In Search of Desert

Today is rather a bit of a special day, a day when we may marvel at the stupidity of humans and be stupefied by the marvels of reality.

To start, let us say a bit about the stupidity of humans. Our planet, Terra or Tellus or, most commonly, Earth (which is another bit of stupidity?) orbits its star, Sol, once a year. Our planet also rotates on its axis. As a result of this rotation a simple observer will note periods when Sol is visible and periods when Sol is not visible. Ignoring atmospheric manifestations, the former periods are called day and the latter night. The combination of the two is also called day which is confusing and more indication of the stupidity of humans. The time it takes for our planet to rotate about Sol is called a year.

Some humans are numerate. I am told by psychologists that half of our species are math blind. They struggle to do simple arithmetic which any mathematician will tell you is not maths; it might more properly be called survival finger counting, perhaps? Because some are numerate and because of being numerate more survivable – marginally, probably because the anumerates hate the numerates and tend to persecute and kill them – we tend to number things. Like years. And days.

And if we stopped there, we wouldn’t be quite as stupid as we are. We decide, for some reason I have never encountered a reasonable explanation of, to divide the year into irregular periods that we call months and give names instead of numbers. Perhaps indicatively, we tend to use the names of imaginary superior beings for the months.

And because we are anumerate in such great numbers, because, after all, one thing we humans do well is breed, even if we do a horrible job of raising our offspring, we have a social reality that we ignore – almost – how long a year is, some 365.25…… days, and demand that a social year always have an integer number of days. So we end up with social years with varying numbers of days.

Now we come to the real stupidity. Given that the temporal position (approximately) is given by the combination of year number, month name (number?) and day number, there are three ways of arranging this position:

  • D/M/Y
  • Y/M/D
  • M/D/Y

where the capital letters stand for day number, month name/number, and year number.

Now guess which one the Bogs like best? Yes, the worst one, that is, the last above. Note that the first one leads with the fastest changing number, followed by the next fastest, and then the slowest changing. The Second arrangement is the inverse of this which makes it more like a real number. But the one the Bogs like is a hodgepodge of change.

Sic, Stupiditas.

Now let’s move towards the stupefaction. In the Bog notation, using month number instead of name, today is 3/14/2017 which is a rather bad approximation to the number we call Pi, which is the Americanization of the name of a Greek letter. 

Pi is a rather special number. Physically or mathematically, it is the ratio of the circumference of a (perfect) circle to its diameter. As a number it is indeterminate because it neither ends nor repeats its sequence of numbers. To a horribly short approximation is Pi is about 3.1415927….. Even this inaccurately we may see that 3.14 is rather unimpressive as a nickname.

But upon the basis, today is celebrated as Pi Day, supposedly to try to inculcate some appreciation into the minds of people who choose the absolute worst way to express a date?

Incidentally, a better day would be the 22nd of July since 22/7 is a much better approximation of Pi. And it actually makes sense in a dating notation.