While the concept
of shunya or "zero
", both as place holder
in the decimal system
and as "null
" or "nothingness
" has been historically attributed
to the Indian mathematician
, it was
when I went to search for its
history and impact
that whole new world
was revealed. From culture
to spiritual practice
, the concept
of zero has captured
of many throughout the ages
. Books have
been written, its origins debated
while the etymology of the word
itself sometimes replaces understanding. From a disconcerting concept of nothingness
to the ubiquitous misspelling
of the one followed by a hundred zeros, Shunya today is more than just the gaping void
it originally represented.
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted.
Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true
. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser
. And it was so.
I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott
, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
The concept of nothing is as old as zero itself. How do we grapple with the concept of nothing? From the best laboratory vacuums on Earth to the vacuum of space to what lies beyond, the idea of nothing continues to intrigue professionals and the public alike.
Join moderator and Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson
as he leads a spirited discussion with a group of physicists, philosophers and journalists about the existence of nothing. The event, which was streamed live to the web, took place at the American Museum of Natural History on March 20, 2013. [more inside]
"What do you get when you combine 15kgs of silicon, 2km of wool, 46 highly enthusiastic filmmakers and 2 years of hard work? …Zero
." (youtube / also on vimeo
) Official site
. [more inside]
Protesting corruption with the zero-rupee note.
Indian NGO 5th Pillar
has a come up with a unique project
to help India's poor fight against institutionalized bribery.
Click here for nothing
When you're online doing nothing
, and there's nothing
to see, nothing
to read, and nothing
to buy, you might as well settle for nothing
Dr James Anderson, from the University of Reading's computer science department, claims to have defined what it means to divide by zero. It's so simple, he claims, that he's even taught it to high school students
[via Digg]. You just have to work with a new number he calls Nullity
(RealPlayer video). According to Anderson's site The Book of Paragon
, the creation, innovation, or discovery of nullity is a step toward describing a "perspective simplex, or perspex [ . . . ] a simple physical thing that is both a mind and a body." Anderson claims that Nullity permits the definition of transreal arithmetic
(pdf), a "total arithmetic . . . with no arithmetical exceptions," thus removing what the fictional dialogue No Zombies, Only Feelies?
identifies as the "homunculus problem" in mathematics: the need for human intervention to sort out "corner cases" which are not defined.
The Zero Saga
contains a great deal of information about the concept of zero, and its relation to other numbers and concepts in mathematics. It was linked in Good Math, Bad Math
; which contains a variety of other informative articles on the numbers
that capture our imaginations
. (Note: You may want to skip past part 4 of the Zero Saga, as it contains replies to the site, and as such should probably be at the bottom of the page. But, to compensate, the comments on Good Math are better than most blogs I've read.)
The Fall of Reach, old-school style. Some plucky French coders have borrowed a page from Codename: Gordon
, the side-scrolling homage
to Half-Life. As a result, Master Chief and his cohorts are now fighting the Covenant in 16-bit, 2D graphics. PC download only - though Mac owners at least have Boot Camp
to avoid waiting for an OS X port.