Remedial Math

The time has come to start talking about something I developed years ago, with the original aim of weaving it into a sci-fi/fantasy series of novels.  I’m talking about a branded philosophy, and whether or not I ever finish those novels, I’ve decided to begin to discuss this this philosophy independently.  Ayn Rand did this with her “objectivism,” and L. Ron Hubbard did this with Dianetics, and I see no reason why I cannot expound upon my philosophy and, perhaps, use it in fiction at a later point.

Unlike Rand’s and Hubbard’s, however, my philosophy is not practical, but merely perceptual.  Rather then propose a manner in which one should behave, I aim to fabricate a lens, which may be used to achieve better focus on certain aspects of life.  And if something is already in focus, you shouldn’t need to use a lens.

Although I created this philosophy for the purpose of spicing up a story, it is based in many truths.  I began coming up with it many years ago, when I was an atheist, and it lost no validity or applicability when I later became a believer in G-d.  In fact, the very meat of the philosophy helped me shed my doubts about the existence of G-d.  It involves mathematics, physics, the nature of life, and how they all interact.  The truths on which it is based are very simple–even oversimplified–but that’s sort of the point.

Like many things mankind creates in this modern era, it is comprised of two fundamental elements: Ones and Zeroes.  For many years now, I have taken to calling it “Binaryism.”*  I am open to other suggestions.

I am not going to illustrate the entirety of Binaryism in this blog post.  My plan is to get into details over time.  For now, however, I will explain the gist:

Most people are familiar with the concept that ideas may be represented in binary.  For example, a simple computer program will use “1” to state that a command is true (and to be run) and “0” to state that a command is false (and to be ignored).  In fact, you have most likely noticed that most on/off switches on electronic machines are either switches with a circle, or “0,” to represent the “off” side and a line, or “1,” to represent the “on” side, or buttons labeled with this symbol:

or, alternatively, this symbol, which toggles between “on” and “standby” rather than “on” and “off”:

According to an NPR article from a couple of years ago (thanks, Wikipedia!), New York City even used the standby symbol on condom wrappers.  I don’t know how stifled your imagination might be, but the average mind is dirty enough that they see this symbol and are immediately reminded of sexual intercourse.  This leads us to another obvious 1/0 dichotomy in addition to on/off: male/female.

The basic premise behind the Kubrick film “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” is that everything man does and creates is sexual at its core.  To emphasize this, Kubrick shows the opening credits over a scene of a tanker refueling a B52 bomber in mid-flight… which happens to look exactly like they are having sex.

The things we create often carry a binary designation.  Electrical cables either have male ends or female ends.  Some things are made to create, building toward a structure with its own whole integrity (like an integer, represented by “1”), and some things are made to destroy, leveling back to nothingness, or “0.”  Almost everything can, in some way, be designated by 1, 0, or a composition of 1s and 0s.  This applies to both physical structure and theoretical concept.

My aim, in the related posts to follow (interspersed with “normal” posts), is to examine, in detail, what structures and concepts have these binary designations, how this can be applied in a philosophical perspective, why humankind has a tendency toward this dichotomy, and what the implications might be.

And don’t worry… there will still be silly cartoons.

-Matt

*The word “Binarism” is already a word.
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