Football teams have worn numbers ever sinceArsenal have experimented with putting their players in numbered shirts1928 (didn't bring them much luck - they lost 3-2 to Sheffield Wednesday). But it was Manchester United who made the number seven shirt iconic by fielding their best players in it -Perhaps the most famous is David Beckham, Who says:
It's always been my inspiration, but it's never been my shirt. They were George Best, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona. The only reason I wanted to wear number 7 was because of these players. I didn't find it intimidating, it was an honour... I've always wanted the number 7 shirt, but I just didn't think I'd get it. And when the manager decided to give it to me, it was special.
Why do we value certain numbers? Can David Beckham's words give us an insight into the real reason why people consider the number 7 to be lucky, or is it possible that the history of this number permeates our culture so much that we immerse ourselves in it without realizing it? Why?
It's all around us
Just think about the day of the week. Why do we have seven days? Theseven days a weekThey are named after the classical planets, deities and celestial bodies - Monday (Moon), Tuesday (Mars), Wednesday (Mercury), Thursday (Jupiter), Friday (Venus), Saturday (Saturn) and Sunday (Sun).
This is due to the division of the week into seven daysBabylonian system. In terms of lunar orbit, a week is about a quarter (23.659%) of the time from one new moon to the next. To mark these four phases, the Babylonians observed a holy day every seven days, beginning with the night of the new moon. The four phases of the moon - new, first quarter, full and last quarter - last approximately 29.53 days.
But we also have religious reasons to believe that the 7 is something special - think of the seven deadly sins and seventh heaven. In nature, there are seven wonders of the world, seven colors of the rainbow, seven seas and seven continents. In the world of gambling, the sum of the dots on opposite sides of a regular dice is seven, and it is generally accepted that a setThe deck of cards is sorted completely randomly by seven shuffles. Amazingly, eight perfect gun shuffles returned the 52-card deck to its original order.
having fun with numbers
Newcastle University hosted "UK Numbers Festivalin 2015 at various locations in and around North East England. The overriding question of the festival was "What is your favorite number and why?", which was meant to act as the "glue" that held the various aspects of the festival together. This interesting question was expected to capture the imagination of the people of the region and encourage the general public to think more deeply about numbers and their impact on life.
Here are the most popular numbers among the 442 people who took part in the survey (out of a total of 10,000 festival participants). Seven was the most popular choice among both men and women.
The investigation also revealed several other findings. The distribution of preferred numbers was narrower for women: 85% chose a number below 30. In contrast, 85% of men chose a number below 64. No women chose a negative number, while three men did.
Overall, 58% also chose an odd number. But 55% of the men chose an odd number, while 60% of the women chose "odd".
This contradicts certain beliefs about even and odd numbers, such as othersPythagorean theoryIChinese philosophy of yin and yang, in which numbers were considered gender specific - odd numbers were masculine and even numbers were feminine.
Why did so many people choose 7?
Many people became interested in the number 7 for various reasons, not least because it was considered a lucky number. Many people said they had no idea why they liked it. Perhaps part of the answer lies in a landmark article written in 1956 by psychologist George A. Miller entitled "Magic number seven plus minus twoMiller argues that the fact that the number 7 seems to be all around us is more than just a coincidence.
Our immediate memory has been shown to work well when we remember up to seven things, but no more. We can distinguish and evaluate seven different categories and remember seven objects at a glance.
Memory Study 2008Better Novara and Takiloshowed that the brain produces the best information when the stimulated branches (dendrites) are number seven. It suggests that we remember best during the week because that's how our brain prefers to store information.
In our poll of the most popular numbers, people had to cast seven votes. Perhaps the reason for this is Miller's brain function. Or maybe, as David Beckham said, it's a story about numbers that matter. Perhaps this heritage dates back to Babylonian times and is burned into our brains. Or maybe the number 7 is just special.