|I have finally come to the end of the A to Z challenge. So I’ll conclude with a strange concept, which produces wonderful imagery. It is the concept of zero.
Zero might be seen as negative or it might be seen as positive. It might be seen as nothing or everything. Zero might be seen as a number, or maybe it is not a number. Zero is amazing. I am fascinated by numbers, despite the fact that I was probably the world’s worst math student when I was in school half a million years ago (no, I can’t count that high).
Zero can be seen as the black hole that gobbles everything up. It absorbs everything and lets nothing go free. This is true when you multiply any number by zero. No matter the size of the number, once you multiply it by zero, it becomes zero. Whether your number is 856 trillion or two, multiply it by zero and the answer is always zero. You could say that it makes everything equal, everything the same.
You may say that equality and identity are not the same thing. And you would be right. In Madeleine L’Engle’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, the main character, Meg, is trying to rescue her little brother, Charles Wallace, who is trapped on a planet, Camazotz, where everyone is alike. The world is controlled by a powerful computer, IT, that truly does not understand human nature. It tells Meg, “Everyone is happy here. They are all alike and they are all equal.” Meg says that, no, equality is not identity. We can be different and we can be equal, at the same time. Meg struggled with being different in school, and she came to realize that her differentness was her strength.
Camazotz is completely under a dark cloud. It has given in. Its fight is over.
The Earth is fighting the cloud. Are we winning? I don’t know. Neither, I suspect, did Madeleine L’Engle.
|Zero takes away identity and creates uniformity when any number is multiplied by it. But that doesn’t have to be. Instead of multiplying, try adding. Add zero to any number and the answer is the original number. In addition, zero acts as a mirror. You look in the mirror of zero (which is round like many mirrors), and you see yourself. A dancing 2 or a marching 10 or a big train 234,987,561 can see itself, being itself in the mirror of zero.|
|Here are some more interesting facts about zero.
Ooops, I just strained my brain!
Do you have a favorite number? If so, what and why?