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READER COMMENTS ON
"Toon of the Decade: Tell Us About it, Old Man..."
(22 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Cosimo diRondo said on 12/31/2009 @ 7:24 pm PT...
Worst. Decade. Ever. "The 00's" is an apt name, given that you can't actually have a negative value. As in: 0 progress on energy independence. 0 progress on world peace. 0 progress on education. 0 progress on the environment. 0 progress on transparency and the media. 0 progress on wages. And a heckuvah lot of 0's at the end of checks from K street to Congress.
(BTW, I don't give Bubba a pass on this shit either...especially on the media and on energy)
Truly, Cosimo, truly. We got goose eggs. I wish I could feel that it will get better, but, well, that's not looking to be coming any time soon.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
... Zorg said on 1/1/2010 @ 3:38 pm PT...
You know, this decade will seem even longer when it finally ends ... a year from now (as of yesterday). It's still the Aughts; deal with it.
Pardon me, but I believe centuries begin with '01 but decades begin right after '09, '19, '29, '39, '49, '59, '69, '79, '89, '99. Else every decade contains 9 years with the same decade number and one with the next. That's not elegant. That's confusing. All ten of the years in a decade have the same decade number in them. Despite there not having been a year zero, on a calendar, all the other years in groups of ten, decades, go by their numbered one tenth chunk of a hundred years, in common parlance. Decades lose their sequential nature soon after they're gone. We compare the Roaring Twenties to the Gay Nineties... stuff like that. This isn't astronomy. It's the frickin' way we made up to refer to hunks of time.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
... ambient said on 1/1/2010 @ 8:50 pm PT...
lol, i like the pic alot lol
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
... Zorg said on 1/2/2010 @ 2:48 pm PT...
So could you remind me again when the first decade (BCE) began, and how many years it had?
If you were counting ten things, would you typically begin with zero or with one?
Do you propose that the current century (as well as the millennium) and the past (as you'd count it) decade began on different years ... and would you call that "elegant"?
The one-based approach to decades, centuries, and millennia may very well not be elegant in the sense you'd prefer (blame those damn Nicaeans!), but things work out quite well if we apply it consistently.
I was trying to remind you that this counting of years and decades and centuries is an arbitrary designation thing to begin with. There is no actual Year One or Year Zero. Everyone is actually already the age they think they're going to be on their next birthday. Fine.
When we speak of decades, and think of decades, we call them the aughts, teens, twenties, thirties, etc.—just like I think I'm going to be 57 too soon when I am in fact already 57.
And I submit that if it's consistency yer after, you need to switch to the elegance, the way people conceptualize this stuff, even if technically they're "wrong". Though, honestly, since the system was close to arbitrary, and the cut off between BCE and AD as well, and in the cosmic sense completely arbitrary, not even this technicality has enough weight to make a big deal out of it.
Well, and what the hell about months, while we're at it? Do you mean to say that because there is no day zero in a month that yesterday was really the last day of December, not really the first day of January? Or was it that the first day of this year was actually New Year's Eve? Why does this infamous Zero Year that didn't happen have to create more chaos than its corresponding Zero Day that didn't happen either just have to drive everyone nuts for all time? Some ancient power brokers decided it, and we still have to worry about it?
Let's just declare a Zero Day of Year Zero [that won't be a year] on 29 February next Leap Year, and do a lunar calendar from there on out, with nice inarguable demarcations of centuries and decades and millennia! Then everyone can at last have a consensus on this stuff, despite none of it still corresponding to any actual beginning or ending in the whole scheme of things. We can just have ourselves, for once, a nice little local agreement that works for everyone....
We won't have to be wrong about Blue Moons then either!
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
... BlueHawk said on 1/3/2010 @ 6:04 am PT...
The 60's started in 1960...ended in 1969....the seventies ditto...the 80's ditto...
Let's not get a neurotic about this...
I know this is a good place for debate...but jeez...not about this.
There are more important things to get hung up on.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
... Zorg said on 1/3/2010 @ 4:53 pm PT...
