The Number Two is My Favorite Number

February 23 2017

In soft­ware design, there’s a rule known as the Zero-One-Infin­ity rule. 

Accept­ing this rule means you only con­sider three states of exis­tence: the absence of a thing, the sin­gu­lar pres­ence of that thing, and an infi­nite number of that thing. Since infin­ity has its own prob­lems, let’s focus on how infin­ity begins.

First off, infin­ity isn’t really a number, though it has the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a number in math. Infin­ity is a con­cept to math­e­mat­i­cally iden­tity with­out limit.” You can’t actu­ally count to infin­ity, since (by its def­i­n­i­tion) it has no con­straints, so it may seem a little mis­lead­ing to say two” is the begin­ning of infin­ity, but stay with me for a bit.

If infin­ity” is really just an abstract con­cept, can we apply the same logic to two”? Let’s explore this idea.

Con­sider that two” is simply a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a one and one.

Yes, admit­tedly this is a lot of mental gym­nas­tics, but by doing this, we can catch of glimpse of what infin­ity looks like. Infin­ity is really just a col­lec­tion of one” and one” and one,” etc. 

Ok, what are you talk­ing about

Lim­i­ta­tions and con­straints are super help­ful for the human brain to under­stand our envi­ron­ment. How­ever I want us to break from that binary pat­tern for now.

By allow­ing the oppor­tu­nity for two” to grow into infin­ity,” phrases like I read two books this month” becomes I read this book about public speak­ing and that book about web design.” 

Pilots under­stand that up” and down” aren’t as simple as they sound. That’s why they have an altime­ter in the cock­pit to mea­sure the seem­ingly infi­nite points between up” and down”.

Artists and appar­ently authors under­stand the com­plex­ity that rests between black” and white”.

When it comes to gender and sexual ori­en­ta­tion, we must take the same approach. Lim­it­ing our­selves to binary descrip­tions of our world and its people will leave most of us forced into one cat­e­gory or another, at best.

At worst, the world refuses to iden­tify a cat­e­gory. These uncat­e­go­rized Other People are jailed in the empty spaces between two check­points wait­ing for the world to see them.

Back to the Zero-One-Infin­ity rule

Apply the ZOI rule to the envi­ron­ment around you, and watch the door swing open to an incred­i­ble amount of love, beauty, and joy.

Think about it.

Our col­lec­tive human­ity either has no sexual ori­en­ta­tion at all, or only a single sexual ori­en­ta­tion, or… an infi­nite com­plex­ity of human attrac­tion and sex­u­al­ity dances through us like trav­el­ing monarch but­ter­flies.

Either there is no such thing as gender at all, or only a single gender exists, or a bound­less number of gen­ders course through human­ity like the sounds of an orches­tra through a music hall. 

Two is my favorite number because once I see two, it’s easy to see how far we can go.