I just ate 150 of these!!

Hooray! We just reached 150 visits to my blog!!!

In thanks to my readership, here is a celebration of the word 150.

150, adj.: A natural number preceding 151 and following 149.

Woah WTF? How’s that useful, Julius? Well, seekers of literary truth and knowledge, I ask you this: what’s do you see in that definition that’s exciting or surprising to you?

What is a number? It’s not a part of speech like a noun or a verb. We can see that from the above: it’s an adjective, which makes sense, because it describes nouns by saying how many. All numbers are adjectives, though some can be nouns as well. A 1 or a 2 or a 7 can also be a noun – see how I did that – because they are symbols.

If you can read this, you’re 150 years old.

A symbol being a pictorial representation which suggests a sound or an idea, a number (such as 3 or 9) suggests both. 3 is a single symbol which suggests the sound, “three,” and also the idea of there being trio of something.

All letters are symbols, too, representing sounds.

A natural number, of which 150 is one, is simply a number used for counting or ordering things. 3.15 and -23 are not used that way, so they’re not natural number; 3 and 1,435,692 and 7 are, so they are natural numbers. 0 is usually included. Natural numbers differ from integers (Latin for “whole”), a concept you learned in math class at some point, because integers include negative numbers.

150 is also a common representation for Dunbar’s number. Robin Dunbar was a British anthropologist who suggested that 150 is just about how many friends and acquaintances you can properly manage – that is, it’s how many friends and acquaintances whose names and interrelationships you can keep track of. This has huge implications tracking the difference between a tribe and a state, and in understanding what happened on the road from one to the other. The concept here is that, if Dunbar’s number was much larger, say, 60,000, then 60,000 people could live together without the creation of a ream of laws to keep us from killing each other and stealing cattle.

SUGGESTED READING: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Thanks again, guys for bringing me to 150 views! At 300 I’ll list my 300 favorite flavors of cupcakes.

Another Logorrhea post later today and on Thursday (those are the obscure-but-useful-word posts), and soon, an essay on Charles Mee’s Paradise Park, inspired by the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s recent Philly production.

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