99 et al.,
Oops. In my post from yesterday I inquired about the beginning of the first decade BCE; this should of course have been the first decade CE (or for the faithful, "AD"). Hope that didn't trip anyone up.
Aside from that, however ... I stand by my points! Yes, 99, I do realize that our calendric system is arbitrary in many, though not all, respects. One may say much the same of the axioms of, say, Euclidian geometry, but this does not mean that its various proofs and corollaries are arbitrary --- far from it. "There is no actual Year One or Year Zero," you write. We certainly agree about the former, but there are in fact --- within the context of our civil calendar, the Gregorian --- years designated as the year 1 BCE and the year 1 CE. And it is precisely because of that fact, and because our current era began with 1 CE, and because a decade by definition has ten years, that the first decade ended with 10 CE, the second decade with 20 CE ... and the present decade will end with 2010. Simple arithmetic. In short, where one starts counting is arbitrary; how one counts isn't. (New Math, anyone?)
I would not be opposed to some new term that emphasized the role of the "tens" (second-from-right) digit of a year, but if this hypothetical term also described a period of 10 years, it, too, would have to address the absence of a "year zero" in the Gregorian calendar! Perhaps its definition could include the stipulation that the first whatever, both BCE and CE, contained only nine years --- unless of course we wished to define these first whatevers as "borrowing" a year from its opposite-era counterpart. Which would be rather silly.
Not sure I follow you observation on birthdays, 99. I myself always think of my age in terms of so-and-so years and such-and-such months, days, etc. And of course the convention is to round down if only a year is called for. It all seems to work pretty well.
Your comments on counting the days of a month leave me at an even greater loss, I'm afraid. But to answer your question, "Do you mean to say that because there is no day zero in a month that yesterday was really the last day of December, not really the first day of January?", I say: no, not at all. Why do you ask? A month is a period of a varying number of days; the first day of the first month (i.e., January 1) is defined as falling on the first day of a given year. (By the way, I probably should have noted it earlier, but we're going to ignore completely the tinkerings of Augustus and Gregory for purposes of this discussion, okey-dokey? I mean, even October 1582 was still one month, albeit a strange one.) And also by convention, the days of a month are assigned natural numbers; i.e., the first is 1. I see no conflict or quandary or ambiguity in this.
As for your proposed revolution for the next leap year, 99, all I can say is start your campaign at the earliest opportunity and hope for the best! Though perhaps discussions of this sort are best confined to a frequency of once in a blue moon.
Oh, and BlueHawk, what you describe is, to be sure, the common misconception --- which I'd hoped to correct.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
... Zorg said on 1/3/2010 @ 4:56 pm PT...
P.S.: So Brad, this geeky enough for ya?
Zorg, darling, are you just enjoying the hell out of completely missing the point, or whut? Has concision chained you into a vacuum? Is geekdom such a point of pride that you just can't help yourself?
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
... BlueHawk said on 1/3/2010 @ 5:32 pm PT...
Zorg....get back to me when you prove that 2000 is not a number...and that that going from 2000 to 2009 does not contain 10 numbers...
No, no, BlueHawk. Zorg's denying the decadetude of that ten, or any of the others, except one, because, at this moment, only just over 200.9 decades have elapsed since the great dividing line between the common era and before the common era. It's not chronologically correct, says Zorg, to call off a decade before every single one of its predecessors has counted out fully to ten before it—we have to suffer every year for the rest of time this two-thousand-year-old omission of a year—making it so it can't be the end of this last decade for another damn year. The Gregorian Calendar, see, loosely based on astronomical observations and mixed in with notions involving Christ, FAILED to include a Year Zero. Never mind that it could simply be acknowledged as a failure and we proceed apace, or that people be allowed to think of blocks of time in any old way that seems fitting to them. There's some sort of rule, law of nature, you see, that we adhere to that sacred but flawed Gregorian convention, which in fact may never even have been a convention, just becoming one in the Cosmic Geek, rather than one that ends up making more sense in common parlance.
There's also the difficulty of the Zero Century, making it so the century number always has to be one more than the actual number in all the years of a century... which also is a hairy pain to keep going... analogous to having to say you're 57 every time someone asks, right up until your 57th birthday... at which point you have to start saying you're 58!
