Why dozenal?

a personal view by Shaun Ferguson

I first came across a clear discussion of number bases in the nineteen-fifties in an American book called "Maths - its Magic and Mystery" by Aaron Bakst. It was the only book in Lewisham Library to mention the topic.
At the time number bases weren't included in the school mathematics syllabus - but I did eventually find a short section and exercises in a "Higher Algebra".

A friend showed me a cutting from a newspaper - the "Daily Telegraph", with a letter about duodecimals - "here's a nutter like you," he said, "wants to change the numbers to base twelve."

This intrigued me; I liked the system we had - pounds, shillings and pence, feet and inches, and was not interested in seeing these swept away for a decimalised currency and the decimal metric system - so I followed the letter up.
This led to me joining the DSGB (The Dozenal Society of Great Britain). At present I am Secretary of the DSGB and Treasurer; I maintain this site, answer emails, but no longer edit a magazine - our dozenal activity nowadays takes place in the Dozenal Forum on the web.

(We need a new Secretary to take over the maintainance of this site - the site tends to reflect my views, and a new approach would be welcome, quite apart from the fact that someone younger is greatly needed.)

We fought against the decimalised pound; and we are still fighting against the imposition of the decimal metric system (see, in particular, the Daily telegraph article at Telegraph). I object to being told that the metrics are "more accurate" or "scientific" when the Imperial system is just as accurate and scientific and much more comfortable to use. The Imperial system is much more suited to man and his environment than is the decimal metric system. (If the adjective "Imperial" offend Republican sensibilities, then "International Inch/lb " would do as well...) And I could quite happily throttle the man who made the BBC start giving rainfall in millimetres!

I could list all the faults of the metric system; others have done it better than I can, and you will find links to their pages; by the same token there are links to pages where others have listed their reasons why the Imperial system should be retained (they don't all agree with changing to base twelve).

Having said that, I believe that a dozenal metric system would be better than either... and this means that we of the DSGB are not so much in favour of conservation as revolution.

We want to replace the world's old counting system (base ten) with a new one (base twelve).