This is our 100th blog post on runningwithteamhogan!
But why do we care about the number 100?
Is it special? Does this number have some special property that makes it significant?
Not really. I mean it does have two zeroes on the end. I guess that is nice, but why does it have two zeroes? Does it always have 2 zeroes?
In ancient Rome, it wouldn’t have any zeroes, it would be the number “C” (it comes right after the number XCIX). I guess dropping from 4 letters to 1 makes it a nicer number, so maybe the Romans would be happy about this post.
What about the Babylonians? They used a base 60 numbering system. They would count up to 59 with 1 digit symbols, and then when that got to 60, it would be the first 2 digit number. Maybe you think that a base 60 numbering system sounds strange. I am sure that they would have thought that a base 10 system was odd. 60 has some advantages. It is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 30. Since it is divisible by the first 6 numbers, it would make it a lot easier to compute with many common fractions. Alas, I loathe the Babylonians whenever I try to figure out how much time there is between 3:42 and 5:15, or how many seconds are in 3 days. Yes the base 60 idea crept into our society in the form of telling time. If we had 10 hours a day, 100 minutes in an hour, and 100 seconds in a minute, a second would be about the same length and all of the math would be easier. I wish they had just gone back to hanging their gardens and left us alone. Oops, did I just rant for most of the last paragraph?
Back to the reasons why the 100th post is, or is not, worth celebrating.
Computers use a binary, or base 2, numbering system. So the computer on which I am typing this post thinks this is post number 1100100. (Look, it has “100” twice – must be extra special.) Actually I don’t think the computer cares. It would be much more interested in the binary number 1000000, which is the 128th post. So 28 posts from now will be something to write home about.
So if computers use base 2, and the Babylonians used base 60, why do we use base 10? (We won’t even consider going back to Roman numerals. Who would want to deal with that mess? They aren’t even numbers.)
Well we had to pick something. Small bases like 2 make us use a lot of digits. Did you see how long the number 128 was in binary? Bases that are big, like 60, mean we would have to have a lot of different symbols for digits, and that might get confusing. So we need a nice medium sized number. Maybe 10 would work!
I am not sure if anyone really knows the answer for certain, but it was most likely because we have 10 fingers. So base 10 made sense.
But we don’t all have 10 fingers. Goliath’s brother had 12 fingers (1 Chronicles 20:6). So he may have favored base 12 (which being divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, has many of the same benefits that base 60 has). So this 100th post would just be the 84th post to him. He would not be excited until the 144th post (which he would call the 100th post).
Then there is the Six Fingered Man from the Princess Bride, who actually had 5 fingers on one hand and 6 on the other. With 11 fingers, he would call this the 91st post, and would still be waiting for post number 100 (which we would call post 121).
What about people who are missing fingers, or entire hands? Don’t they get a say in what number system we should use? The one armed man from The Fugitive would have celebrated with us 75 posts ago, if he was allowed to create our numbering system.
Well, I digress. I guess we are stuck with this base 10 numbering system. I hope I have been able to open your eyes to all the other possible ways that we could have chosen to write our numbers, but I will use my best Eeyore voice and say, “Hooray, our 100th post”.