Two Cents on Twosday

It’s no secret the Machine loves mathematics. Well, I suppose it’s a secret to the 99.9999999% of people on the planet that don’t read this blog. But to everyone else, it’s ice cold fact.

In a confluence of events that I’ll admit are cute in sum total, today is the ultimate “Twosday” – a Tuesday falling on 2/22/22. Many of us will just find that interesting in passing and then go on being annoyed with the more pressing problems of the moment. But for folks that would like to read anything ethereal into it, the Machine is here to tell you “no”.

For starters, in the very last post (number 100 in case you didn’t catch that from it), we looked at why we have a numbering system based on 10 at all. The only reason we do, and therefore the only reason that the 2’s in 2/22/22 happened to line up the way they did on this particular day, is because we accidentally evolved in such a way that the vast majority of us have 10 fingers. In fact, had we decided for some other reason to use a binary (base 2) numbering system, Twosday would have been a complete impossibility, because the only digits available would have been 0 and 1. Also, with only 2 digits, this kind of seemingly transcendental convergence of numbers would have been a lot more common. Onesday would hardly raise an eyebrow in such a dismal world.

Secondly, we talked in another post about the conundrum surrounding Western definitions of decades, centuries, and millennia – much of which traces back to the birth of Christ, which itself almost certainly did not happen the year we went from B.C. to A.D. So the notion that it is currently the year 2022 owes entirely to a faulty assignment of one person’s birthday.

Thirdly, while the fact that we have divided time into years, months, and days makes sense from a standpoint of the celestial bodies with which we are most familiar (wow, I’m referencing a lot of previous posts), the idea that February would be the second month of the year is again completely arbitrary. There would be nothing wrong with a calendar system in which February was the tenth month of the year, with winter starting in April and summer in October.

And finally, as if being an accident of evolution, misplaced birthdays, and arbitrary definitions of the New Year wasn’t enough, we have mythology to thank for what we now call Tuesday, which it is only called in English. This name traces back to the Norse God of Single Combat, Tiw, who we have in turn equated with the Roman God of War, Mars (whose name is the basis, for example, of the Spanish word for Tuesday – Martes).

So, in summary, the most important thing about 2’sday is that the Machine has embarked on a 2nd batch of 100 posts. Let us clink our 2 glasses in celebration, and I will then leave you 2 whatever you were up 2 previously.

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