came only around the 11th century, but it seems you're correct
              The 0 as a symbol came 100 to 200 years after the development of the numeral system

            • 6 days ago
              Anonymous

              >presumably
              pajeets are such desperate people

  6. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    I'm just guessing here, but first: it's a simple system, not much more complicated than other numeral systems
    And more importantly, it's considerably easier to do math with than any other system
    So I guess that that other countries noticed how effective the arabic system was and adopted it

    Other factors that might be worth debating:
    Mathematics is universal, language is not, so noticing/developing a superior system is easier

  7. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >Arabic numeral system so effectively replace all others?
    China and Japan can use their own characters for numerals

    India and arabic/persian have their numeric symbols and dont use the western ones

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      >India
      they use both at this point. As

      Kinda unrelated, but would it make more sense to call them hindu or arab numerals? Apparently the Persian and arabs called them Hindu numerals, while the Europeans called them Arab numerals.
      I honestly think hindu numerals is more fair, because it was the hindus who invented the point decimal system, fractions, exponents, and the concept of 0 as its own symbol.
      Also kinda interesting how every Indian ethnic group has its own form of numerals (related and maybe even ancestral to the original Hindu-arab ones) and all of them have zero

      pointed out, Indians have had their own numerals for a very very long time and they aren't too different from the "arabic" or western numerals. After all, the western ones are derived from Hindu/Indian numerals and it probably isn't tough to switch between the two in daily life

      • 6 days ago
        Anonymous

        What do you mean by arabic numerals?
        Arabic has different symbols from latin...

        But the general system is the indian numerical system which arabs adopted and passed onto europe and is contrasted to non base 10 numeric sustems

        • 6 days ago
          Anonymous

          >Arabic has different symbols from latin...
          dumb question but what did the latins have?

          >But the general system is the indian numerical system which arabs adopted and passed onto europe and is contrasted to non base 10 numeric sustems
          makes sense

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