Nine Hundred Ninety
Nine Billion, Nine Hundred and
Ninety Nine million …
I picked up the book HUMBLE Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors by a Mr. Matt Parker.
Mr. Parker writes:
” … the amount of mathematics we use in our modern society both incredible and terrifying.
As a species, we have learned to explore and exploit mathematics to do things beyond what our brains can process naturally.
They allow us to achieve things well beyond what our internal hardware was designed for.
When we are operating beyond intuition we can do the most interesting things, but this is also where we are at our most vulnerable.
A simple maths mistake can slip by unnoticed but then have terrifying consequences.“
Mr. Parker tells how, when asked ‘How Big is One Trillion?’, he came up with the device of using seconds.
According to Mr. Parker:
One Million Seconds equals 11 days, 14 hours.
One Billion Seconds equals 31 YEARS.
One Trillion Seconds equals 310 CENTURIES or 31,000 YEARS/
That got me to thinking, would it take someone 31,000 year count to one trillion, by ones?
Then I said out loud – Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine million, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine … One Trillion! – and I realized you can’t say those numbers in one second.
I guess its anybody’s guess how long that would take.