11/11/11 11:11:11

Human kind’s fascination with time is fascinating in itself. Anticipation and anxiety go hand in hand with the passage of time. For many, the repeating of this specific digit indicates a special moment to make a wish. While largely arbitrary, it is a sweet sentiment which I share.

Discovery, on the other hand, has a much more cynical analysis of the occurrence.

“Much of the interest is rooted in superstition and numerology, the idea that numbers are inherently lucky (such as 7) or unlucky (such as 13). Numbers are of course artificial and man-made, and they have no more or less significance than humans give them. Still, numerology has been around for millennia and is embraced today by millions of New Agers and others.

We tend to give special significance to certain numbers (or sequences of numbers) because we see them as meaningful when in fact they are not. There is a well-known psychological bias in the way humans perceive and remember our experiences called confirmation bias. Often described as “remembering the hits and forgetting the misses,” it refers to the ways in which our brains selectively recall information. Our minds are good at remembering coincidences and making connections between unrelated events in the world.”

The math surrounding the number is also rather interesting.

“The number eleven has a special characteristic in mathematics where it is a prime number. It contains some interesting peculiarities where the number eleven times itself equals a palindrome:
(2 digits) 11 x 11 = 121
(6 digits) 111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
(9 digits) 111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321”

HAPPY 11/11/11 11:11:11!
Now make a wish!

3 comments

  1. Around 10:49 today I thought about writing just such a blog post, but I got distracted an 11:11 passed me by.

  2. I tend to believe there is something to numerology. There are too many quirky coincidences. Maybe it is like the effect of gravity on alternate universes. Scientists can’t explain why gravity is such a weak force relative to the other fundamental forces. We can’t see the whole picture because our view is limited to the universe we inhabit. Perhaps a more complete understanding of numbers would be revealed if we could see them from another universe.

  3. […] had a soft spot for special-looking numeric sequences. And it’s the last of the sort (like 11/11/11 11:11:11 last year) for my lifetime. That is, unless I live to be 120. (Here’s […]

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