Why 11:11:11 11/11/11 isn’t all that Meaningful

There is much hype about the occurrence of 11:11:11 11/11/11 all around the world today. Of course, I believe people are always allowed to celebrate at any random-from-the-outside-perspective times when they feel like it, but it unfortunately appears that they seem to find the time special for the same reason. Evidently, it’s the patterns of 1’s that make the time so outstanding. But what’s behind these numbers? The inevitable conclusion among reason is that all of the “specialness” the time is arrived at from arbitrary decisions of humans, thus making it of no natural uniqueness.

1) The least important point is the fact that 11:11:11 11/11/11 is based on very arbitrary choices of number system and calendar, but it should be mentioned anyway. There is no evidence other than the number of fingers on the human hand that decimal base, clearly the base used, is the best base for representing numbers. It took me a while to even find a reason convincing to myself (the golden ratio reason, which brings about interesting observations). The Gregorian Calendar, definitely at least inferior to the Lunar Calendar, is a treasure trove of arbitrary partition and assignment of numerical representations.

2) Even if the decimal base and the Gregorian Calendar are legitimate (the former is fairly feasible, at least), the system is inconsistent within itself. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hours, 24 hours in a day, a freaking changing number of days in a month, 12 months in a year, and…yeah, you get the picture. There isn’t even a stable base system being used, further adding to the arbitrary quality of the time.

3) In fact, the assignment of 11:11:11 11/11/11 today is inconsistent with the Gregorian calendar. On that calendar, today is in fact 11/11/2011, not 11/11/11.

4) The problem with Harold Camping’s time assignment of the end of the world also applies here. This is more of something that unearths the arbitrary nature of the “special” time than a measure of such a nature itself. What time zone does the special time occur in? There’s forty time zones in the world. If there’s that many occurrences, it’s not all that special is it? If you celebrate at Greenwich mean time, you should realize that that’s also selected by the British so that they are the center of the world (although egocentric is definitely better than arbitrary), and unless you believe in a special quality of the British, there’s an ultimate time-zone quandary that this 11:11:11 business falls into (I encourage you to solve this problem using egocentrism as well, stating that your time zone is the right one, but that doesn’t solve any of the other problems here).

The main point I wish to demonstrate here is the stunning degree by which people blindly follow the footpaths of others. Each person by himself or herself would have more reason to celebrate 11:11:11 11/11/11 after their birth (or perhaps their conception, or as I would suggest, the first day of their life they remember—what makes you so sure that your parents told you your birthday truthfully?), sacrificing only the excitement of a huge crowd for a sharp increase in logical legitimacy.

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3 thoughts on “Why 11:11:11 11/11/11 isn’t all that Meaningful

  1. You’ve gotta admit, though, a lot of 1’s in a row is kinda cool. Oh, but an eleven-year-old celebrating it would be awesomer……or a 111-year-old.

    1. Sure, but the point is that you could just (for example) adjust the calendar 1 hour 3 minutes 24 seconds back since that time is no more special than the start time of the originally used calendar and you could celebrate the queue of 1s at another time.

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