15
Dec
09

Failure, again…

Well, since yesterday wasn’t the Rapture, nor was September 21st, October 21st, or November 11th, it seems they have decided upon a new date! December 21st. Why do the days always end with a “1?” Why is the 21st so damn common? Does the love of the number 21 have something to do with why 21 is the legal drinking age here in the United States? It absolutely does!

Any time a group or an individual uses a rectally derived number, it must sound significant. This is true of dates, times, ages, or so forth. These numbers fall into predictable patterns. The most common final digits are 0 and 5, but when someone wants to “opinion push” data, these numbers will be a 1, 7, or 9. I have no idea why they use these numbers, but think of prices at a fuel station. There is no difference between fuel which is $2.999/gallon versus $3.000/gallon. You would save one penny per 10 gallons of fuel, or if buying 100 gallons of fuel, the total savings would be 10 cents.  The reason is that the number 2.999 appears to be less than 3.00 upon casual observation (which is how we typically make purchases). Similarly, the number 3.10 would seem significantly higher than 2.099 even though there is, realistically, no significant quantitative difference. Let us take this to an extreme of saving one penny per gallon over the lifetime of a car. Say, for example, you drive a vehicle that gets 20 mpg on average. The average lifespan of a car is 200,000 miles (it’s not, but let’s use this overly large number as an example). that means you will purchase, over the lifetime of that car, 10,000 gallons of fuel, saving (given the 10 cents per 100 gallons) about $10.00 over the entire lifetime of that car. This is just extrapolating mathematically, feel free to double check it. In essence, you would have saved enough to purchase 3.33 gallons of fuel.  Realistically, that savings over such a period is inconsequential given both its negligible magnitude and the time span involved.

In reality, the numbers and frequency of the numbers used by the same individual tells us quite a bit about their motivations. “11” and “21” both appear significant, even though, realistically, no person is magically more mature at midnight beginning their 22nd year after birth (remember, you’re starting year 22 on your 21st birthday, since you start at 0). Nothing magical happens after living on this planet the full 18 years as opposed to 17 years and 364.20 days. What does this have to do with assigning dates, though? Well, everything, it would seem. Choosing a fictional numeric date is subject to the same patterns of fabricated numbers everywhere. If the numbers are data, dates, ages, prices, or anything else. Specific number elicit specific emotions associated with them. “21” and “11” seem like significant numbers because they end in “1” as opposed to artificially insignificant numbers which end in 7, 8, or 9. The “1” in “21” make it “more than 20” as opposed to “19” which is “less than 20.” Optimally, one would choose a number ending in “1” when choosing a date which something special will happen in the future on a specific date (as opposed to day of the week). Had this individual consistently chosen a specific day of the week, this numeric pattern would not be significant.

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2 Responses to “Failure, again…”


  1. December 16, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Rectal derivation. Hmmmm. Explains a lot, without messy facts and difficult logic.

  2. 2 jaredcormier
    December 16, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Why let facts, reality, and logic get in the way of charlatanry, wishful thinking, and delusion?


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