0 or 1?

I've been running around telling people "Happy New Decade." Generally, such has been received with a blank stare or some comment related to me being sarcastic.

Back when we turned from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2000 to 2001, I heard a lot of controversy related to which year actually started the new century. Oddly, I haven't heard any of that this transition, even though the question is just as relevant.

I can certainly understand the two schools of thought on this. 01, 02 ... 09 all don't have a leading digit so they sound and look much different from something that does have a leading digit, e.g., 11, 12, 13... But, look closer at my first list. You don't see "00" in there. Certainly we did have a year "2000", but did we actually have a year "0000"? I've heard of the year one BC and the year 1 AD, but never zero BC or zero AD.

According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, the Gregorian and Julian calendars do not have a year zero. Astronomical year numbering apparently designates 1 BC as the year zero. But "astronomical year numbering" sounds like a science thing and how many of the average population actually like to deal with "science things"?

If you're a digital person, maybe. Most arrays start with 0. Although some languages do start their arrays with 1.

But here's where I have decided to sit. I was one once. No one has ever said I was zero. I was also ten once and ten equals a decade. Although, decade counters do count from zero to 9. Again, in a purist digital world, 10 would start the new decade. However, for the most part, while machines operate in a digital world, people do not. On the other hand, as soon as I turned one, I had been on this earth for one year, so had the calendar been in existence for one year when year one started? If so, we would have had a year zero. People actually do have a year zero. Extra young folks are called one week old, one month old, etc. In that there is an implied zero and one month old. That is not the case with the calendar. Therefore, in my mind, 2001 - 2010 is the first decade of this millennium and 2011 is the start of the new decade.

So, happy new decade!

Duane Benson
Let's count it in binary next time

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Comments

But it gets even more strange. You were 0 when you were born, and one 365 days later.

But in Asia, where so much electronics assembly happens, the traditional age reckoning starts at 1. When you're born, you are 1, and you turn 2 at the next lunar new year! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Asian_age_reckoning.

:-)

BTW, love your blog. keep it up.

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