Don't argue with Zorg! Your life will never be the same.
Zorg thinks our blocks of ten are just a bunch of misconceived blocks of nine with one corrective perpetually needing to be inserted.
I'm going to start thinking of decades only in terms starting in 3 and ending in 2, just to be Mullah Nasrudin to all calendar geeks.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
... Zorg said on 1/4/2010 @ 4:57 pm PT...
Q: "Zorg, darling, are you just enjoying the hell out of completely missing the point, or whut?" A: The latter, surely.
Q: "Has concision chained you into a vacuum?" A: I dunno; does the false vacuum qualify?
Q: "Is geekdom such a point of pride that you just can't help yourself?" A: Oh, I could, if I wanted to!
"Zorg....get back to me when you prove that 2000 is not a number...and that that going from 2000 to 2009 does not contain 10 numbers..." I respectfully decline to attempt either such silly thing, neither of which I ever suggested. I will, however, take a valiant stab at the latter if you first prove that the set 2001..2009 (inclusive) contains 10 elements. Because, just as we all know the century began with 2001, so we all surely grasp that the decade began with that year as well. Eh, don't we...?
"...we have to suffer every year for the rest of time this two-thousand-year-old omission of a year..." Well, that would at least be giving Christianity its due. Nothing but trouble from that bunch!
"Never mind that it could simply be acknowledged as a failure and we proceed apace, or that people be allowed to think of blocks of time in any old way that seems fitting to them." If the failure (due to the lack of a Year Zero) were widely acknowledged and indeed were mentioned as part of the common-usage definition of the term, I'd have no problem with it. But alas, that's not the case and one is left with the suspicion that the public simply doesn't know how to count properly. (That one would probably be rather easy to prove!) Or, as I mentioned yesterday, if we wished to use an alternative term for the purpose --- or perhaps expand on existing one, say decennium --- then truth & beauty would also be satisfied. Failing that, however, let us not try to sweep under the carpet the failings of the Church!
"There's also the difficulty of the Zero Century, making it so the century number always has to be one more than the actual number in all the years of a century..." Actually, there isn't that difficulty at all --- unless you really like the concept of a Zero Century so that the cardinality of the century name corresponds to the most significant digit(s) of the beginning year of the century. Otherwise, the way it's done now is simply the consequence of counting out years --- whether starting with one or zero! --- in groups of 100. First Century: 1..100; Second Century: 101..200; and so on. As you see, one is already "off" in the sense you're describing, but hey, that's counting for ya. Do you really want a Zero Century to deal with this "problem"?
"Don't argue with Zorg! Your life will never be the same." Damn straight!
"Zorg thinks our blocks of ten are just a bunch of misconceived blocks of nine with one corrective perpetually needing to be inserted." Not quite. Don't insert; merely shift. This is a classic example of an off-by-one error.
Oh, and since I'm drifting into software vernacular, and since we're discussing the calendar, do you happen to know why Oct 31 is the same as Dec 25? This is very, very important.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
... BlueHawk said on 1/5/2010 @ 8:28 am PT...
Okay I'll play Zorg's neurotic-silly game...while noting that I'm contributing to Zorg's neurosis and silliness...
Convention has been for centuries Zorg, that decades began with 0 and end with 9....
0 zero my friend is indeed a number...although the year zero wasn't recorded when the world was switched to the Gregorian calendar...
This thread piece was posted by Brad to note the end of the first 10 years of the 2000's....not the first 10 years of the century. I'll leave you to debate when the 21st century started with someone else...that point is moot here.
The 2000's however started with the year 2000...and the first 10 years of the 2000's ended with the turning of 2009 to 2010.
You have however managed to garner some attention to yourself...which I surmise may have been your intention all along.
But as I stated earlier, with so much more pertinent, dare I say critical issues facing us ...to be hung up on your silliness seems really trivial.
Knock it off...because no cares cares if you're "right" or not...
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
... Zorg said on 1/5/2010 @ 5:49 pm PT...
