Over Thanksgiving I had a discussion with my cousin about the synesthesias we each have. I recalled this humorous essay I posted on my first blog and thought I would share it here for your benefit. Enjoy:
Having recently become aware of my gift of ordinal linguistic personification, I feel compelled to inform you all about a horrific heresy embedded within our own multiplication table. Although most of you apparently cannot see it, all of the single digits carry on their lives in a sensible relationship with one another. Whether adding subtracting dividing or multiplying they all behave according to their personalities and interact with predictable results. EXCEPT in the case of 4 x 8.
You will notice that I said the numbers interact in sensible relationship. Notice that I did not say that they relate in harmony. Harmony is far from the truth, these numbers lead their lives in constant drama and conflict with one another that rivals that of the infamous Greek gods. There are distinct sides and a constant battle between good and evil. This battle is led on the side of good by the noble 1 and 2 who are the pillars and foundations of all sensible math. On the contrary side, evil has no distinct leaders, but is personified by insidious numbers such as 9, but is more commonly manifests itself in certain contexts and equations. Such equations include 7 – 4 = 3 in which case the cool and suave 7 overpowers the dainty feminine Four. 7 is not inherently evil, but in this case he clearly takes advantage of another number. The end product as you can see is a clear loss for good in that 3 is an odd number and the route of power hungry 9, the sneaky sultry 6, and border line insane 21.
In multi-digit numbers evil appears again in the form of numbers such as 13. 13 is obviously unlucky, but he is also dangerous in that he is a prime number meaning that his strength comes from within. Furthermore, 3, which would be pure evil were it not for its necessity in creating a multitude of equations, has sequestered the pure but helpless 1 to itself to further strengthen its selfish purposes.
But, 4 x 8 is just wrong. It is an affront to all reasonable numbers both good and bad. To begin with, a conflict between 4 and 8 is inconceivable. Despite being spirited, 4 has no real power because all numbers divisible by 4 are also divisible by 2. As you can imagine, Four has no unique personality of her own but simply mirrors the latest trend proffered by other numbers (and in particular the noble heroine 2). In a similar way 8 is even more obtuse, with little regard for is appearance she is neutral in almost cases and does very little on her own despite being a relatively large and strong number. I can conceive of no possible reason for these numbers to dispute.
Thus, in the case of 4 x 8 you have two placid, unmotivated numbers supposedly in conflict. We just can’t allow this foolishness to go on. Furthermore, if the equation is forced through the result is the hideous 32. What is 32? Sandwiched in between two prime numbers it leads with the devious and often corrupt 3, but then is followed by the righteous queen of numbers 2.
32 is an ugly, unnatural number. 3 and 2 added together create 5, the enforcer of law among numbers. This might be considered good, were it not for the fact that 32 is completely indivisible by 5. This is a bad omen for 32. No other pair of multiples culminates in a 32 with the exception of the pure and innocent 16 (which is where the Fours table should have stopped). As you can see, 32 is alone and rejected by all other numbers; and for good reason.
I implore you all in the name of good and decent math to stop the madness and to veto, ban, and boycott 4 x 8. Email this to 16 /4 other people or you will have 7 + 6 for 3 x 9 years.