Half of four is three… or four.

February 27, 2009 § 1 Comment

I guess you could get an answer of two as well.

I was chewing the fat with a native Peruvian friend who was telling me about the Inca people.

Rather than having a number system that was  Hindu Arabic and written down, their number system was based on how they built (and not written down).

What is half of four? Three

What is half of four? Four

The question was interpreted by an Incan as, ‘What is half of  a four sided shape?’.

For them, four didn’t represent four units.

So, if you halve a square across one of its diagonals, one of the new shapes formed will have three sides.

If you halve a rectangle through its vertical axis of symmetry, both of the new shapes formed will have four sides.

Half of four is two only if you aren’t Incan.


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