Learn Nothing Day, July 24, 2015

Two weeks until Learn Nothing Day!

Last year I made a big deal about Learn Nothing Day, because it was the seventh one. I grew up in a culture where seven is a fun, lucky number. it's the first cool number after one. Then 10, 12 and 13 have a bit of "cool," and after that 18 and 21 (for people's ages, but not for anniversaries).

So yesterday I was thinking it's kind of "culturalist" (?) of me to make a big deal last year and to slough off this year. I remembered that 4 and 8 are bigger and better in Japan than where I live, but I didn't remember why, and wasn't sure my memory was right anyway. Found this!!
I know that in Chinese the number 8 is a homophone with prosperity. However, in other Asian cultures 8 seems to have a special place even when it is not a homophone with some auspicious word.

My favorite example from Japan relates to the story of Mr. Toyoda founding his auto company in the 1930's. He consulted a soothsayer about what to name it. The soothsayer noted that "to write Toyoda (in Japanese syllables) you need 10 strokes, but to write Toyota you need 8 strokes which is much more auspicious." And thus the Toyota auto company was born.
On a page about what's special about numbers (from a mathematician's point of view), this year's anniversary is
8 is the largest cube in the Fibonacci sequence.
(from What's Special About This Number?)

So although eight doesn't naturally strike me as auspicious, in honor of the more-than-eight Korean dramas I have watched this year, and the fact that this is the ONLY unschooling holiday that's eight years old, prepare for the 8th Learn Nothing Day, coming soon.


  1. Harry who was 8 until recently also pointed out that if you tip 8 over onto it's side it is the symbol of infinity.

  2. Infinity is 8, then?

    My favorite infinity story is this:

    Wed, Jul 28, 1993
    The first thing [Marty] said after “good morning” was “Mom, if you count to infinity, is it illegal?”


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