Counting by twos

For many years now, certainly since I was about twelve years old, I have counted by twos in my head. It’s something I do without really thinking, so second nature that I don’t generally notice that I am doing it, like an earworm that one has lived with for decades.

I only count up to the first twenty powers of two, and for some reason I have no interest in anything beyond that. Maybe something in my mind just wants to get up to a million, and then says “Ok, that’s enough.”

It’s always the same sequence of course: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, 32768, 65536, 131072, 262144, 512288, 1048576.

I think this may be something my mind does to reduce anxiety. If I am stuck on a subway, or waiting at an appointment for someone who is late, I will find myself running up the powers of two.

That’s only a theory — I really don’t know for sure why my mind does this. But I can say from experience that it is quite relaxing.

5 Responses to “Counting by twos”

  1. Manu says:

    The ants go marching 1048576 by 1048576, hurrah, hurrah!
    The ants go marching 1048576 by 1048576, hurrah, hurrah!
    The ants go marching 1048576 by 1048576, the little one stops to shun Brazilian sporty mates I’ve plundered, heavenly mix.
    And they all go marching down into the ground
    To get out of the sequence.

  2. Manu says:

    ‘Brazilian sporty mates (lousy)’ I meant 😉

  3. admin says:

    Watching so many ants at once can be dangerous sport. The last time I tried to watch 1048576 marching ants, I ended up with two and a half ant bytes.


  4. Manu says:

    well… it is all a matter of time!

  5. Mark says:

    Thank goodness we still have a system of measurement that allows for such counting.

Leave a Reply