Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Mea Culpa, Binary Thinking, and Other Stuff

Sometime in December 2020 I promised myself that I would publish one of my musings every month; I may have made that promise public.  I failed.  As I begin this, it is July 4th 2021 and I produced nothing in June. I apologize for the omission.  Remember, if you will, I'm old. 

 I have likely mused on the following in some earlier blog so please bear with me.  

Binary thinking (my term) is making decisions as if there were only two choices/possibilities. Computers operate in binary terms, one bit at a time.  Each bit is either 0 or 1.  Their capability comes from accessing groups of bits - four bits yield 16  possible combinations, eight yield 256, twelve give us 1024, and so on.  My point is, though each bit has only two states, the ability of a computer chip to take many into consideration at the same time, with each combination meaning something different, lets us use computers to solve many complex problems.

Enough tech talk.

Let's take the example that brought me to this:  Black Lives Matter.  Binary thinkers claim that this excludes them in some way (maybe I'm being too generous here.)  The statement is additive, not exclusionary.  For clarity, one could say Black Lives Also Matter, but it isn't necessary — or sufficient, because people of color are too often treated as lesser human beings solely because of their pigmentation. The injustice of that is so visible daily that there need be no question that black lives must be woven into  the fabric: of equality, of humanity, of true justice.

Other Stuff

Since so many of us have smart watches or smart phones that count our steps for us, I believe it is worth a test to see how many of those steps are used going from one room to another and back because we don't remember why we made the trip, what we wanted from that room.  It could become a regular exercise program in itself.

Until next time,