In a bid to cure myself of susceptibility to mind control by those who'd reap the awesome power of these two numbers, and under the premise that few enough netizens are infected with these memes to constitute any significant alteration to these numbers' use — a premise I'm sure we can all agree upon given the growing ubiquity of non-geeks online — I thought I'd query Google, our very own 'Deep Thought', on what it thinks about single and double-digit numbers. Here are the results:
Thankfully, there existed no easily roused DoS-prevention logic and so my perl script was sportingly allowed to run unimpeded.
Observing the data, we see that lower magnitude numbers reign supreme as expected, followed by their products by 10 and to a lesser extent theirs by 5. Our odd decision to make seconds and minutes base-60 probably encouraged the high popularity of 30. Shopkeepers who price everything one or two cents shy of a whole buck are the likely reason for the spikes at 98 and 99. Curse their financial legerdemain! I snuck in 100 despite it being triple-digit to show my solidarity with our love of base-10. If you must know, I originally had 0 as well but it made the scatterplot rather messy with its frequency being between those of 12 and 13. Notably apparent from the chart, there is nothing strikingly special about 42 or 47.
So there you have it, confirmation that the '80s really were boring, and incontrovertible proof that neither 42 nor 47 are in any way more spectacular than other numbers in the hearts and minds of sane, normal people. The atypically higher frequencies of 44 and 64 do on the other hand raise new questions...
After all this faux statistical analysis of 'cult-figures', it is perhaps prudent to reflect on the sagacious words of Homer J. Simpson.
1F09, 1/6/94 Homer the Vigilante
Kent: Mr. Simpson, how do you respond to the charges that petty vandalism such as graffiti is down eighty percent, while heavy sack-beatings are up a shocking 900%?
Homer: Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.
His eminence's eloquent words denouncing statistically based reasoning. Amen, Mr. Simpson, amen.