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Posts tagged numbers

Nate:
from "The Chinese Restaurant Workers’ View of America: Through Area Codes," by Jennifer 8. Lee, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, 17 January 2009 :: first posted here 23 January 2009

image

These two are Chinatown bus advertisements for routes that go to the more obscure regions of the eastern United States. (Chinatown bus goes all over, not just Boston, NYC, Philly and Washington). Notice how they emphasize the area codes.

That is because many Fujianese restaurant workers are not educated and thus don’t really read and write English. Given that. How do you divide the United States? Not through towns and states. You do it through numbers—hence the area codes.

excerpt Not all thumbs
Nate:

Nicoladis and colleagues studied one and two-hand counting gestures and cultural differences between Germans and French and English Canadians. While the majority of Germans use their thumb to begin to sequentially count, the majority of Canadians, both French and English, use their index finger as the numerical kick-off point when counting with their hands.

However, Nicoladis noted that some French Canadians also displayed anomalous differences from their Canadian or even their German counterparts.

"They show a lot more variation in what they are willing to use in terms of gestures, suggesting there might be some influence from the European French manner of gesturing (whose gestures are identical to the Germans'), or possibly other cultures too," she said. "This association suggests that there are some cultural artifacts left over from these older French gestures and that they have been replaced because of the cultural contact with English Canadians."

Nate:
from "Community by the Numbers, Part One: Group Thresholds," by Christopher Allen, Life With Alacrity, 24 September 2008 :: thanks, Koranteng!

150—“The Exclusive Dunbar Number”. Robin Dunbar got much of the discussion of group thresholds started with his article, “Co-Evolution Of Neocortex Size, Group Size And Language In Humans.” However, as I’ve written previously, and as I’ve described in this article, Dunbar’s group threshold of 150 applies more to groups that are highly incentivized and relatively exclusive and whose goal is survival.

Dunbar makes this obvious by the statement that such a grouping “would require as much as 42% of the total time budget to be devoted to social grooming.”

The result of the grooming requirement is that communities bounded by the Exclusive Dunbar Number are relatively few. You will find hunter/gatherer and other subsistence societies where this is a natural tribe size. You’ll also find these groups sizes in terrorist and mafia organizations.