Idea OO

by zenquaker

If you’re new to the blog, or haven’t been paying attention, I have been using roman numerals for the titles of all my blog posts: Waste I, Waste II, Waste III, Waste IV. It’s just a style I carried over from an earlier blog. It has had its interesting side effects, to be sure. I got more hits than I expected off my 30th movie review. But it occurred to me today that roman numerals are incredibly outdated. Not even Wikipedia knows how old they are. Clearly a hip techophiliac like myself should have something more up to date. So I decided to create Ichabod Numerals.

Ichabod numerals work on the same principles as roman numerals, just more intuitive and mathematically improved. In roman numerals, you have an I for a one, which gets repeated for 1-4. Ichabod numerals do the same thing, but with an O for one. I mean, “one” starts with an O, right? It just makes more sense.

In roman numerals, you eventually stop repeating the I’s, and use a V for five. Ichabod numerals similarly use an S. Yes, I know “five” does not start with an S. But “six” does. Why six and not five? Because while roman numerals are decimal (base ten), new and improved Ichabod numerals are dozenal (base 12, also called duodecimal).

One of the things that has always driven me nuts with metric proponents is that they talk about how it’s better because it’s a decimal system. How is 10 better than 12? Quite frankly it’s not. For example what’s a third of a meter? Not 33 centimeters. That’s close, but it’s off by at least 3 millimeters. Even if you add the 3 millimeters, you’re still off by 333 micrometers, and 333 nano meters, and so on. A third of a meter does not exist. What’s a third of a foot? Four inches. Exactly. 12 can be evenly divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6. 10 can only be evenly divided by 2 and 5, and when was the last time you needed a fifth of something besides whiskey? The problem with the Imperial system of measurements is not they’re base 12, it’s that they’re inconsistent. [But that’s another post] Remember that I’m not just a hip technophiliac, I’m a hip contrarian technophiliac.

Where were we? Right, base 12. Since Ichabod numerals are based on a dozenal system we use a D for dozen instead of a X for ten, again making more sense than roman numerals. To recap before moving on to higher numbers, the first dozen numbers in the Ichabod numeral system are:

  • O
  • OO
  • OOO
  • OOOO
  • OS
  • S
  • SO
  • SOO
  • SOOO
  • OD
  • D

One little quirk of the system is that thirteen (DO, which I guess should be called elezen in the dozenal system) is often abbreviated as B, for a baker’s dozen. This is not to be confused with a banker’s dozen, which is equal to eleven. Now, obviously a dozen dozen is a gross, which the Ichabod numeral system represents with a G. Of course, between X and C in the roman numeral system we have L for fifty. So we need a letter for six dozen in the Ichabod system. An L is sort of an upside down F (for fifty), so we’ll go with a Z for six dozen.

But what’s a dozen gross? The Dozenal Society of America uselessly calls this a great gross, which just doesn’t work in my system. However, one of there articles mentions an egg delivery company that had a dozen gross to a crate, so we’ll call a dozen gross a crate, and give it a C in the system. For six gross all the letters similar to a C are taken except for Q. A dozen crates would seem to be a truck load (T), and half a truck is a van (V). To recap, here is a table of the letters in the Ichabod system, with their equivalent in standard dozenal and decimal notation.

Numeral Decimal Dozenal
O 1 1
S 6 6
D 12 10
Z 72 60
G 144 100
Q 864 600
C 1,728 1,000
V 10,368 6,000
T 20,736 10,000

That gives us more symbols than are commonly used for roman numerals, and far more than I ever need to count my blog posts. Oooh, chance for estimation! I’ve written 168 blog posts in about five months (note that there are twelve months in a year), and my largest roman numeral is XXXII. We would therefore expect a truck load of movie reviews to occur around my 108,864th blog post. At the current rate (depending on whether you use the five month average or the past month’s average) that will take between 77,001 and 98,496 days, which means it would occur sometime between December 28th, 2222 and November 3rd 2281.

I’ll end this post with some describable numbers in the Ichabod numeral system:

My age DDDS
The number of US states DDDDOO
Years since the founding of the US GZDSO
The mark of the beast GGGGZDS
The current year TGDGSOO