12/14/2020 16:13

Big Endians

I've heard a rumor that the Cleveland professional Base Ball team is going to rename themselves after an electronic computer architecture, either the Big Endians or the Little Endians depending on their 2021 win-loss record.

Personally I've never understood either Base Ball or endianness. The former appears to consist of one player attacking another with a small round projectile while a number of other players stand around waiting to retrieve the projectile should the attacked player manage to fend it off. However if the attacker is successful then the player hit is required to stand in a sequence of exposed positions while others are being similarly attacked.

Endianness is invariably described as the order of bent ends of rope within a lexicographical unit ("the order or sequence of bytes of a word", Wikipedia, Endianness). In my mind it always seems to be more about how the bytes are numbered. We all seem to have agreed to number the binary digits within a byte with the log2 of the value it represents. One would think we should similarly number byte displacements by the log256 of the value represented. We would thus maintain some level of nominational consistency.

The problem with this conceptual purity is that IBM was ever caught up with internally emulating the Hollerith card code. Hence EBCDIC. Hence Big Endian. Hence Cleveland.

But Base Ball I still can't fathom.