Base 2 birthdays
Back from a weekend celebration of a 70th birthday, I am inspired to publish an idea I have about birthdays, and what intervals are worthy of extra celebration as especially special, in the hopes that it becomes a cultural meme. Hallmark, are you listening?
In these modern times, all our (=anyone with enough computer access to be reading this blog) identificatory information is stored and manipulated in binary form. From a numerological-superstition point of view, this means that our base-10 system's typographical intervals (10, 20, 30, etc.) are insignificant epiphenomena in the vast ocean of binarily-represented numbers ebbing and flowing around us every day. Consequently, I feel, the 'major' intervals ought to be those dictated by the typographical intervals of the binary system, i.e. the powers of two.
At base-10 age 2, one is binary 10. Base-10 age 4 is binary 100. Base-10 age 8 is binary 1000. Base-10 age 16 is binary 10,000. Base-10 age 32 is binary 100,000. Base-10 age 64 is binary 1,000,000. Surely these ought to be the moments we make a fuss over.
This also fits in with an idea I have about the internal perception of passing time, which is that the mental organ of time-measurement uses as its yardstick the amount of time that it has current experience of. Consequently, when one is four years old, a year represents a quarter of the peceiver's total existence-time, i.e. a really long time. In middle-aged years, say, for a 40-year-old, that's equivalent to a decade of perceived time. We all know how the halcyon hours of youth stretched longer and sweeter than any of these cheap mass-produced hours you get nowadays. Celebrating big birthdays at power-of-two intervals would allow the celebrant adequate time between parties to really work up the proper amount of anticipation and sense of achievement.
Sweet 16 would still be a big birthday. And 32 seems like a good age to sit back and think about life past and life to come. And as we all live longer and longer, the occasional human who reaches 128 (=10,000,000) will really deserve their letter from the Queen (if they're a Subject, i.e. a citizen of the commonwealth). Her hand must be getting cramped from all the congratualtory notes she has to write to centenarians these days.
And Hallmark could sell extra-special cards celebrating birthdays that end in -0 for every two years of life, rather than every ten. And just think of the ridiculous lengths that a card for a 100,000th birthday could go to. It could cost at least $10.00. It's win-win, I'm tellin' ya.