# Managing decimal points with number pegs

In working with my first medical data from @vanCeos, I tried a different method of working with a decimal point in a string of numbers that is both consistent, helps ordering, and reduces system complexity. In 2016, @josh mentioned that

His example was
1.008 – candle (1), pebble (.), sofa (008)

I thought that was a very workable solution but I wasn’t confident that my visual images could keep track of the position of the pebble. Did the pebble come first or second?

My rules for using a Major encoded 2-digit number peg system are to start on the left taking two digits at a time, encode the decimal point as a P (remove any P words from the 9 encoding, leaving only the B), and if there is a leftover, visualize it with a 1-digit number peg.

So this would become:
1.008 - tape (1.), seesaw (00), ivy (8)

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Another option is that you could use some sort of Exponent-Mantissa representation?

If I understand your problem correctly, you’re afraid that using a 2 digit Major System will make you lose track of the decimal point. If this is your problem, I feel like the best solution would be just to mix 1 digit images with 2 digit images. If you do this, the ambiguity should be cleared.

Josh’s post did give me an idea though. The decimal point technique could easily be used to create “nested lists” in the context of a peg system. I’ve definitely struggled with the concept of nested information in the past, so I’ll definitely have to investigate this further.

@Niten, you have a workable solution also. You would assume the decimal point after the first digit and then tack on an exponent? I like efficient systems so if I can eliminate one memory image in some cases, I will. The exponent is always going to be an extra image I think which would create an extra association for a larger mental workload.

@ehcolston, glad to see you enter the fray! We need more ideas. So, you would mix one and two digits? How would you deal with 123.456 and 12.345 consecutively as separate numbers? I still have that problem if the numbers are all 2-digit visualized. I had a visual enhancement of length to know the second number was a range from the minimum value.

I thought the pebble would, in half of the cases where there’s an odd number of digits before the decimal point, add in an extra memory image.123.456 = (12)(3)(pebble)(45)(6) = 5 memory images. With my technique it would be (12)(3P)(45)(6) = 4 memory images.

Also if by nested lists, you mean an index peg such as a category system, you should check out my study on pegs in the topic [Systems analysis of visual memory systems].(Systems analysis of visual memory systems). The one category system didn’t fare any better than a few other systems even though it seems more elegant. But it looks like it is a personal preference and that practice time makes the difference.

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I would basically just use the one-digit to disambiguate the rest of the number sequence. I wouldn’t combine the pebble with the numbers like you’re suggesting.

For 123.456 I would do: (12)(3)(pebble)(45).
For 12.345 I would do: (12)(pebble)(34)(5)

In the past, I remember experimenting with memorizing simple equations and whenever I tried to combine an operator with a number (I had a phonetic system of sorts for equations at the time) my recall would deteriorate. Because of this, I like to keep certain images separate and consistent for my own sake.

Also if by nested lists, you mean an index peg such as a category system, you should check out my study on pegs in the topic [Systems analysis of visual memory systems].(Systems analysis of visual memory systems). The one category system didn’t fare any better than a few other systems even though it seems more elegant. But it looks like it is a personal preference and that practice time makes the difference.

Thanks, I’ll read into it. I’ve seen your thread pop up, but I haven’t really sat down and analyzed it.

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