How odd. When I was 75, that felt fine.
- 75% = a pass
- Reaching a deadline
- Achieving 3/4 of a century
- Roughly 70 years old
- A bargain
- Nearer to 50 than to 100. (Come again?)
Now that I’m 76, that has changed. I am learning that, in my unconscious, 76 also has some more sinister characteristics.
- 76 = old
- closer to 80 than 70
- closer to 100 than to 50
- to be more specific, almost 80
The science of pricing goods for sale (as opposed to no sale) depends on certain irrational perceptions of humans when considering numbers.
- figures on the left of a page seem low, figures on the right seem high (because we tend to think of numbers going in sequence from left to right, as written in ABC-languages)
- figures at the bottom seem lower than figures at the top
- $19.99 seems a better bargain than $20 (a thesis with many variations that reveal just how athletic our perception of numbers is)
- figures in a small font size are perceived as low, in a large font size as high
I reckon that is why my perception of my own age has been suddenly warped since my birthday last week. And I’m guessing that whatever mysterious bout of mental gymnastics was triggered by the number 76, you have your own version.
“76 is an even composite number composed of two prime numbers multiplied together” — how cool is that!
To haul myself out of price-perception folly, I shall attempt to associate myself this year with the element Osmium, 76Os… (Thanks to Pinky Agnew for this excellent idea.)