New Decade? I don’t think so.


I swear if I see or hear one more person make a fool of themselves on national radio or TV by saying that 2010 is the start of a new decade, I’ll just lose it.

People, there was no year 0. And in principle (forget about science, programming etc) you start counting from 1, not from 0.

So the 1st decade of the 1st century is 1 AD to 10 AD.

Subsequently, the 1st decade of the 20th century is 2001 AD to 2010 AD (12-31-2010 to be exact).

Which means that the new UPCOMING decade – which just so happens to be the 2nd decade of the 21st century – doesn’t START until 01-01-2011.

So please save your jubilation for 01-01-2011. And while you’re at it, stay OFF the damn airwaves with this crap!!!

It is bad enough that we’re all screwing around celebrating 12-25 as the birth of Christ when in fact the date has more in common with those crazy partying Romans than it does with anything Holy.

None of this matters now anyway, since according to the scholastic loons who are *gasp* [mis]interpreting the Mayans, the world is going to end in 2012 anyway. So I guess it does make sense to speed things along with fuzzy math because after all, thats what history is all about.

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9 thoughts on “New Decade? I don’t think so.

  1. I’m lateto this party but…

    Derek Samrt wrote:
    Subsequently, the 1st decade of the 20th century is 2001 AD to
    2010 AD (12-31-2010 to be exact).

    Of course, you meant 21st century, right?

  2. Actually, although Mike may or may not be feeling very friendly right now, I think he has a point.

    In summary, it is that in what we regard as our Year Zero, other cultures were using a different calendar. For them it was Year N. But as far as we are concerned, it was Year Zero. Their calendar maps to our calendar in a similar way to the Kelvin scale maps to Celsius, That there is a Year Zero is as straightforwardly true as there is a Zero Celsius. Likewise, another calendar might choose to place a Year Zero at our 1979, 2012, or any other year.

    Year Zero exists just as much as Year One exists, not just theoretically, but in reality. People lived, the world existed in Year Zero – the world didn’t go from Year -1 to Year 1.

    Therefore to choose Year 1 as a year to celebrate is as arbitrary as to choose Year 0, since both did exist.

    Another argument for it is that nobody probably used AD until well after Year 1, so that, again, Year 1 didn’t exist at the time as a “recorded date”, just as Year 0 didn’t.

    Erm….. maybe.

  3. The commonly accepted way people measure time and construct our calendars is based on the Gregorian system, which was established in the 1500s. Before that, we used the Julian calendar, which was established by Julius Caesar in about 50 BC. Cultures adapted the gregorian system because the Julian system was filled with errors that emerged over the time since it was instituted. Leap years are a result of this system.

    ABSOLUTELY there was a year zero, there was a day zero, there was an hour zero, there was a second zero. It is a point in time that can be measured back from today and is based on numeric systems commonly in use in the world. If you commonly reference specific times and dates when speaking to people, you are acknowledging this system of measuring time. Figuring out when year zero occurred is simple subtraction.

    NO ONE in the world at that time would have called it year zero, precisely because this was not the calendar system in place at the time. No one started measuring time from the point zero until much later, and the systems people used for measuing time in the day are completely irrelevant. But the start of a decade has nothing to do with where you start counting, it has to do with the basic rules of mathematics.

    These rants about the idea there was no year zero, that decades are measured at point one, etc are ignorant and obnoxious. They are based on a complete lack of understanding of what a calendar is, and even young children are able to make sense of the question you seem to be struggling with. Please realize the same way you get all frustrated with people for using commonly understood math terms, other people get frustrated with creepy morons who mouth off about their ignorance as if it made sense.

    It’s your blog and you can say whatever you want, think about what your words say about you before you post.


    1. The only creep moron I see here is probably you because you have quite clearly missed the point. We’re talking about recorded calendar date.

      So, no Sally, there was no year zero. Now take off that tinfoil hat.

      Please don’t teach this rubbish to your children. If you already have, then might I suggest therapy?

  4. Thank you for this. Here is what I ask folk who disagree:

    Count your fingers. Which number did you start with? Which number did you end with? Extrapolate.

  5. I thought we had this debate ten years ago. Were you one of the ones who went to bed early in 1999? 🙂

    Whatever the (rather obvious… but thanks) case for 2011 being the correct start of the new decade, it can’t be denied that 2010 has a more pleasant, well, feng shui to it.

    Celebrating the year (n*10 + 1) for the rest of eternity just because for the first decade they forgot to use the year zero, is a bit like an immortal entity deciding to drink the same infinite cup of tea for the rest of time, even though it went cold in the year 11 AD.

    Or something?

    1. heh, back in 1999 I didn’t have a blog through which to vent my frustration with this crazy math that people keep propagating time and time again. Now I do – so there! 😀

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