And now, for a little bit of unscheduled programming.
As is obvious, today’s date is November 11th, 2011 — styled as 11/11/11 in shorthand, or 11–11-11, or 11.11.11. This will be the only point in our lifetimes when the date, in shorthand, will have consisted of merely a single digit that can be read backwards or forwards. Consequently, many people are finding it worthy of commemoration. LiveScience has an interesting article about this which I recommend, if you’re looking for some light reading today:
[T]he 11:11 phenomenon is widely reported in real life, with entire online discussion forums dedicated to figuring out what the number means. People say they feel haunted by 11s, which appear to them eerily often. To them, the impending date is bound to seem ominous.
On the flip side, some modern-day numerologists have deemed 11/11/11 auspicious, and according to local news sources around the country, an unusual number of couples have planned to marry on the day. The number 11 is also a favorite of gamblers — particularly blackjack and Keno players. So, amid all these alternative perspectives, what’s the real deal about repeating 11s? Is there anything special about the numbers lining up?
No. With regards to the 11:11 phenomenon, rather than being a supernatural warning sign, psychologists say it is a classic case of “apophenia,” or the human tendency to find meaning or patterns in randomly occurring data. This condition feeds on itself, because the more conscious you are of something — such as repeating 11s — the more often you’ll notice it in the world around you, and thus the more certain you’ll become that the pattern is real.
This observation is certainly true. I didn’t think at all about today’s date (except for today being Veterans Day) until it was pointed out to me at it was 11/11/11.
And of course, in our timezone (as in others) there’s a point during the day when the time will also be one digit: 11:11::11/11/11. That’s the time now. If we go by a twelve-hour clock instead of a twenty-hour hour one, there will be another 11:11/11/11/11 later today. But on the twenty four hour clock, the time and date will only be a single digit for sixty seconds.