Bumbastories continues in its march through the numbers!
Without getting overly mystical about it (You don’t want to get overly mystical, do you?), each of the counting numbers holds curious power and meaning to the human mind. OK, to get mystical: the numbers are real and describe a reality that is independent of human beings. The world is built on numbers. To paraphrase Galileo: “Mathematics is the language of God”.
Today’s number is eight.
The symmetry of the eight holds universal appeal and typically represents solidity and order. The cube, 2x2x2, is eight in its physical form. Eight marks the beginning of an octave, the beginning of a week, and in the Jewish tradition eight days is the prescribed time for a male baby to go get circumcised. Also there are eight days to Chanukah and to Passover, but we’ll pass over that (actually we should have passed over the circumcision reference, no?).
Eight was Yogi Berra’s number! Hat’s off to Yogi!
Somehow repeating eights take on a religious significance I don’t understand very well, the number 88 (as in an Oldsmobile 88) holding some sort of morbid fascination for some.
As an aside, let me add that, in my opinion, the entire field (or is it a pit?) of numerology is initially engaging, but in the end mostly nonsense. You can juggle numbers a lot of ways and, given the size of infinity, a lot of things are possible.
So here’s to the eight. Pictured above and below are photos of tile tessellations from the Alhambra and Alcazar palaces in Spain. The symmetry of the eight (which is two fours of course) and the sixteen (four fours) are used to spectacular success.