Posts Tagged ‘On Being Fascinating’

A life is like a garden.  Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  LLAP
    —    Leonard Nimoy
Back in January (click here), I posted the observation that I had just reached 1,221 email followers.  I found this an “interesting” number because it is a palindrome (reads the same backwards as forwards).  I also mentioned that I was looking forward to reaching 1,234 followers.  Again, solely because it is an interesting number: the earliest sequential number number possible with four digits.
Image of 1,235 email followers.
Today, I hit “1,235” email followers.  Now, some may ask why is that worth noting when I never posted anything about 1,234.  Three reasons…
First:  The “achievement” was a milestone, but it was not a goal.  To me, a goal is the end – like a world championship.  A milestone is a step along the way – all of the wins (and losses) along the way to reaching the goal.  I would argue, the steps you take to reach the next milestone are as significant in reaching the goal as reaching each milestone.  And, many times, the road is as important as the destination.
Second:  The “achievement” was transitory.  The morning I woke up and found I hit 1,235 (first time), I had actually missed seeing the “milestone” (1,234) because I’d picked up two new followers overnight.  This highlighted the transitory nature of arbitrary milestones.  I have since seen (and reached) “1,234” followers several times since then.  For whatever reason, some of my followers stopped following and I have also gained others.  I have actually been back down to 1,232.
I don’t really know why I  gain or lose followers.  I can only say I gain and lose most followers around days when I post about politics (criticizing Trump) or religion – particularly if I post a series (three of four days in a row).  There seems to be a tolerance level for followers: one or two times is okay, but don’t keep beating the same drum.  And, that’s okay, I’m often tempted to do the same with blogs I follow.  I don’t, but I am tempted.  LOL.
And, third:  in it’s own way, “1,235” is more interesting than “1,234”.  For the latter, adding the first digit to each in the sequence produces the next in the sequence.  1+2=3, 1+3=4.  Here, the next interesting number occurs with one place shift: “12,345”.  In the former, the number pattern increase is summing two adjacent numbers to produce the next in sequence. 1+2=3, 2+3=5.  Here, the next number in the progression would be “12,358” (still with only one place increase).
Of course, “12,321” is the next palindrome, which is also interesting.
But, why “just” interesting and not fascinating?  Well, I started playing with the numbers and what I found “fascinating” was that at a certain point it is the “visible” number which is easier to find interesting.  For example: “12”, “123”, “1221”, “1234” are all visually appealing (to me).  But, and I’m not sure why, “1,221” and “1,234” are less so.  I’m leaning to the lack of symmetry caused by the “comma” between the “1” and the “2”.  In which case, “123,321” becomes the next “true” visual palindrome.  I’m not sure if the difference is “unique”, but it is unexpected (to me) and therefore, (to me) fascinating.  Why?  Because looking back at the original post, after passing the milestone, I realized I used the number “1221” in the title and not the comma delimited “1,221”.  Somehow, I was unconsciously preferring the use (in the title) of the visual palindrome over the normal numeric representation even though logically they are equivalent.  So, while the numbers are interesting, it was my recognition of use which (to me) is fascinating.
But, like I said, this is just me being me.
(PS:  “LLAP” = “Live Long and Prosper“)
On This Day In:
2018 Me, Too
2017 Apt Enough?
2016 Now Or Ever
21, Pause, Restart
2015 I Am Shocked, Sir, Shocked…
Lucy & FSND-2
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

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There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
    –    Oscar Wilde
On This Day In:
2014 Old Math
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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