Talk:Abacus

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Operation?

I did a tl;dr scan on the article, and wasn't able to easily find how this beast operates? Shouldn't that be more apparent? I expect to see something like this as a full section of the article. 75.139.254.117 (talk) 08:31, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Use in operations vs. in teaching

Re recent change to lead by user:Esquivalience, saying

Some designs, like the bead frame consisting of beads divided into tens, are used mainly to teach arithmetic. Other designs, such as the Japanese soroban, have been used for practical calculations...

But in fact the 10-bead-per-position layout has been and probbably still is in common use in Soviet Union/Russia/Ukraine. This may be covered by the word "mainly" above, but I think it should be given more weight. (Otherwise, I'm quite happy with Esquivaliences edit.)-- (talk) 09:38, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Now done; thanks! Esquivalience.-- (talk) 15:17, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

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Baghdad

An IP user has added info and sources to the lead twice, the first time removing other relevant material, second time merely replacing

that was in use in Europe, China and Russia, centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system.[1]

with

probably originated in Iraq around Baghdad to the Persian Gulf and later spread to Europe, China and Russia where it remained dominant calculating tool, centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system.[1] [2]

I have reverted twice. For one thing, writing Baghdad instead of Babylonia is odd when the source says Babylonia and we are talking about ancient history. For another, the material would be better added (if at all) to the following sentence,

The exact origin of the abacus is still unknown. Today, abaci are often constructed as a bamboo frame with beads sliding on wires, but originally they were beans or stones moved in grooves in sand or on tablets of wood, stone, or metal.

And thirdly, if this should be in the lead at all, the references to the sources should be placed more judiciously. The history is dealt with in some detail in the appropriate section below the lead. I have absolutely no objections to something being added to the lead about the origins of abaci, if it is done more in a more appropriate way.-- (talk) 15:45, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


  • Comment The Britannica is quite nebulous on the matter. I think there is insufficient certainty to place this in the lede. Jim1138 (talk) 03:37, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Boyer253 and encyclopedia.com references:[1][3]

Britannica as well as encyclopedia.com is highly reputed and edited by top subject matter experts and both have high wot rating. 117.227.45.240 (talk) 04:38, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

You need to get wp:consensus before restoring your edits. You are wp:Edit warring, a no-no. Jim1138 (talk) 04:46, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

You are repeat offender of reverting my article stop immediately. Britannica is written by top of the subject matter experts and all the high Web of Trust websites repeatedly tell that it is invented in Iraq, Babylonia or Mesopotamia which are located around same region. 117.227.92.108 (talk) 10:52, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

See WP:TERTIARY There are times when we can use encyclopedias but we should concentrate on secondary sources. Encyclopedia.com says "TThe oldest counting board that has been found is called the Salamis Tablet. It was found on the island of Salamis, a Greek island, in 1899. It was used by the Babylonians around 300 b.c.e" and "There is evidence that people were using abacuses in ancient Rome (753 b.c.e.–476 c.e.)" So you want us to say Roman? The article seems to be based on Pullan, J.M. The History of the Abacus. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1969. - so much has happened in archaeology since then I'd say it's useless. Britannica says "probably" Babylonian. Neither source provides any evidence at all.
But honestly, this article is terrible. Some rubbish sources, eg this source written for kids. We need archaeological sources discussing the first abacus, not mathematics or computing book. Doug Weller talk 14:16, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Need better sources. Jim1138 (talk) 22:51, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Your edits have been reverted by four experience editors now. Perhaps you should discuss it here further? Jim1138 (talk) 22:49, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

The oldest surviving counting board is the Salamis Tablet (originally thought to be a gaming board), used by the Babylonians circa 300 B.C., discovered in 1846 on the island of Salamis. Abacus is a Latin word that has its origins in the Greek words abax or abakon (meaning "table" or "tablet") which in turn, possibly originated from the Semitic word abq, meaning "sand".[4][5][6][7][8] 117.226.183.131 (talk) 03:42, 7 September 2017 (UTC) :Regarding your four sources:

  • Your first link: Who is the author of www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/history.html? This would appear to be a wp:selfpublished article.
  • Your books.google.co.in/books?isbn=373572499X is a bad ISBN
  • Per about the author in your third link: Richard F. Bellaver holds a B.S. in industrial economics from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from Michigan State University. Bellaver is an associate director at the Center for Information and Communication Science, Ball State University. Hardly qualifies as an expert in the origins of the abacus. The first page of the first chapter mentions "abacus" twice without any citation.
  • Your fourth link: historyofcomputing.weebly.com/5-abacus.html Also would appear to be a self-published article.
I don't see any of your sources have any significant authority on the history of the abacus. They appear to have gathered it from other sources without any qualifications in the matter. Please don't cite sources that are not reliable. Jim1138 (talk) 05:27, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

