Ed Simon at berfrois:
The approach of a decade’s end draws the mind to those sorts of considerations, the way in which the arbitrary conclusion of a certain segment of calendrical time imposes order onto the disorder of human events. Our approaching decade’s conclusion is the rare variety of prediction that necessarily and by definition shall absolutely come to pass (even if all the missiles should go off before the Times Square ball drops).
Since it was always a matter of contingent decision, the arrival of January 1st, 2020 was foretold the moment that the Gregorian Calendar was adopted (1582 in France, Italy, and the Hapsburg lands; 1750 in Great Britain and her colonies; 1918 in the newly established USSR). Its arrival was of course foretold the moment the previous Julian Calendar had been established as well, albeit anyone still counting from that archaic system won’t see the new decade until the date of January 13th in our calendar. We can’t help but think in those decimal units of decades, centuries, millennia, and we assume that as an organizing principle they help us understand things about human alteration, about shifts and changes in culture, society, politics, technology, and so on.