Co-calendaring Made Easy-A History October 9, 2014Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Uncategorizable.
From a long and splendid discussion of calendars in The List Which Cannot Be Named:
>> =v= The lunar-yet-solar calendar is a dazzling thing. There are solar calendars which consider the winter equinox the birth of a new year, though.
>> The Gregorian calendar being one of them, modulo errors over time.
Scene: a sunny day in ancient Sumer. The temple courtyard. Half the junior priests are busy recording incoming tithes, and half are sleeping or playing hacky sack.
The head priest asks the Vice-priest of Recording what’s going on: "why can’t the next incoming tithe just go to any idle junior priest, so they’ll all be busy?"
The Vice-priest of Recording says, "well, we tried that. But the bakers always give us tithes in dozens, and the ranchers tithe by tens; the junior priests would get confused and record tithes in the wrong base, and nothing ever added up, neither at the end of a lunar period nor at the end of a solar period. So now we divide the work between them, and each junior priest always handles the same class of tithe. Remember the ‘Heterogenous Tithing’ conference I just expensed? Well, that’s the system."
Then the Assistant priest of Abstract Nonsense chipped in, "of course, we could also just record tithes in base 2 … it’s the GCD of 12 and 10, and some friends of mine are doing interesting work with pattern weaving on dog-powered looms using holes in clay tablets to encode the patterns in base 2 … in the future, you could wear a tunic woven by a dog and no one would know … then we could use transclusion between our record tablets to create reports simply by taking limits of diagrams in a given categor <OWWWWWW>".
The last was because the Vice-priest of Recording had quickly stepped
on the Assistant priest of Abstract Nonsense’s foot.
After a quick whispered consultation between the head priest and the
Vice-priest of Recording, the head priest declares:
"Enki has revealed to me that we should keep all records in 60’s, for everyone thereby shall reap the benefits of business thereof"
:: :: ::
(soon afterwards the Assistant priest of Abstract Nonsense tried to say "ahah! Enki is just taking colimits, as 60 is the coGCD of 12 and 10 … that reminds me of a result on streams, concerning whether or not it is possible to step twice in bisimilar ones, which I read the other day…", but no one was listening, as all the junior priests were busy transcribing the incoming tithes of buns (in 12s) and the tithes of cattle (in 10s) onto the new, hastily-issued, unified TPR-60 ledger tablets.)
Now, them’s brilliant words and I laughed until milk came out my nose, but then Heather chimed in:
What? Were you there that day too?
(When I have read Chinese stories, I have often been amused by the deep bureaucracy of divine administration. The gods need Assistant ndersecretaries of Internal Provincial Affairs?
As below, so above.
Your amusing retelling of Sumerian accounting inspires me to consider what sort of heavenly architecture will be designed by individuals who have spent their entire adult lives in the cubicles of high tech companies.
The Executive Vice President of Marketing of the Central Northwestern Division of Isjudianity looked out over a 3D interactive display of his division’s territory. A mildly annoying chime repeated itself over a small glowing red dot.
Sid twirled his fingers through the display, zooming and panning it until the city of Cincinnati bloomed before him. He twiddled his fingers to scroll through various graphs and spreadsheets until he found the one that had triggered the alert.
Sid frowned. He had no idea what it meant, but it was clear that engineering had screwed up again. He stabbed an icon near the 3D display.
“Elsa!” he snapped, “what’s going on with the Isopolydodecadoohickey Self-Referential Pseudopsychodiddleysquatification Index in the northeastern corner of the greater suburban sprawl zone of south central Cincinatti?”
Elsa sighed as she froze the intricate display of the model she’d been working on. She stabbed a button that pulled up a clone of Sid’s desktop and took a look.
“Good morning to you, too, Sid. Did you happen to look at the documentation?”
“No, of course I didn’t look at the documentation! I’ve got a big presentation for the Orchis Eurydice account tomorrow, and…”
Elsa opened a diagnostic pane under cover of Sid’s blather.
“It’s your sister’s birthday.”
Sid blustered at her for a minute.
“There’s nothing wrong with the ISP Index. You told your personal calendar not to let you forget your sister’s birthday and then you told it to stop bugging you about people’s birthdays. It decided to notify you by inserting random spurious errors in the modeling system.”
“So the people of Cincinatti are happy with their divine product, then?”
“I’d never say that, Sid. But they’ll keep buying it. Isjudianity has bought up all the competition and we’re their only access route to the celestial realms. They might not like our bundles, but they don’t have a choice.”
Elsa went back to her work. Upper management might not like everything about the modeling program, but they were dependent on it. She could tell them straight out that she was manipulating their emotions by careful selection of color palettes and display elements. Their eyes would glaze over when she talked about the intricacies of the emotional tenors of various color choices and how the layout affected situational evaluation.
They always loved the personal configurations she built for them. The configurations were designed to appeal, to sooth, to flatter. The configurations adapted to their demigod hosts, who regarded them as loyal little pets.