Why are possible bounties only multiples of 50?

In this community there are also more convenient values: 64, 256, 1024 or even 1729. So what is the reason of providing bounties being only steps of 50?

Edit From the comments I understand, that my original question is unclear. I want to ask, why there is the step greater than one, not any number greater than a chosen threshold?

• Good thing you asked this here and not on Meta.SO! :) This is most certainly status-by-design since they provide a combo-box to make a selection.
– Werner Mod
Oct 27 '13 at 3:09
• why convenient? Are you using a binary keyboard? Oct 27 '13 at 17:40
• You could also ask: Why is the meta site grey? 50 seems like an arbitrary number. Would you have asked the question if bounties were multiples of 51? Oct 27 '13 at 20:10
• Because humans use the decimal numeral system. Fifty is half of 10^2 (you need to start somewhere). And 50 is just a value that is acceptable as a minimum bounty value (in relation to the reputation system). Quote: “Besides the anniversary, all multiples of 100, 50, 25, 10 or even 5 are jubilees. The jubilee is more meaningful, the more it can be divided by those numbers without remainder.” Oct 28 '13 at 7:09
• I know 1729 has significance to mathematicians as the smallest number that can be written as a sum of two cubes in two different ways, but is there any special significance to the TeX/LaTeX community? Oct 28 '13 at 17:16
• @Jubobs It is strange for me, why the step is 50, not 1. Oct 30 '13 at 18:58
• @CharlesStaats If Fermat hypothesis (now theorem) appears in Knuth's book, any other connection with matmematics may be meaningful. Oct 30 '13 at 19:03
• Why do we have 10 fingers rather than 12 or more? Nov 3 '13 at 14:15
• I always wanted to offer a bounty of 28.63 Nov 14 '13 at 11:53

The reason the step is not very small (say 1) is almost certainly to prevent 'gaming'. The idea of bounties is to give questions a temporary 'boost'. As it stands, you can only do that by using a reasonable amount of rep and having this increase quite rapidly: if you want to bounty a question more than once it gets (relatively) 'expensive'. On the other hand, if the rep step for bounties was 1 then you could bounty a question an awful lot of times for very low 'cost' (bounties of 1, 2, 3, 4 from a single upvote on an answer, meaning four weeks of raised profile). That would rapidly defeat the idea of bounties as a way to bring particular attention to a tricky question.

Because it is not important. If SE headmasters chose a different sequence that the one we have, it wouldn't change anything. How many people care whether the bounty is 50 or 64, or whether it is 1729 or 2000? It's the scale that show how important it is for you as the offerrer, and not the actual number. Just don't take rep points too seriously and you'll be fine ;)

• It is a good answer. However I do not take rep points too seriously. To the contrary: I want to have a tool giving more fun by choosing a mysterious numbers. Oct 30 '13 at 19:13
• Well, my answer gives the answer to the edited version of the question, too. You don't need it because there's no reason for finer distinction of the bounty values. I believe that "fun" is in general not a good reason for SE heads to change anything.
– yo'
Oct 30 '13 at 21:58
• I know someone who got a job offer from Google because of his rep points on Stackoverflow. It's a sick and twisted world we live in. Nothing is too arbitrary, virtual or flawed to not take it seriously ;) That said, I don't want to imagine what kind of job offer one would get for reputation on TeX.SX ... Nov 6 '13 at 17:25
• @Christian Which is quite interesting, yet has no connection to the sequence of possible bounties ;) (And I understand Google, behaviour of an individual on SE/SO is probably much better reference than anything else.)
– yo'
Nov 6 '13 at 19:45
• @tohecz I understand them, too. It's still frustrating and mind-boggling to think that some flawed reputation system on some website will get you a job interview these days. Nov 6 '13 at 20:36