Those who cannot remember the past ... are doomed to count decades incorrectly
"Convention has been for centuries Zorg, that decades began with 0 and end with 9." References, BlueHawk? Frankly, I don't know when that misconception began, but I suspect it may well have been less ancient than you suppose. For instance, as recently as 1901, the New York Times maintained that the new century --- and by extension, surely, the new decade --- began in 1901, not 1900. See "The New Century" and LIVED TO SEE NEW CENTURY.; Charles Contrell's Wish Is Fulfilled and He Expires While the Chimes Ring. Evidently innumeracy was not then the epidemic it is now.
"0 zero my friend is indeed a number" Why do I continue to get the impression you aren't even following my arguments, no matter that you obviously don't agree with them? Where did I either state or imply that zero (0) is not a number? Is there anyone else (99?) under the impression I've been suggesting that? For the record: zero is a number! The trick is knowing how to use it.
"...although the year zero wasn't recorded when the world was switched to the Gregorian calendar..." This is somewhat off-base for a few reasons: first, a "year zero" wasn't even the convention prior to the Gregorian reform (a more relevant event to cite might be the introduction of the anno Domini era, by Dionysius Exiguus); second, the world wasn't "switched" to the Gregorian system so much as nudged in that direction over a course of centuries (and indeed, adoption is still not universal); third, "recorded" is a rather odd term for what would have been merely a convention (albeit a good one), not some fact of nature. But these are, of course, all mere quibbles --- unlike my central point.
"This thread piece was posted by Brad to note the end of the first 10 years of the 2000's....not the first 10 years of the century." Where exactly did he say that? I looked and looked and saw nothing about the 2000's in his original post; all I spot is "Toon of the Decade: Tell Us About it, Old Man..." Or is this based on some personal communication with Brad? Okay, okay, I'll grant that that's probably what he had in mind. The problem came in his choice of the word decade to describe it, thereby perpetuating a misconception.
"I'll leave you to debate when the 21st century started with someone else...that point is moot here." Not really! Unless one finds nothing peculiar about centuries and decades beginning with different years. Poll?
"The 2000's however started with the year 2000" On that point we can agree, since "2000's" and "21st Century" seem to refer to slightly different things.
"You have however managed to garner some attention to yourself...which I surmise may have been your intention all along." Nope; continue surmising, if you wish. Guessing does appear to be your modus operandi, at least in matters mathematical.
"Knock it off...because no cares cares if you're "right" or not..." Well, clearly you care, BlueHawk. Otherwise you wouldn't persist with your inane and ill-considered objections, would you? (Agent 99, on the other hand, is someone I can respect for both understanding the argument and not caring!)
Oh, and since this is purely arbitrary ... perhaps we can all agree that our decade of the Awful Aughts truly began on 2001-09-11. Alas, that means it's not over yet.
Not necessarily by extentsion at all, Zorgy, not at all. BlueHawk and I are telling you that nearly everybody thinks of decades as starting in 0 and ending in 9... and I'm telling you that this isn't any further off the mark than the calendar itself, than math itself, than time itself. Our markings of time, all of them, are merely convention, and not even well-formed. Yes, good enough for government work, but not for serious people to get snippy about! We're indulging you in the hope that you may grasp actuality and hang loose for, probably, the first time in your life.
Honestly, I don't think BlueHawk really cares about it except that you were so rude about it here, and I know for sure no one here has bothered to hazard response/s to you, except in the hope of freeing you from mental bondage.... Bodhisattvas all.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
... BlueHawk said on 1/5/2010 @ 7:30 pm PT...
Zorg...read the cartoon again there kid...
No where is century or even decade mentioned...
You're in a snit over nuthin'...
You'll continue to ride this merry go round alone buddy...obviously you're desperate for any kind of human contact...As 99 said...stop being so uptight, nerdy and snooty...people will respond favorably.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
... BlueHawk said on 1/5/2010 @ 7:33 pm PT...
the cartoon does mention decade...my bad...decade as in units of 10 years which began in 2000 and ended in 2009....
yeah that decade...
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