# How "Anti-Prime" Numbers Secretly Rule Your Life

It's videos like the one below the article that make people realize why mathematicians view math as art, or perhaps as power.

Highly composite numbers—numbers that have more divisible factors than any smaller, positive whole numbers—are a category of numbers that we find incredibly useful for organizing our lives and understanding the world.

Because highly composite numbers have so many factors, they can be split into many combinations of equal groups, making them kind of the opposite of prime numbers, which only have two factors, themselves and 1.

The highly composite number 60, for example, has become our standard for measuring time as it can be split into convenient equal portions of whole numbers—30 minutes (half an hour), 15 minutes (a quarter of an hour), 10 minutes (a sixth of an hour), and so on. 360 is likewise a highly composite number, and the foundation of circular geometry, unlocking more complicated equations that can do things like predict the orbits of the planets years in advance. Highly composite numbers make it easier to understand the world around us and, really, make it possible for our species to coordinate at all and build civilization.
Plato famously thought the highly composite number 5040 should be used as the standard for our civilizations—for city populations and portioning land and just about anything else.
There are a number of interesting patterns involving prime numbers and highly composite numbers that were discovered by the early 20th century Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Dr. James Grime's giddy explanation in the video makes these easy to understand, complete with simple equations and examples.

Knowledge is power!

Take a moment to celebrate some of the amazing achievements from people who had virtually no education at all.

He isn’t the one to let something like being the fourth richest man on the planet stop him from getting a good deal.

There is no Nobel Prize for mathematics, but there are equivalents...