This is supposed to be this blog's one hundredth post. However, after deleting all the unpublished drafts, it turns out that this is only the 95th post. But such a mistake plays nicely into:
Is there something intrinsic in push-ups that demands we do multiples of 5? Is there a physical limit built in to the body that prevents it from running a mile in 240 seconds?
I've come up with several reasons why I think we like roundish numbers:
1. It looks nice (seeing the odometer roll over to 1,000,000 just looks fun)
2. Roundish numbers tend to have shorter names: one hundred, ten, one thousand, quarter century.
3. Math is a little easier on some roundish numbers.
The year is ending soon (we're in the 10th month), which means it will be time for people to start talking about resolutions. I challenge you to make non-roundish resolutions. Resolve to lose 3.4 lbs (or gain 7.6). Resolve to run 0.4 miles every day. Actually, instead of resolving to run 0.4 miles every day, pick a landmark and resolve to run to it and back -- don't bring the measurement into the resolution. Celebrate someone being born on a day other than their birthday. They're just as alive today as they will be then (although birthdays are actually tied to something real -- the position of the earth relative to the sun).
I don't think roundish numbers are bad (Remember, I celebrated my 10,000th day of mortal life.), I just think we shouldn't limit ourselves to them.