But that would be a really short article, I guess...
(1) Numbers in Chinese match well with the tonality of the language making it easier to remember (compare: "singing" numbers in any language works better to remember them).
(2) Chinese students are trained from a young age to memorize.
That's it basically. No "obsession". No hidden stuff. I also find articles like this pretty degrading.
That doesn't mean I'm not jealous of my Chinese half of the family to be able to remember numbers so easily whereas I can barely remember my PIN code :).
Now I have exactly one, my own, memorized. I suspect this is an effect of the particular way in which Westerners have come to relate to phone numbers and similar numbers just as the emphasis on numbers is an effect of the way Chinese came to relate to phones and computers.
English is my native language and I can remember longish sequences of numbers easily.
My American friends can too but many don't see the point. Their education system is so against rote memorization that there's a cultural aversion to casual memorization because one can always "look it up".
Another example is the number of days in the month. I instinctively know which months are 30 days, 31 days or 28/29 days. Many Americans don't see the point of having this information at their fingertips. It's a fascinating cultural difference.
Eight, for example is one syllable with two moras, the "eigh" sound and the "t" sound at the end.
Same for Zero, which as "Ze" and "Ro" separated into two moras.
Nine, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, for example are one mora words.
Six actually has 3 mora, with "Si" at the beginning and the X at the end having two mora "k" and "s" sound.
In comparison all Chinese characters have one mora only, thus it's much faster and easier to use in numbers.
I was just pointing out that he's literally wrong, and if that's what he meant he should be more clear in his phrasing.
Calling them as "Arabic" numbers is as dated as words like "Orientals", "Indians" to refer to native Americans, etc.,
"Mathematical formulas and theorems are usually not named after their original discoverers"
and Stigler's law of eponymy: "No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer".
I'm just trying to find out who this is offending or why it's problematic phrasing.
They are quite different, even if they are close geographically. Ask a an actual Iranian/Perisan if they would like to mistaken for a Saudi/Arabic.
I'm not conflation "Persian" with "Arabic". I wouldn't call an Iranian a Saudi anymore than I'd call an Indian a Pakistani. But the widespread adoption of the numbers and their naming happened during times when people modern nomenclature hadn't taken hold.
I didn't write this article, so I'm not the only person in the world making these assumptions. I understand that there are some weird problematic names that still exist for common objects, but this is genuinely something I'd just assumed most people accepted as the name, especially in the West.
If I could explain that, I don't feel my brain is stronger now that I know about combinatorics over program spaces / trees compared to me a 6. It's just how things are approached that changes everything.
The hotel attached to the Shanghai airport doesn't have a 4th floor... or more accurately it's labelled as the 5th floor.
The superstition is real, and more potent than western numerological superstitions such as 13 - the fact that number sounds resemble other meanings in Chinese seems like a valid explanation.
Part of me wonders if it's also in part so they can sell the 39th floor as the "45th" floor.
I think that's just laziness. If you need to memorize a number it just takes a few minutes of work, and then some reinforcement later.
Actually it's been well documented that human capacity in working memory is 7±2. This is why phone numbers were initially 7 digits.
It certainly is possible to memorize long strings with sustained repitition, but this is usually meaured in weeks or months even if practiced every day.
It's not "lazy" to be unable to perform at the far right of the bell curve in terms of recall.
It's certainly to memorize something short term (eg repeat your QQ number over and over for a period of time) but there needs to be spaced repetition over longer periods to make that memorization permanent.
Feel free to provide specific citations, as I did in my parent comment, if you would like to disagree further.
I'd encourage you to actually read the study you're attempting to "cite" by linking to a poorly written Wikipedia summary. Here's the actual link: http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Miller/
If you read it, you'll find that it makes absolutely no claim about the long-term memorization of numbers outside of the range "7 plus or minus 2" -- instead, it's discussing what it terms "immediate memory", your ability to perform tasks such as mapping specific tones to numbers on the fly, or repeat a series of number you've just been told for the first time, and how your conscious working "scratchpad memory" quickly becomes overwhelmed.
Indeed, the very paper you're "citing" disagrees with you entirely. He notes that subjects can very quickly memorize much larger numbers, but that this does not invalidate his claim re: working memory because this is simply accomplished by chunking the number to be memorized into segments compatible with the conscious mind's small working set.
Again: you have completely misunderstood the paper in question, and are incorrectly conflating "working memory" and "memorization capacity", which are very very different things.
Current theories about long term memory (or "memorization capacity") consider it infinite in capacity.
Interesting tactic, feel free to provide something other than your own opinion that it is "irrelevant"
e: no seriously though. With area code, phone numbers already are 10 digits. Are you baiting?
I cannot find anything to substantiate this claim. Is your statement applicable only to a single country?
In the US, it seems like phone numbers started with a few digits only and progressively got longer over time; I can’t find any reference to starting purposefully with 7 digits for memorizability reasons.
This quora post summarizes nicely - Bell standardized on 7 for local (10 counting area code) based on the research I cited earlier:
By "initially" I meant "when telephones began to become mainstream and part of everyday life" - sorry for the confusion.
Though I think your implication is right that bell studies showed the average limit was 7 numbers for many people.
Credit card numbers are a good example of this.
It gets progressively harder with length, and takes time. (As I mentioned, spaced over days and weeks).
If you want to memorize something in the short term, 7±2 chunks is often the limit. This is why passphrases are pushed - you can easily recall 7 easily memorable "chunks" that when translated into bits contain much more than seven bits of information.
Well, people who don't learn a different language from their own are certainly "lazy" but this laziness includes the majority of humanity. Moreover, this laziness has been the motor of nationalist feelings that world over.
"“Not everyone in China has perfect grasp of pinyin. If websites have pinyin names, it might actually be difficult for some people to figure out which letters to write,” she said. A string of numbers is easier to commit to memory than words in a foreign language."
IE, a read of the article shows how laziness actually generates a lot of the use of numbers in the contemporary Chinese Internet.
On a mass scale, the path of least resistance is a powerful shaper of society. Sure, you may personally put in the effort to learn digits and that extra language and so-forth. Just don't expect that to be what conditions the form of daily life.
Certainly most people in Europe know more than one language, most people in Africa(poor people) and most people in Asia, most people in South America. Most people from Canada.
It is just people of the USA, because they just can get by with just one language.
But this is like using Imperial Units. The (North)Americans even forced the rest of the world not to use metric, like in aviation(French and Germans of course used meters for it in WWII).
Yes, and in my experience they're usually the kind with a lid.
It look me a long time to learn that you weren't supposed to flush TP in China, since people don't put signs about it in their homes.
And yeah, the places I was in supplied a bin.
combustion performance of waste..