“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
Taking a break from the funny stuff today.
A while ago I did a post about Beautiful Numbers. And yesterday I was having a look at the debt situation in various countries, which sparked off this post about numbers, BIG ones.
I will post links to the US debt figures and a couple of others at the end of this post. They are kind of fascinating because they are real-time counters, continually updating.
However, to get on with the post, everybody knows 1 (one), 10 (ten), 100 (hundred), 1,000 (thousand), and 1,000,000 (million). We are all familiar with 1,000,000,000 (billion) although none of us have ever counted that far. In fact oil mogul John Paul Getty once said that if you could count your money you weren’t a billionaire. I can, and I’m not, so perhaps he was right!
And, thanks to the massive debt that the US and other countries are building up, we are also getting more and more familiar with 1,000,000,000,000 trillion.
After that, however, most people would be stuck. Here are the next big numbers.
10100 better known as a googol from which the search engine google derived its name.
And finally for now, a googolplex which is 10googol
That’s a lot of zeros!
You may have noticed in all this that the names for a lot of the larger numbers end in “illion”. This is also true for the names used to describe numbers that don’t actually exist and that are of no specific size.
For example, words like , ‘jillion’, ‘gadzillion’ and ‘squillion’ (there are many other variations). Their size is dependent upon the context, but can typically be considered a very very large number. And if you are talking about the super rich then all you have to do is stick ‘-illionaire’ on the end.
But the best term for describing a number is one that also doesn’t really exist. I mean it exists as a word, but it is not a precise mathematical term and it just describes a big number rather than a specific big number.
The term I’m talking about is ‘Umpteen’. From the name you would imagine that it should represent a number somewhere in the teens, but it can be used to describe virtually any number, real or imaginary. A useful term if you don’t have a specific number in mind.
Now for the clocks. Here are the links. Hope you find them interesting, maybe a little scary in some cases.
Probably the best of these is from the wonderfully named poodwaddle.com
Some others to look at too if you are interested in this type of thing
US Debt clock http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html
World Debt Clock http://www.usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html
And some real time world counters on a variety of things