Digital Numero

I sense this COP26 post merits further highlight beyond my insta above.

The papnip (paparazzi, as opposed to cat, nip) in question is provided by the hosting UK’s media savvy Prime Minister. Someone themselves a former broadsheet journalist as well as, let’s face it, a media celeb.

The lenses nearby lap it up.

Are we 5-1 down in the match vs Mother Nature? Or steadfast behind the aim to limit ‘warming’ to 1.5°C?

Whether the gesturing actually confuses due to a pair of similar messages equally capable of portrayal from these raised digits misses the point.

What really matters for us here, is that such display got picked up. Beamed everywhere. To be remembered by innumerably more people than if got across in the usual talking head mode, speaking from a podium.

One of the presentation tricks I pass on from IRL to on-screen adaptation for video calls is precisely this trope.

You have a number.

Make it digital.

In the confines of your 2-D cell, I like to turn my hand sideways. And with fingers apart, my favourite numbers to make are a 3, 4 or 5. Although as seen in these snaps, other amounts, combinations and even fractions, can work too.

Ever conducted a straw poll asking for attendees to make their suggested number with their hands?

I’ve even resorted with success to the junior school method of rapid open-closing of both fists with outstretched fingers flashing fingers forward to signify a number of ‘tens’.

Then there’s the huge variety of finger-counting techniques to riff on.

Almost any integer you can think of can be represented by just your two hands.

Especially when dealing with ‘significant figures’ for useful rounding.

As is often said, there’s a reason why numbers and fingers are both called digits. We homo sapiens having mastered the visual art of counting. Point your number out to your audience. Figuratively. Literally. And you too will have your proposed amount stick in the mind of those whom you wish to inspire.

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