The Other Third Kind

I‘m not sure where this all came from but this week it appears that ternary logic is the craze on reddit (proof 1 and proof 2). The first link goes to a short Wikipedia article about the Russian’s (successful) attempts to build a ternary computer (as opposed to the binary-based computer you’re reading this on). The other one goes to a scientific article in praise of the ternary system, which points out the drawbacks of the binary computing. To sum it up:

The cultural preference for base 10 and the engineering advantages of base 2 have nothing to do with any intrinsic properties of the decimal and binary numbering systems. Base 3, on the other hand, does have a genuine mathematical distinction in its favor. By one plausible measure, it is the most efficient of all integer bases; it offers the most economical way of representing numbers.

If you’re all for doing math during the weekend, an excellent article can be found right here