Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ides of _________ (fill in the blank)

What is it about 15th of a month? Why so many things go wrong on that day?
So you want me list the things that indeed have gone wrong on that day. Here I go: Romans set 15th of March as the date for settling debt. That was in the Julian calendar and now in the Gregorian it would translate into March 26th. But that is just not picking. Ides of March refers to March 15th, no matter the calendar, as far as this post is concerned. Be honest, aren’t you one of us who files tax returns at the last minute? I thought so. The date may have changed and varies from country to country, but the global truth is no one feels good paying taxes. It may not be Ides, but a specific date it definitely is. It just so happens I have found a few critical disasters (you say that a disaster defines criticality, like the Three Mile island, Challenger shuttle, Chernobyl ... I don’t disagree, but I wanted to make a critical point on the date and therefore the disaster became “critical”)
Then, Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15th as per the calendar that bears his name (and hence, “Beware the Ides of March”).
I hear you say, “All of that is history. Come to now!” Yes, I am going to do just that.
Remember September 15, 2008? Lehman Brothers went down that day. It developed into a global financial tsunami. Note the date: 15th. Ides of September?
Now, the British construction giant Carillion has done pretty much the same, on...
You guessed it – January 15th. 40,000 plus people will be losing their jobs. No one can say for sure there will not be a contagion like it was in 2008. I am not believing it.
So, Ides of January?
I love capitalism, surely nasty and brutish, and definitely neither short nor solitary. From 2008 to 2018 is not short, nearly a decade. Across the Atlantic, not a pond, capitalism has friends (Lehman in the US and Carillion in UK) – not solitary. If it picks up more friends around the globe (China can help, by defenestrating its state-supported monopoly-capitalism and get real), I suspect that within the next say two or three decades, we can have Ides of January, February, ..., December.
As Hobbes said that governance by fear is the best thing there is, come every 15th, people will be afraid. Now they are afraid only on Friday the 13th that happens on a long period average reckoning 1.7 times a year.
Add to this, the fear of the consequences of global warming, in the same timeframe. One really would really be in a constant state of being scared.
Hobbes will be happy.



Tomichan Matheikal said...

I hope the dreary situation is not making you superstitious.

mandakolathur said...

No Matheikal. Indeed the post is about how ridiculously easy it is to create superstitions. Thanks for coming in and for the comment.


mandakolathur said...

Just patting myself on the back: The first line of a news item in today's (May 21, 2018) The Hindu reads, "If you have dollar payments to make, you should beware of the Ides of May." I am beginning to congratulate myself for foreseeing this, we must be aware of the the Ides of every month of the Gregorian Calendar.

I am good!