Hot Orange
Published in

Hot Orange

Mani Monday (Understanding Large Numbers)

…and why you need to understand them.

You can’t count on your fingers for forever :/ (on instagram @ amateurtattletale)

Okay, so, no, I’m not that great at math, and it’s a frightening thing to admit, out loud, when you’re asian (Korean, specifically, which somehow feels worse. Oh my god, i need to do my nails so bad, rn, cause typing is a f*cking nightmare, brb).

Adding to that “review” of HUMBLE PI by Matt Parker, I realized that I forgot to include something that Parker explained that really helped me wrap my mind around large numbers…like the relationship between billion and trillion.

The way that Parker had me imagine it is in time. Instead of trying to grasp in one’s mind, one million dollars, which is very hard to understand, simply staring at 1,000,000 doesn’t help either, Parker explains to imagine one million seconds.

ONE MILLION SECONDS pass in about ⅓ of ONE MONTH … a little less than two weeks…okay, easy enough…that’ll take some time, but we’ve experienced covid for far longer, already.

ONE BILLION SECONDS pass in about ⅓ of ONE HUNDRED YEARS … or a bit longer than 31 years or about the time it takes for a human to become an adult (they say).

Here’s where I’ve gotten it all wrong for a long time — the relationship between billion and trillion.

ONE TRILLION SECONDS pass in about ⅓ of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND YEARS … or about 31,000 years. We are no longer using numbers that are within the grasp of a human lifetime…basically.

If this explanation helps you understand the difference between our government spending ONE billion dollars on a program and ONE TRILLION dollars on a program, then please thank Matt Parker.

This truly did help me grasp the essence of what I was getting wrong about large numbers.

…read the “review” here :)

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store