(How's that for alliteration?)
Prof. Althouse has advice for Wisconsin colleague Prof. Brito, who is obsessing about turning 40. The gist of the advice seems to boil down to when it happens, you won't obsess about it anymore, and the next big turning point won't start to worry you for five to eight years.
Of course, this whole thing about turning "30" or "40" has symbolism only because we use a decimal system, no doubt because we have five digits per hand and two hands. Just think, if we counted in hexadecimal (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10, 11, . . . , 1A, 1B, . . . , 20, . . . .) instead, it wouldn't sound so scary, would it? Prof. Brito would be turning 28, not 40. Prof. Althouse would be counseling Prof. Brito not to stress about turning 30. And I would be in my early 20s still.
Yes, I like the hexadecimal counting system. It's good enough for computers. Shouldn't it be good enough for us?