Look how it pans out visually ... Here's counting from one, in sets of tens.

Here's counting from zero. See the difference? Each row starts a new set, or decade of numbers.

Does this matter? I hear:

*No it doesn't. The values are the same. Kids don't care. We all start counting at one.*

Then I hear:

*Why yes, it does.*

*Look how much more sensible it is to consider all the Twenties together, the Thirties, etc. These groups are like decades (sets of 10 years). We need that zero!*

We need that zero. Well some of us do, but some don't. Let's agree to disagree. Which raises a new question: Do we need zeros before the 1, 2, 3?

We

**do**need these zeros if we want our data to be sorted correctly on a computer. Otherwise, 5 will be sorted up into the 50's decade group rather than between 4 and 6. Oops, I mean between 04 and 06. If you've ever lost a file or folder after changing its name, you might look around. It could still be there, but placed with an unexpected set of neighbors.

In computer (and roulette) terms, 0 and 00 are not the same. In math terms, they are the same.

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