Did you know that we started decades before we started using 0s in our numbering systems? This means that mathematically our decades are off by a year, but linquistically they’re correct? Sound confusing? Give the episode a listen and you’ll understand well enough to sound smart at parties.
music by Dyalla Swain http://soundcloud.com/dyallas
[Music] and when the welcome to parking thought the show where we highlight the good in the world from the extraordinary to the everyday you're gonna want to like and subscribe wherever you happen to find us curiosity meet gratitude my name is Jacob and I'm glad you're here today in this edition we're gonna be looking at how we count numbers yes we looked yesterday right on new year's eve we looked at the number is being the meaning of life and today we're not necessarily gonna look at it from the meaning of life perspective but today we're gonna deal with a shocking reality that we might all be doing something wrong and that's okay right we do things wrong all the time and sometimes we adopt what everybody else is doing because it just makes sense and that is where we are at today that is exactly where we're at today and so I have to explain to you guys that our Western European way of doing numbers and I hope this doesn't sound too dry but our Western European Way of doing numbers did not include the number zero until Leonardo da pieces famous math book from the late s right it did not include the number zero so what does that mean right so we're using the Gregorian calendar we're using a calendar that predated our current numbering system that predated the use of the zero and what that means is that our years actually started on year one not year zero and so how does that apply to us today we just started and you're absolutely correct we just started but if we go all the way back all the way back to Windows two thousands years you know ago started they actually didn't start at zero they started at one and what that means is that if you were celebrating not just the new year but you were celebrating the new decade you're actually a year too early right because if we start at the year one alright then the new decade always starts when we go from not from you know nine to zero right at the end of our final digital numbers but from zero to one and actually this debate about whether or not we have entered the new decade or we have you know or we're entering the new decade too early based upon some folks got enough attention that there's a an NPR story on it and I'll link to that here but but this is one of those things that it's like oh wait a second here we're all doing it wrong all right because that's that just the way math works you can't argue with the fact that the year started at your one and then worked its way up and so really the decade doesn't start until we hit year one until the new decade doesn't start til end except for if we redefine the word decade right and this is where things start to get interesting see our math is solid right but our language is flexible so our math is solid but our language is flexible language evolves words means different words mean different things as we move forward in time they always have they always will we have less movement well we have this really interesting way our words are moving it's hard to tell if it's more or less or better or worse we just know that they're moving and as the potential to move very quickly with all of our technology and also has the potential to be very static because of all of our written word but words keep on changing and so it's almost like now the term for decade refers to the time period between the years where you know that end with a digit in both instances as opposed to it being the traditional very stock definition of ten years at ten year intervals going back to the first year that we started counting decades and that's okay so we're all wrong but all along together but we're right according English but we're wrong according to math and it's okay to be wrong it's okay to look at how these different systems impact our lives different ways you know time is is very hard to calculate it's very hard for computers to calculate it's very hard for people to calculate we have inherited the system of time that we are using right now and it is absolutely not perfect and it has quite a few flaws it has lots of opportunities to improve and that's ok our language does as well and that's one of the reasons why our language evolves and changes so we can communicate what we're trying to say we're trying to say as we celebrate jumping into how exciting we are to start what we are perceiving is a new decade together and wouldn't you rather start a new decade together right with others even if you might be wrong mathematically but you're right linguistically because we all agree to it right wouldn't you rather start a new decade together and then alone you know I think I'd rather start a new decade together so the next time we use decade you're you can sound smart to your friends and be like well actually it's not a decade according to math but it is a decade according to English and you'd be totally right in both cases you can argue both sides of that coin so if you're in the position to do some arguments there's an opportunity to do it unfortunately I bring this up just after you finish spending all this time with family which is one of the best times to bring up arguments like that and maybe I'm a little too late but you can save it up for the next family reunion the next time you get together to be able to bring up the idea that the decade hasn't started yet and you're you're saving yourself free twenty twenty-one or something on those lines all right so this is a good opportunity for us witzy to remind you guys that we want to have as part of the show we want to have curiosity spotlight so a curiosity spotlight is where one of our listeners shares how curiosity has impacted them personally and professionally what they've learned and they can send those in using the comments here on YouTube or any other places they find this or you can send it in over at parking thought on Twitter right so you can hit us up on Twitter you can use either the hashtag curiosity spotlight or you can just tag us in the tweet itself and we'd love to hear how curiosity has impacted your life right and and we want to share that with this audience because as curiosity impacts you it'll also give people other opportunities to explore and to find things that they can be grateful for so please if you have those curiosity spotlights please reach out to us on Twitter or leave a comment either use the hashtag curiosity spotlight or reach out to us at parking thought and we'd love to have you there well let's wrap up this episode it's a little shorter than normal but you might not have the attention span for it if you're partying look pretty well because you thought you were still celebrating the new decade I'm not faulting you at all this is the part where I tell you that the best way to say thank you for this podcast for this particular episode to share this episode with someone else yes that is the best way to say thank you if you're just joining us for this episode we're glad you could make it and if you want to stick around for the long haul then remember this podcast can be delivered directly to your favorite device by using the SUBSCRIBE links you can find the show notes below or over at parking fat calm we're also on the YouTube the Spotify Apple podcast and LB ry TV yes you can find us over there and remember ho ladies and gentlemen boys and girls remember in a world where you can literally choose to be anything why not choose to be glad [Music]