HISTORY OF INFINITY DAY: AUGUST 8
Infinity Day is also known as Universal & International Infinity Day. It is a commemoration held on the 8th day of the 8th month of each year to celebrate and promote Philosophy and Philosophizing for the ordinary person.
Why 8 is significant, apart from Infinity Day
- 8 planets in the Solar System — since Pluto got demoted.
- 8 is the atomic number of Oxygen.
- 8 is the maximum number of electrons that can occupy a valence shell in atomic physics.
- 8 people were saved in the Flood at the time of Noah.
- 8th day, Jesus was circumcised, as the brit mila is held for Jewish boys.
- 8 is the number of legs a spider or octopus has.
- 8 is 2 cubed.
- 8 follows 7 but stops before 9 making it the only non-zero perfect power that is one less than another perfect power.
- 8 is the basis of the octal system, each digit representing 3 bits. A byte is 8 bits.
- 8 displayed horizontally is the symbol of infinity
Wence the Infinity Symbol?
The “lazy eight,” used in livestock branding, is a mathematical symbol representing infinity. It is called a lemniscate, after the type of curves of a similar algebraic geometry shape.
It was first used mathematically by John Wallis in the 17th century. But it had other uses:
- Mathematically: refers to an infinite process rather than an infinite value
- Bookbinding: long-lasting paper.
- Graphic design: corporate logos, like Fujitsu and the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Mysticism: an alternative to the traditional circular form, the symbol represents the ouroboros, an ancient image of a snake eating its own tail.
History of Infinity Day
Infinity Day was conceived and created by Jean-Pierre Ady Fenyo, a philosopher, poet, journalist, and science-fiction author. As a sidewalk philosopher, he became known in 1987 as “The Original New York City Free Advice Man” (see The New Yorker magazine’s August 17, 1987 issue.) He has since become known as a celebrity there.
Infinity Day began in 1987 and has been celebrated in the form of peaceful, non-violent, and lawful demonstrations for philosophical inquiry, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and ethics in society worldwide. After that, the founder took it to various US and European cities. He now lives in London.
What significant 8s do you know?
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian