Sunday, November 8, 2009

Some Persective On Numbers

When we talk of millions, billions, and trillions, I think it helps to understand just how much we are talking about. That is, what does "one trillion" actually look like compared to one million and one billion?

Well, in terms of days, one million seconds = 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds.

One billion seconds = 31 years, 8 months, 8 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, 40 seconds.

And, one trillion seconds = 31,688 Years, 269 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, 40 seconds.

I think this matters greatly, when we are faced with spending, deficits, and proposed legislation that now quite frequently involves amounts in the trillions. That's a whole lot of seconds. Some prices are really too high to pay and most of us may not see the actual effects of commitments made now with lots and lots of money (or revenue we hope is available sometime in the future).

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