Essay Why Is A Calendar Needed By An Organized Society?

Essay Why Is A Calendar Needed By An Organized Society?

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2. Why is a calendar needed by an organized society?

A calendar is merely a way to tell time. Generally speaking, we on planet earth use it to describe our orbit around the sun. Most Americans use the Gregorian calendar which consists of 12 months with close to 30 days (some more, some less, some equal), which requires an extra day to be added once every four years. Another calendar, the Hebrew calendar uses lunar months but based on a solar year. This too requires adjustments every so often to keep with the solar year. Other calendars exist as well.

That said, organized society needs a way to account for time, regardless of the method. It allows for planning of events, like planting crops, but also to prepare for the future with some certainty. For instance, certain animals migrate during certain seasons which occur at specific times. Tracking time also allows for the enforcement of time-based agreements. On a philosophical level, time allows a society to place itself in history thereby providing meaning to life.

However, a very small society, especially if rather primitive, could go without a calendar. By using the position of the celestial bodies in the sky, or by recognizing a pattern in the temperature (seasons), people can determine appropriate times for obtaining food, whether planting, harvesting, or hunting. Similarly, the knowledge of animal behavior, whether wild or domestic, based around the seasons would suffice for other activities. However, all of these activities are made easier by calendars and allow us to focus on more productive and valuable activities.

3. Page 22 in the book problem 2.2.

Perminov’s presentation of one of the mathematical reasonings found on the a cuneiform tablet is impressive. Even wit...


... middle of paper ...


...res 10 bits, but in a base 16 system only requires 7. As for base 2, one of its advantages is its simplicity, especially with electrical signals. Either the circuit is 0 or 1, on or off, open or close. There’s no confusion and it’s easy to build such a yes/no system.

Since I can’t find any real world examples of base 7, I am not sure there are any advantages of using this system. 7 is a prime number so factoring and dividing is less easy compared to other systems. Alternatively, base 12 has six factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. This allows for easier computation like we do for measuring (12feet = 1 foot). Also, unlike 7, 12 can be counted easily on the hand by using the joints of the 4 fingers (not the thumb). Of course with any base a counting system can be devised, but the natural method of using fingers (or toes) seems to be one of the major reasons we use base 10.

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