A Nice Round Number and a Rather Oblique Homage to David Crosby

I turned 72 this week. I have to admit, I kind of like the sound of it.

Numerology? I hesitate to think so. Ologists, by definition, are people who frame their logic in a disciplined manner on the field they’ve latched onto. I appreciate their hard work, and admit their successes generally outweigh their failures, but too much discipline tends to make the free radical in me a little suspicious.

I like the term arithmancer better. Not much difference in meaning and sure, it evokes visions of the wizards of Harry Potterdam and such, but it just sounds friendlier. A little more whimsical, like “he dances with numbers.”

And so my mathematician/logician/musician self turns 72 and thinks, “Now that’s more like it!”

I mean… 71? What is that? Sure, it’s a prime number, but like 3 or 7? I don’t think so. I suppose it’s this font, but if you stare at it long enough it starts to look like someone couldn’t make two good sevens in a row! They say 1 is the loneliest number–maybe because it’s so homely? Stick it after 7 and the combo looks awfully lean and raspy, like Graham Nash to number 72’s David Crosby (sigh).

72 is quite officially an abundant number, replete with ones, twos, threes, fours, sixes, eights, nines, twelves, eighteens, twenty-fours, and even a couple of thirty-sixes running around in there. It’s like the Mother Hubbard of numbers–at least until 96, but I’m not counting on that.

72 is also a totient number. Not sure what that means, but in fact, it is a highly totient number. It isn’t, like 81, a perfect totient number, which I might have a better crack at, but that conversation gets all into the power of 3s and we don’t have time for that.

Carlton Fisk wore 72 for the White Sox. My favorite three ballplayers are Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Carlton Fisk.

Oh I could go on and on about the “earth number.” Like I said, though, it’s a little too much hoodoo for me.

All I know is: 72 is par. Strangely, that’s very, very good.

I could do worse. Sometimes, older is better.

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