Friday, February 19, 2016

Suppose I give you a penny

Suppose I gave you a penny.  I shouldn't make it much more.  If I give you a $10 bill, you will be suspicious or afraid of being in my debt.  There is no reason for me to dredge up ten dollars and try to give it to you.  But with a penny, you can see the gesture of giving you some small marker for what it is: gratitude for my connection to you, for our friendship and contact with each other.

The penny is one possibility but it is a material object.  It persists.  It has matter and weight.  You have to put it somewhere or give it away to someone else.  That might be nice, too.  A penny traveling from person to person, each time the transmission based on friendliness, on the beauty in a recipient.  A smile can travel from person to person is a similar way.  It's true that you can't put the smile in your change jar or the change pocket on the dashboard of a car.

I just now tried following my advice to self and others of seeing what Google has to say about subjects of interest.  I looked up the cost of an email since I intend to send this to you and I wanted an estimate of the cost, the monetary worth of this email.  There are over a billion results on the cost of an email.  The first snippet in the list of results that showed a number said the cost of an email has been estimated to be one hundredth to one thousandth of a cent.

I put this day's date (US form: 2/18/2016) into Excel.  In a nearby cell, I put "=c5-100".  I wanted to know the date since there have been 100 days.  If I use the estimate of 1% of a penny, I have given you a penny with my last 100 emails.  The last one hundred days go back to Nov. 10, 2015.  If I use the 0.1% estimate and say that it takes 1,000 emails to make a penny, and you have gotten emails from me for the last thousand days, we then go back to May 24, 2013.  If you have gotten emails from me since then, I have more certainly given you a penny.

You know why?  I like you.

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