Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Day of Zeroth, satisfactorily explained

Exceptionally alert readers will have noticed that yesterday I made a blog "post." Don't be alarmed. I voluntarily signed up for a 500 Word Challenge, which mandates I write 500 words each day in January and deposit them on this blog.

Altering my blog in this way wasn't something I took lightly. The static immutability of this site has brought it no small fame as a historical snapshot representative of blogging culture in the early 2000s. The charming blend of links, photos, seamless background image, even a Twitter widget (since broken), made this humble site a favorite reference of computer science theses and nostalgic "web log" articles.

Alas, one must move on. Thus, a second post in as many days.

Yesterday's suggestion of adding a new day to the calendar--Zeroth, the day between years--has provoked numerous questions as to how, exactly, such a beautiful thing would work.

Question: What is this new day, Zeroth, that you want to add to the calendar between 12/31 and 1/1?
Answer: Zeroth, the date 0/0, the Day Between Years, can be thought of as an "airlock" between the previous year and the coming year. Just as an airlock provides a transitional refuge between external and internal environments, Zeroth is a contemplative refuge between years.

Q: Where would this additional day come from? If we blithely add calendar days, our descendants will end up celebrating Christmas during the summer solstice.
A: Excellent question. To accommodate the additional day of Zeroth, we will remove the last day of February. February will have 27 days, 28 during leap years. Few will notice the difference.

Q: What happens to February 29th?
A: It is already the case that February 29th comes around rarely. Now the 29th will come around exceptionally rarely.

Q: How rarely?
A: Never. Let it go. Greater good. All that.

Q: Won't this new day of 0/0 cause havoc with computers?
A: Yes. Gloriously so. Zeroth will knock computers back on their heels and fuel IT industry jobs for years.

Q: Don't you work in the IT industry?
A: Stop getting distracted.

Q: Given the focus on reflection and rumination, are you concerned about the commercialization and merchandising of the Zeroth holiday?
A: Yes. This idea hasn't put a single penny in my pocket, which concerns me greatly. I'm mocking up some Zazzle t-shirts, however, which all the cool people are already probably pre-ordering.

Q: Are these actual real questions from actual real people?
A: No. I am making these up.

Q: Do you honestly think this "Day Between Years" will catch on?
A: Stranger things have happened. If a small circle of deeply committed people embrace the brilliance of Zeroth, I have some hope of being internationally labeled as the crackpot who  hatched it. That's a gift of sorts. Good enough for a CNN interview or two, certainly.

Q: Have we hit 500 words yet?
A: No, but we're very, very, very, very close.

Q: Will you be writing about this yet again tomorrow?
A: Absolutely not. Something new tomorrow.

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