The 2023 Stroppy


This year’s winner of the Stroppy Git Award for Meaningless Drivel is a Russian man called Ivan Panin (pictured left) who fled Russia for Germany at the age of 18, being condemned as a “nihilist” in his homeland, and then migrated to the USA. He studied Greek and Hebrew at Harvard and made a name for himself by applying numerological principles to the Bible.

The award is made posthumously because Ivan died in 1942. Fortunately for him the Stroppy is not subject to the same irksome requirement as the Nobel prizes, which can only be won by the living.

He was commended to me by a man called Greg whom I met in Rundle Mall. He was proffering a pamphlet titled ‘Searching for Truth?’ and I was intrigued enough to stop for a chat. He turned out to be a member of the Revival Fellowship and he invited me to one of their meetings, where I would find people speaking in tongues and thereby be convinced of the existence of God. I asked which tongues they spoke and he explained that “tongues” meant a special language used to converse with God, which ordinary people couldn’t understand. I’d always thought that the Holy Spirit gave the apostles the power to speak foreign languages so they could go out and proselytise, but apparently not.

Anyway, I recommended that he read ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins (pictured right) which I’d just finished, and he recommended that I read Romans chapter 8 and Google Ivan Panin. Ivan wins the Stroppy for this passage, but pretty much anything he wrote could be a contender:

Looking once more to the 7 periods from Adam to the Christ by themselves, covering as they do the whole Bible Chronology lacking only 33 years, we find that they cover 3999 years, a number unexpected: since man would have made it an even 4,000. But 3999 is 3 x 31 x 43. The sum of its factors is 77, itself 11 sevens, with 14, or 2 sevens as the sum of its own figures, 7, 7. The sum of the figures be factors 3, 31, 43, is also 14, or 2 sevens: of which the first two have 7, and the third has 7. This number 3999, though itself not a multiple of seven, is nevertheless found to be marked with 4 features of sevens, one for every one of its four figures.

A worthy winner, I think you’ll agree.

PS  I was nearly misled in my search for Ivan Panin, because he has a namesake who is still alive and is a noted mathematician. Amongst other feats, according to Wikipedia, he found a proof of Gersten’s conjecture in the case of equal characteristic and an affirmative solution of the “purity” problem for quadratic forms. So… no meaningless drivel there.