Universal dates

Yesterday’s discussion of a Fibonacci Day exposed a tension between how dates are written in different parts of the world. In the U.S., the date is written as month/day/year, whereas in lots of other places it is written as day/month/year.

This suggests that we might want to look for universal dates — dates that are interesting everywhere in the world. We had one of those just 13 days ago.

The date 11/11/22 was wonderful, because the month and day add up to the year. And this was true wherever you were in the world.

Another interesting pair of dates is due very soon. February 3, 2023 and March 2, 2023 are written as 2/3/23 and 3/2/23 in the U.S. and as 3/2/23 and 2/3/23 elsewhere. One of them is “23” written twice and the other is a palindrome.

Depending on where you are in the world, they swap places, yet both dates are numerically interesting everywhere. You can find lots of other interesting universal dates or universal date pairs on the calendar, once you start to look for them.

All of this might seem silly. But it’s a happier thing to do on Thanksgiving than read up on the sad history of the Doctrine of Discovery.

2 Responses to “Universal dates”

  1. J Peterson says:

    I’ve taken to removing the ambiguity by writing the date as 24-Nov-22.

  2. admin says:

    Yes, that makes sense. In a logical world we might all be writing YYYY MM DD in various abbreviated forms, always going from most significant to least significant, the way we write any other multi-part quantity. But I suspect that logic has nothing to do with any of this. 🙂

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