Wednesday, October 10, 2007

24/7, 25/8

"24/7" and its noisier sibling "24/7/365" bother me. When used to describe individual activity, these expressions are ludicrous hyperbole: "24/7, I never slow down"; "I am thinking about my work 24/7/365." "24/7" may well apply to services that are always available, but in those cases, the dowdier "around the clock" might serve as well. "Around the clock" has the added advantage of placing us in an analog reality, governed by a 12-hour timekeeper.

There's worse though than "24/7." A couple of days ago, with CNN playing in the background, I heard someone refer to "25/8." More bigger! "25/8" doesn't seem to be in widespread use yet: only one of Google's first ten results is relevant, for a computer repair company with the awkward name "onCALL 25/8."

But what if one wants to press further? If one lives 25/8, what number ought to replace 365? If an ordinary person's year is made of 52 seven-day weeks and an extra day, the year of the eight-days-a-week achiever might be calculated like so: 52 × 8 = 416 days. Add an extra day, and one is busy 25/8/417. But since the 25/8 person's days and weeks are already longer than those of ordinary people, more elaborate calculations might be appropriate: 25 × 8 = 200 hours (one week). 52 × 200 = 10,400 hours in a year. Add one more day: 10,425 hours. And to translate those hours into ordinary days: 10,425 ÷ 24 = 434.375. So there it is.

I am thinking about stuff for my blog 25/8/434.375.

comments: 1

H.A. Page said...

I think this can lead you to deeper thinking and perhaps 25/8 is a reflection on the relevance of time, our perception of time and the actual physics of time.

Our name of it, our cultural thinking of it, has changed.