Remember, Remember the 11th of November 2011 – 11.11.11
Tomorrow is the date 11.11.11. Actually if you write it out in full its more like 11.11.2011, which already throws cold-water on the whole 11 party idea. Perhaps teenage Jesus (I didn’t date his birth to year 0) could have something to celebrate, but Jesus didn’t exactly have a Gregorian fridge magnet calendar hanging, to count down the days (See my ‘10 Missing Days’ post, on the quick history of our calendar).
I don’t want to sound like an old badger but I really can’t get excited about dates and the ‘rare’ patterns that they sometimes form. One reason for the lack of excitement, I will unashamedly plug my old post again, is as I previously wrote the calendar dates are arbitrary, moulded with tradition and convenience through the years of history.
For example did you know with the influence of the French revolution, the French in 1792 set up a committee that established a 10-day week calendar called ‘décade’ with three weeks for each month and 5-6 complimentary days with fancy names. Furthermore the day was divided into ten new hours, each consisting of 100 new minutes, each minute of 100 new seconds. It lasted less than13 years, mainly for the reasons of restoring the Judeo-Christian traditions associated with the old calendar.
I personally love all sorts of facts and records that are achieved by people and in nature – The longest this, the fastest that, the largest object in somewhere. I use to collect, even buying up old 1980’s copies from second-hand book stores, copies of ‘The Guinness Book of Records’, just to read the great feats of human achievement and discoveries of nature. It could be that those actual properties of the world are worth more than simple human constructs.
On second thought, many modern conventions we use today are arbitrary to some degree. The base-ten decimal system is one example, I remember in one high school class learning how to do addition, subtraction etc with binary (base two) and hexadecimals (base 16). Base-ten seems to be the norm for convenience but it’s just as possible to calculate with any other base. Yet I still find it interesting to read about the many mathematical patterns that exist in base-ten numbers
e.g. 111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321
While writing the above sack of words, I was psychoanalysing myself to pin down exactly why I don’t get excited about 11.11.11. The conclusion is yes it has a bit to do with the arbitrary nature of the calendar, but more with the convenient trimming-off the ‘20’ from ‘2011’. The mystical practise of numerology loves to use this little trick from their pseudo-math toolbox to massage the numbers until they become what they wanted them to be all along. Confirmation bias to the max.
Meh I guess that’s enough rambling.