Once we have defined 1+1, as we have done elsewhere, a range of interesting observations can be made.

Through this simple action, we have defined a number line which runs to eternity. In some sense, all numbers already exist. This can be illustrated by asking a simple question. Does the number three exist before I have counted to it?

I would argue that that it is already intrinsic to the dimension we have defined. 1 + 1 = 2, in a sense, implies three. The algorithm has been defined. From this point of view, three exists there whether I’ve marked it or not. As so on for all other numbers.

I would like to draw your attention to the implications of this simple process.

__A PRIMITIVE CIPHER__

Below I have created a primitive cipher. It is a substitution cipher where A=10, B=11, C=12 and so on. The reason we started from 10, rather than 1, is because we want all letters to be represented by two rather than one digit and a leading zero is a non-standard way of writing down numbers. This gives a standard encoding system for them all.

The full table is below for clarity.

LETTER | NUMBER | LETER | NUMBER |
---|---|---|---|

A | 10 | B | 11 |

C | 12 | D | 13 |

E | 14 | F | 15 |

G | 16 | H | 17 |

I | 18 | J | 19 |

K | 20 | L | 21 |

M | 22 | N | 23 |

O | 24 | P | 25 |

Q | 26 | R | 27 |

S | 28 | T | 29 |

U | 30 | V | 31 |

W | 32 | X | 33 |

Y | 34 | Z | 35 |

COMMA | 36 | SPACE | 37 |

FULLSTOP | 38 |

__VISUALISING ETERNITY__

This, in effect, is a simple mapping function. I feel that, to get some grasp of infinity, we should perhaps change the numbers into a more recognisable format. In this case letter. This cipher can then be used to encode any string of letters we could care to.

For example, let us take the first few lines of Blake’s ‘Auguries To Innocence’:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand,

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,

And Eternity in an hour.

This can be encoded as follows:

*292,436,281,414,361,036,322,427,211,336,182,336,103,616,271,018,233,624,153,628,102,313,361,023,133,610,361,714,103,114,233,618,233,610,363,218,211,336,152,124,321,427,361,724,211,336,182,315,182,318,293,436,182,336,291,714,362,510,212,236,241,536,342,430,273,617,102,313,361,023,133,614,291,427,231,829,343,618,233,610,233,617,243,027*

EVERYTHING THAT IS KNOWN

This number represents the first few lines of this poem. However, it can be extrapolated that there is also a number that, for example, would also encode any other poem. This would include but not be limited too The full works of Ovid, all the works in the English language, all the works in the English language in correct chronological order, all textbooks on every subject not only written but yet to be written. And so on. Moreover, we would not find them only once, but infinite times if we were to read this series of digits within larger numbers.

EVERYTHING THAT IS UNKNOWN

It gets even stranger than that. There is a number out there which, in my case, starts as below:

*191,022,142,836,321,028,361,124,272,336,182,336,172,430,281,436,102,718,142,836,102,836,291,714,363,217,182,914,362,630,141,423,362,829,242,413,361,029,362,230,211,036,231,020,281,710,292,710…*

It says, “*James was born in House Aries as the white queen stood at Mula Nakshatra…*”, and tells of my birth and everything that ever happened to me. My friends, my lovers, my adventures. There is a similar one for you and everyone who has ever lived. Not only are there these numbers, there are countless more, and variations upon variations. There is one that tells the story in the style of a poetic Veda, another as a the lead role in a Hollywood film.

Continuing this metaphor further, there is also a number which tells of the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, the secret to life, a cure for cancer, the birth of the very cosmos itself. The answer to whatever it is that you’re looking for. Just sitting there, waiting for us to find them. All to be found using a rather poorly constructed cipher.

Extrapolated as far as is conceivable, from this point of view, I hope you would agree, it is reasonable to argue that you could, in fact, write a universe and everything that ever was and ever will be and all it would be would be a single point on an infinite continuum. In principle, this reflects my underlying world view (to a degree).

As discussed here, I think numbers are really a language we invented to represent the one dimensional geometry which we observe in a single dimension (See the above article for the beginnings of that subject, more to come). However, they are useful and we can begin to determine the underlying structure of the single dimenion provided we are suitably careful.

__DECONSTRUCTING THE METAPHOR __

So what have we really done here? We have presumed a single dimension. A line that stretches on to infinity. We have defined an origin and a single point to serve as the unit value. From here we presume the process can iterate (1+1=2 and so on). This creates our familiar number line. It all comes down to that question, earlier. Does 1+1 imply 3?

To turn this on its head, we don’t actually even need the number line. We can perform the same trick with decimals. Let us say we have defined 1 + 1 = 2, as above, does that which is represented by 0.5 already exist? It can be argued that the number does not, we need to conceive of it and so on, but, from another point of view, that which we refer to is already implied. From here we could apply a similar cipher onto decimal numbers and we would come to the same result, 0.101010 = AAA and so on.

If this is so, all the answers to everything that ever was exists between zero and one. Infinity is a strange thing to grasp.

__BEYOND THE THOUGHT EXPERIMENT__

This simple thought experiment, I feel, helps give some scale as to what infinity actually is, even on a single dimension starting from ‘1 + 1 = 2’.

It is my view that this universe is a single object or event and is most likely mathematical in nature (to be discussed later) but I hope that this analogy gives some insight into how I see it.

Obviously I don’t think this universe is just a big number, it is far more beautiful and elegant than that, but I suspect it is a single dynamic iterative geometric process operating on itself. A chaotic fractal of sort. A reflection of a reflection in ever changing mirrors.

Still, for the sake of argument, even if it were just a large number and this existence is just some process of reading that number out, would that number be the largest? The most complex? No, not even close. It just keeps on going. Beyond the limits of what we have the ability to comprehend.

__IT ALSO SERVES AS A WARNING__

This exercise also serves as a warning of sorts. If we see things through a corrupted lens, in this case my simple cipher, we can see things which aren’t really there. One wonders how much of our maths, and perhaps our belief systems themselves, are actually a distortion of understanding, a complex form of cipher similar to the above. We will come back to this later.

For a concrete mathematical example of this, I touched on this when talking about counting to 12 in the article above. I briefly discussed how base systems prejudice our view of numbers as existing in a decimal system when they do nothing of the sort. Of course this is understood by mathematicians, but I feel it may be one of the early abstractions which makes maths both hard to learn and unappealing to children.

Still, all that aside, it is an interesting thought experiment. I hope you agree that from a single, infinite dimension, a single thread of the finest silk as it were, you could conceivably weave eternity.

__POST SCRIPT__

For fun I have included the two cipher tools below. Who knows? Maybe they will help you decrypt the meaning of life.

TEXT TO NUMBER ENCODER

NUMBER TO TEXT DECODER

Find the secret to life!(Maybe).