Since the beginning of numerical systems, mankind has always held a belief in the power of numbers. Some are good luck, some are bad luck, and some are even touted as conduits for being able to predict the future. The principia discordia for example, is a number theory stating that most things occur in patterns subject to the number five or any of its multiples. The contemporary offshoot of this theory, know as the 23 enigma, even sparked the imaginative (and slightly eerie) big screen thriller “The Number 23,” starring Jim Carrey. It can be noted of course that when you boil 23 down to a single digit, 2+3 equals 5, the subject of the original principal.
With today also marking the Veteran’s Day Holiday, it’s definitely pertinent to note that the armistice agreement leading up to the end of World War I was signed into effect at 11a.m. on November 11th, 1918. For this reason alone today bears cause for special celebration, especially when you consider that reducing the number 1918 to a single digit yields another 1.*
So what does 11/11/11 mean? There are several associations that have been attached to today’s date in the hours leading up to it. In unbiased scientific terms, we can look at 111111 in binary and ascertain that in the more accepted decimal system it means simply 63. Of course, those who are proponents of number theory will then note that there are 6 total ones and 3 sets of eleven in the date, and may draw the conclusion that this lends it even further significance, as every numerical interpretation associated with it somehow cycles back to the original representation. Those who break down the date by assigning corresponding letters to it see that A(1)+K(11)+K(11)+A(1) spells Akka, and may spiritually see this as a call to return to the holy land, being that in the Tamil language Akka is the name of a port in Northwestern Israel. 11/11/11 has also been connected to the Mayan Doomsday Theory**, jackpot caliber wins in lottery and blackjack, and even a new unofficial holiday related to the fictional guitarist in the 1980’s mocumentary “This is Spinal Tap.”
For most of us in the United States though, 11 being a prime number and the date itself a palindrome is enough. Just as with the stigma attached to the numbers 13 and 7, we believe that our luck will either be amazingly fruitful, or downright terrible. And just as with the placebo effect, belief is nine tenths of the natural law. So what’s the best way to ensure that your luck is good on 11/11/11? I don’t know about you, but my own superstitions might just lead me to wear the number 11 on as many things as possible.
* It doesn’t matter how you do your adding, it yields a one every time. Observe:
19+18= 37 and 3+7= 10 and 1+0= 1, while also 1+9+1+8= 19 and 1+9= 10 and 1+0=1 again. Then you can also say that 191+8= 199 and 19+9= 28 and 2+8= 10 yielding 1+0= 1. Mathematics allows for some amazing tricks! Another neat one is that when you multiply 111111 by itself, you get 12345654321. Just try it with any combination you can think of and you’ll get some fun results, guaranteed.
** This is mostly based on connections to the end of the Mayan long count calendar, which is said by doomsday theorists to be the end of the world. The calendar ends at the solstice, which as many of us know is December 21st, 2012. What you might not realize is that the exact timing is 11:11pm. Things get even wackier when you throw in that a massive solar flare is expected in 2012 at the end of our sun’s polarity reversal cycle, which averages approximately 11 years. As you might expect, modern science rejects these ideas as coincidence, and rightfully so. Proponents of these numerical superstitions also associate the elevens with the attack on the World Trade center, because it was on the eleventh day of the month and the first plane to crash was flight 11, holding 11 crew members amongst its passengers.