Wrong Decade πŸ‘Ž | 38

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.

NPR Article: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/27/791546842/people-cant-even-agree-on-when-the-decade-ends

Twitter: https://twitter.com/parkingthought
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music by Dyalla Swain http://soundcloud.com/dyallas

Automated Transcript


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


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


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

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parking fat calm

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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


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