Saturday, November 19, 2011

A tribute to "Nothing"

Well i am starting this post not something which i can say is my own writing but thanks to John D Barrow book i am able to understand some concepts of nothing and zero and just sharing it.


Nothing in itself is a concept. the dictionary have 10 different meanings for nothing. so it got to be something right

zero in itself is circumlocutary. i.e it is using more word than required to express an idea. in tennis the use of word "love" comes from a rather unromantic french word "leuf" which means egg which symbolically represents zero "0"

plus when we all say he is fighting for love (not money).. which means nothing..

A null operation is a technological crap for nothing in computer. so when the initial computers were designed, during the difference between one key stroke and the other key stroke the computer would run the null operation meaning nothing is to be processes now.

but not all usage of zero were derogative. in earlier 15th century when french used to escape to scotland they used to keep their names secret by using the surname nimmo derived from latin "nenot" meaning no one.

writers also embraced the theory of nothing in their own sense. elbert hubbard book "essay on science" was a neatly bound book of blank pages. The ray craft used it as an autograph book
also in 1974 the nothing book was published which is a beautiful bound book in a nut brown denim building full of empty pages for the delight of dedicated scribbler

Elbert Hubbard


Zero became a great trouble for the early days of computer. in the days where all documents and applications were processed with the help of computer. Now the dates were recorded with the last two digits of the year. little did the computer and their developers knew that as year progressed to 2000 the literal 00 was of no significance and the calculation would start backwards. now just think if the credit card expiry instead of 01-Jun-2001 becomes 01-Jun-1901. what a blunder the world would have caused.


There are other amazing stuffs in the book one of which is a paradox explained through a small story




There is a man and a turtle. The man walks at 400 metres per hour. The turtle walks at 40 meters per hour.
The turtle starts the race 400 meters in front of the man.
By the time, the man has travelled 400 metres, the turtle will have travelled 40 meters so will be 40 meters ahead.
The man travels another 40 metres, but by then the turtle is 4 meters ahead.
The man travels another 4 metres, but the turtle is 0.4 meters ahead.
And so on…
The man can therefore never overtake the tortoise.


The point here is we keep going in relatively smaller amounts but we would never go to exact zero, each time just the difference is leading towards zero 

Well this book would serve a great fact book and an awesome read which it is. so all facts are just from the first chapter of this good book. so just track this book on




For all Indian Readers:Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/books/0099288451?pid=pnw3f1adtf&_l=oMITT7hLtDgRhkHnIEH7fA--&_r=OJHxb7ljLS4UQpxFegA5DA--&ref=158fa884-4bb0-4236-8b7b-d0cf6c5d9b48


For all outside India: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Nothing-Vacuums-Origins-Universe/dp/0375726098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321701418&sr=8-1

No comments:

Post a Comment