Jack of Many Trades

The Universe Counts in Binary

Originally posted: 2013-01-05

"There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary numerals, and those who don't." ― Ian Stewart

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"]Kurt Cobain (front) and Krist Novoselic (left)... Or maybe this was Nirvana.[/caption]

The story begins with a blank page. An empty, formless void. A nothingness which is, by definition, impossible to conceive of because it is without thought.

Maybe this was Nirvana. Maybe it was not.

Out of nonexistence emerged the ineffable, the tao, whatever you want to call it. Something-ness. It was not quite sentient as we would recognize it, being beyond the idea of sentience. It just exists, which made it clearly separate from that original void, which did not exist.

Binary is actually a good metaphor for it - everything is either 1 or 0. Either it is or it is not, there's no room for any middle ground. Once you add a 2, you've moved on to something else entirely.

From that first awareness came the first Word, set down on that blank Page, and there arose the second duality.

The original duality is important, though, because it reminds us that all of us and all of our stories arise out of nothing, and eventually they will all be forgotten. The archetypal Library knows all the stories, but that doesn't mean it will never fall to ruin. Eventually the universe will run down, entropy or decay will win... and we'll all be dead and our civilization lost long before that. In the meantime, it's practically our duty to enjoy existence and seek to understand it.