The salamis tablet article is based on references from http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/history.html then delete that article too which would appear to be a wp:selfpublished https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamis_Tablet#References — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.227.39.233 (talk) 05:37, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

No one is suggesting deleting any articles, but that one is a problem also, I agree. I've been looking and it's hard to find decent sources. Doug Weller talk 12:42, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
but Salamis Tablet is the ultimate tablet discovered till date which Babylonians had been using was precursor to modern abacus. This was the last discovery of the abacus history . so "probably Babylonian origin" is safer to say till now.[9][10] 117.227.20.102 (talk) 14:48, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
so you do not trust Wikipedia also and Britannica too for citing references 117.227.20.102 (talk) 15:53, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
The revert to the pre-dispute version does not reflect a view that this version is preferable; it merely means this is how the article should appear till the dispute is resolved.

Another thing: I've not checked all sources, but is there a reliable source for the view that the Salamis tablet is Babylonian (and not Greek)? I think this view may represent a misunderstanding of the wording of some specific sources.-- (talk) 15:13, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

The Salamis Tablet is the oldest counting tablet that has been found. It was discovered in 1846 on the island of Salamis. This was used by the Babylonians approximately in 300 B.C. [11][12] [13]  Done The issue is resolved 117.227.20.102 (talk) 16:06, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Your first source in no way supports that the Salamis tablet, found on a Greek island, was used by Babylonians rather than Greeks. Your second source, hardly a reliable one, does say so, in an almost identical (and in my opinion suspect) wording to an earlier source you've cited, viz. http://www.encyclopedia.com/science-and-technology/mathematics/mathematics/abacus. However, the exact wording in the latter is:
The oldest counting board that has been found is called the Salamis Tablet. It was found on the island of Salamis, a Greek island, in 1899. It was used by the Babylonians around 300 b.c.e
And this is (seen in context) ambiguous - the it I've boldfaced may refer to the Salamis tablets, or to counting boards in general.-- (talk) 21:17, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

first source https://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.4349 says : They borrowed The Salamis Tablet from the Greeks, but the Greeks borrowed it in turn from the Babylonians.

Salamis Tablet Designers Both the astronomical and the anthropomorphic features of The Salamis Tablet in sexagesimal mode lead to the conclusion that the Babylonians, or their ancestors the Sumerians, were its designers; see Figure 7 (which is a frame in Stephenson's video 9.1).> — Stephen Kent Stephenson July 15, 2010 [14] [15] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.226.224.40 (talk) 04:50, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

Interested by some of the comments made above I have tried to find some reliable sources for this material. First of all, one has to note that there is considerable disagreement as to the origins of the abacus. The two leading contenders appear to be the Babylonians (300 BCE) as noted above and the Chinese (with wildly varying dates from 3000 - 500 BCE). There are several other cultures which make the claim as well. At present I see no way that we could assign a place of origin given the state of affairs of the secondary literature. As to the Salamis abacus, assigning it to the Babylonians appears to be some kind of urban myth. The tablet is of Greek origin considering that all the symbols written on it are Greek (Smith, History of Mathematics, Vol. 1). Stephen Kent Stephenson, an engineer, not an archaeologist, has proposed that similarities between this tablet and a Roman hand tablet indicate that a forerunner of the Salamis tablet may have had Babylonian (Sumerian) roots. An interesting theory but hardly conclusive proof and certainly not supporting Babylonian origin of the tablet. --Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 18:57, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ a b c Boyer & Merzbach 1991, pp. 252–253
  2. ^ https://www.britannica.com/technology/abacus-calculating-device
  3. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/science-and-technology/mathematics/mathematics/abacus
  4. ^ www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/history.html
  5. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=373572499X
  6. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=1456732595
  7. ^ historyofcomputing.weebly.com/5-abacus.html
  8. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamis_Tablet
  9. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamis_Tablet
  10. ^ http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=1664
  11. ^ https://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.4349
  12. ^ http://www.abacuslessons.com/history-of-abacus.html
  13. ^ http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Ancient_Computers
  14. ^ https://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.4349
  15. ^ Stephenson, Stephen Kent (July 2013), Ancient Computers, Part I - Rediscovery (2 ed.), ISBN 1490964371

Edit request

Please restore Abacus article to the pre-dispute state. This version appears to be before the disputed Bagdad/Babylon edits began. Thank you Jim1138 (talk) 01:36, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

I would support this edit request. The current version introduces some confusion (apparently my fault) by stating both that the origin is probably Babylonian and also that its origins are unknown.--Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 03:59, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
 Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:35, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


restore to this state until the issue is resolved [[1]] 117.227.20.102 (talk) 15:11, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:25, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
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