Friday, May 18, 2007

"Infinity and the Absoluteness of Zero"

I know this sounds a little theorical and mathematical but let's forget about that for a while and listen to the irony of this idea. I've been thinking from time to time about infinity. It's an interesting concept how something has no definite end or definite beginning. For instance, lets say that where you are sitting right now is the number 0. In front of you stretches every positive integer (1,2,3....) headed toward positive infinity and behind you lies all negative integers (-1,-2,-3...) headed toward negative infinity. The fact remains true that there is no end to the streams of numbers in either direction but also in that lies the fact that between each integer lies another infinity. If we assume that the distance between each integer in this blog is one literal press of the space bar then a number line would look something like this:
Then the space between the number 1 and 2 ( if we were counting by tenths would appear something like this (extra space added between numbers for easier reading):
1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2
Then if we broke the space down between 1 and 1.1 into hundredths and thousands and so on the numbers would again head toward infinity even though the space between the integers 1 and 2 never changes because 2 will always be twice that of 1 at all times. So if the space between integers, is theoretically infinite, in order to put numbers into practical use we have to have an agreed upon definition of what those integers mean. For instance, we say we have one nose and five fingers and two eyes. We call a singular and complete thing, whatever it is, "one". And the absence of a thing "zero".
Interestingly enough, the only thing we can actually define "one" as is "a complete thing" because we can be talking about one apple, or one building or one mile. In each instance the one thing we are talking about is different, therefore making the number one an indefinate thing since it is always attached to a variable. The only absolute number that exists is zero. That is to say zero apples equals zero building and zero miles. They are all the same size and shape and weight and distance....nothing.
So the irony to me is that all numbers, integers and anything in between, which are supposed to be something cannot be clearly defined since they are only totals of variable things. However, zero is the only thing that remains constant no matter what variable you present and is the only absolute.
I guess the thing I find interesting in that idea is that there is probably some greater meaning to it or some spiritual parallel to be discoved from it. I suppose I associate anything that surpasses normal everyday, mundane thinking which you might call higher level thinking is in some way related to spiritual things.
What does it mean? Is zero the center of all things. Funny that it's got a circular shape in that the distance from the center of a circle to the outside of the circle is the same through the entire circumfrence of it. I'm not trying to get New Agey or Zen but I'm trying to keep an open mind. If Paul, in the Bible says that God is made visible through nature (Romans 1:19-20) than maybe another aspect of God, who we always connect with infinity can be found from this observation.
Another way of putting it is that 1 represents a presence of something and zero is the absence of something. I was an electronics technician for 6 years and in my learning have come to find that is the whole basis of all computer languages (binary). Ones and zeros. The presence of voltage or no voltage. Now I can take this a whole new route speaking about technical issues but I'd rather get back to why zero, being at the center of all numbers, is the only absolute.
This would mean that time and space and anything that has any length or dimension to it is indefinate. The only thing that makes them measurable is that we agree on a standard set of measurements.
I think there is something more to this but I'll give it a rest for a while until that is made known to me. If you have any insights let me know.