Bits of inspiration

When I was a kid I remember being completely fascinated by binary arithmetic, from the very first moment I found out about it. I think at first I saw it as a secret source of power.

I had already been into cyphers, letter substitution codes, and that sort of thing. I remember when I was about eleven years old I wrote a letter in invisible ink, mostly made from lemon juice. The writing was completely invisible until you held it above a candle (cue spooky music here), at which point it would slowly reveal itself.

But binary numbers were something more. In a way they were a personal evolution for me, a transition from “I can do something nobody else can”, to “I can do something amazingly powerful and beautiful.”

I think it was the “beautiful” part that changed everything. The fact that I could use such a simple and elegant system to represent and combine numbers (a much more elegant system than our own base 10, I might add), was perhaps the first real tug at my heart strings toward the beauty of mathematics.

Now here I am, all these years later, programming computers every day, creating art with math, and having a hell of a time. All because of some ones and zeros. I don’t regret any of it — not one bit.

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