how much should it be?


the answer is 1e32, unlike what you may expect (1e12).


1 million, for basically everyone, means 1 thousand thousands: 1’000’000

that’s 6 zeroes and it can be represented as 1e6.

that’s the so called “short scale”, adopted by the united nations and internationally almost everywhere.

in it, 1 billion translates to 1e9.

in some countries, notably in europe, 1 billion is 1e12. and 1 trillion is 18! that’s called “long scale” and it keeps getting wronger* from there…


TK grab it from wikipedia


the first issue on the long scale is: there’s no million billions! also, after vigintillion 1e120 (in the short scale, 1e63) the only standard there was is more broken and no new standard takes place… it looks as if it’s all random exceptions from there.

but the short scale isn’t perfect either…

from ten to thousand, there’s a new name every 10x. then, for no reason, we skip naming 1e4 and 1e5. let’s just call them “ten thousand” and “hundred thousand”. now, every group of 3 zeros gets a new name. but where this 3 came from? it’s arbitrary. perhaps to facilitate the language people got used? a big improvement over the long scale nonetheless.

TK refer the table: ten 1e1, hundred 1e2, thousand 1e3, ten thousand 4, hundred thousand 5, million 6…

the best logic, however, would be more binary and exponential: 10 gets a name. let’s say ten. then 100 gets a name, hundred because we want to avoid confusing “ten ten”. then 10’00 must be ten hundred! and now we need a new name for 1’0000 again, which could be thousand. 10’0000 is therefore ten thousand. up to hundred thousand 100’0000. finally, 1 million became 1e8, or 1’0000’0000…

  • 1e7

10’000’000 ten million

10’00’0000 ten hundred thousand

  • 1e13

10’000’000’000’000 ten trillion

10’0000’0000’0000 ten thousand million

  • 1e32

100’000’000’000’000’000’000’000’000’000’000 hundred nonillion

1’0000000000000000’00000000’0000’0000 trillion

sometimes it might be harder to write or spell out the number, but once you get used to both, it’s always easier to write and read. and this isn’t at all about better nomenclature. there’s much more to it…

TK table: ten 1, hundred 2, ten hundred 3, thousand 4, ten thousand 5, hundred thousand 6, ten hundred thousand 7, million 8, ten hundred thousand million 15, billion 16, thousand billion 20, million billion 24, trillion 32, etc.

it may appear the way you’re used to is more logical. but it isn’t. this is.

there’s a huge chance this would help wonders: having more binary logic built into language… i fear we still don’t have any, since computers are so new.

and computer scientists are so fucked up… 😁



this could facilitate us thinking exponentially, just by getting used to the numbers.

it certainly helps thinking in binary, which is huge for computer programming.