Numbers And What They Mean To Us

By Hanna Inoue on November 5, 2012

If you’re like me and hate any form of math because it is difficult to understand, you probably hate numbers. Yet, pretty much everyone has a favorite number. Why is that?

Because numbers, like letters of the alphabet, or Christian crosses, or the star of David, are symbols. They represent something to us that they don’t to anyone else.

I recently watched a video on YouTube by Numberphile about favorite numbers. Numberphile is a channel dedicated to numbers; which indeed means math, though unlike a boring classroom, you learn cool facts about numbers and how they apply to everyday life. In this video, Numberphile asked a lot of other people with education-related YouTube channels what their favorite number was and why. The results were quite interesting. You can watch the video by clicking the link below.

Favourite Numbers – Numberphile

Fascinating how significant certain numbers are to us, isn’t it? Why do we choose a number to represent ourselves? What does our number say about us?

The human being’s fascination with numbers has always been prevalent. We even made up ‘Magic Squares’ that are thought to be good luck to us.

This is an example of one set of Magic Squares where all the four numbers — whether added up, down, or diagonally– sums up to 34. This set used to be popular in 16th century Europe, and was engraved on talismans to protect the holder from plagues and diseases.

There is another set of Magic Squares, which are the oldest known set in the world. It appears in an old Chinese divination book called the I Ching, and it dates from around 2200 B.C.E.

This is a comical, yet accurate Magic Square from the I Ching. Like the Magic Squares above, this one also sums up to the same number if you add them horizontally, vertically, and diagonally — although in this case, the number is 15, not 34. As well as being powerful to the Chinese, Hebrews also found this Magic Squares set significant. Apparently the letters in the Hebrew alphabet have numerical values. The name of God in Hebrew, Yahweh, is spelled YHWH, and the first two letters (YH) represent the number 15.

So after watching the Favourite Numbers video, what is your favorite number?

Personally, I have many. They range from classroom numbers, to my birthdate, to the places I’ve lived, or just random numbers that hold significance in pop culture. {10, 11, 12, 13, 4, 6, 1024, 7709, 5, 666, 007, 221, 42, 1994, 2, pi, etc.}

However, my favorite number is 3. I like it. See, I usually have two other best friends, so that ends up with sort of a ‘Three Musketeers’ pairing, and then there’s three sides to a triangle and three points to a triangle, along with my family being made up of three females (including myself), and there’s the whole ‘three wishes’, and ‘three strikes’, The Power of Three (Doctor Who anyone?), etc. To me, 3 is just a nice number. Sure there’s the dreaded ‘third-wheel’ that I end up being sometimes, but overall I believe 3 is a nice number.

So what about you? What is your favorite number, and why? Leave a comment below!

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