Mar 25, 2009

Santa's Birthday Post. The gift of number.

Only 39 weeks 'til Christmas Day. 

I've reached another prime number. Its been six years since I was prime! 

When humans learned to differentiate by number we slowly became more adept at counting. At first we likely could tell the difference between one and more than one. Between few and many. Now we can accurately count up to 71 or 1,234,456,987,543,954. Number sense is a gift passed on from generation to generation. To some extent as we move along the time line of history our past piles up behind us in the form of numbers. Years ago, in the past decade, 200 years ago, 10,000 BCE. These logs or recitations of past events gave new meaning and understanding to our ancestors. We marked off the passing of time by the season and the year. 

Imagine now, when credit default swaps trade over ethernets based on complex algorithms and calculations of future market value assuming a 2.2% growth rate and 1.7% inflation. Numbers fill our life with meaning and confusion. Gifts are not always the boon they are intended to be. In fact a gift's value can change depending on our cultural needs. I'll explore this idea later when I talk about the gift of faith!

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