I feel as if I have addressed this all before in some manner. Perhaps only in my very weary brainiac though. So, well, here goes this:
We are not approaching the world the same way, thee and me. Thee may not directly apply to you, but it does to (points to the way far dim back of the room) you. Me is me (as much as I can be aware of how my flawed self moves through this consciousness iteration of life – ah, but that is a topic for another day…or not. tra la).
Zero is my hero. Zero is my hero because it has no value unto itself, no quantity, no expectations placed upon it other than being a critical placeholder to better define integers as they freely move up and down a number line according to measurements, mathematical properties and calculations. I loves me some maths, yo. (Too much Teen Titans Go! here, I am aware, thank you very much for your concern. Beast Boy rules!)
While zero is indeed nothing, it is everything to all other integers. You cannot have one (or two or three or four) of something and know or be aware of that one (or two or three or four) of something, unless you are also aware of having zero – having nothing. Otherwise you just have something without a numerical value attached. It won’t matter if you have one, two, three, or four – you only either have something or you don’t. You need zero as the marking point to define more than or less than having something or less than something.
Numbers flow up and down. Zero is constant. There is no negative zero or positive zero. Numbers attached to zero either remain the same as when they started, or wholly disappear into zero.
No beginning, no ending, a steady comforting circle of consistency = my sweet hero zero.
Of course, as with all true heroes, my hero zero is flawed. Dangerously so, these days. Because my hero zero is caught up in the zero sum game. Sadly, so are some of you.
In the zero sum game, there are only two options: to win (positive) and to lose (negative). Everything that happens points directly to zero without fail and all players end up on one side of zero or the other side of zero, without exception. There is no melodic movement of integers working with mathematical symbols up and down the number line. There is no symphony of ten page calculus problems to enlighten and entertain our brains or expand knowledge(AP Calc buddies unite!).
There is only zero.
Here zero can no longer be our hero because without the dynamic interaction between integers, when zero stands alone, zero has no value: causing every player on the number line to become irrelevant. They are reduced to existing or not existing.
Who decides where you might fall? Existing or not existing?
When you enter into the zero sum game…
ALL LIBERALS ARE LIBTARDS and should be forced to submit to tests to determine their commitment to nationalism and patriotism or they should be kicked out of this country!
ALL CONSERVATIVES ARE EVIL and should be forced to submit to public accounting of their personal social/financial agendas so that a select group of us can determine their true commitment to community!
But, humans are not able to sustain in a zero sum game and have not ever been, since the development of humans. We have always needed compromise with each other’s diversity in ever dynamic/organic degrees depending on the composition of the humans grouping together (politics, yo). Attempting to force ourselves into zero sum game players has resulted in genocides, wars, holocausts, rapes, murders, children in cages, marginalized vilified cultures/races, enslavement, famines, atrocities galore.
Anyone who has been through a custody battle with an abusive narcissist, has first hand experience of the life long devastating damage that zero sum game promotes. The courts in their objectivity (generous eye roll) allow for grossly dangerous behaviors (such as threats of murder) from a psychotic sociopath mentally ill parent yet hold the other parent under an untenable microscopic lens of perfection. Ah, Herisme, it’s not always about some aspect of your divorce… let it go, stop giving it space to control your life, refocus on more productive areas of your experiences, etc etc etc. OKAY, I get it (obvs. I don’t but I will let it go. For now).
One would think after multi millennia, the vast majority of humans would recognize and dismiss zero sum game as a baffling historical behavior only seen in the very tiniest percentage of extreme humans. Like cannibalism.
Sadly, this is not the case. Thee’s are still painfully, and shockingly to their very own demise and detriment, grasping onto zero sum game by their bleeding broken fingernails, trying desperately to be pulled into the “exist” bubble from the “does not exist” bubble. Which we all know will not and cannot happen by the very definition of zero sum game. There is no movement. You exist or you do not. It does not matter how lovely, good, awesome, terrible, pious, or talented you are, you will never ever ever switch bubbles. You also do not get to choose which bubble you are in. Spoiler Alert: Thee’s and me’s are not in the exist bubble. Even the folks who look like they are in the exist bubble, are not in the exist bubble – only by rhetoric and current perceptions – not in reality. We know this by seeing how many people throughout history who thought were in the exist bubble in their zero sum game, but met terrible fates (Mussolini, Napoleon, Hitler, Julius Cesar, etc).
My dearest darling friends who earnestly post the “you may belong to one wing or the other, but what you’ve missed is that the bird needs both wings to fly” kind of meme (especially if it includes an indigenous person’s image – natch!) are preaching a basic humane philosophy to a zero sum crowd. Zero summers are looking at that soaring bird, figuring out how to: modify their wing so the other becomes irrelevant, constrict both wings so they only do the bidding of those on the platform they’re building on top of the bird for the very smartest/best/worthy people, and get rid of the indigenous person who may be preaching narratives which threaten their innate supremacy. The zero summers never recognize that all of those decisions ultimately lead to their demise as well. It is so super frustrating.
To sum up (bwahhahahhaha – get it, SUM up with zero, get it?!?), zero can be a hero when room is provided for other integers to exist. In zero sum game, there is no hero, no winner, everyone loses.
I call upon thee and me to stop engaging with the zero summers because their game has no room for any of us, including themselves. Zero summers are not in a head space where they can recognize that as they burn down their Atlanta, they bask in the warm glow, denying the very existence and potential resolutions of their excruciating pain, as they burn themselves as well.
Instead, please consider refocusing on the actual wings of our birdy collective so that we can soar as never before – together, healthy, goal oriented, supportive etc. We can disagree on direction, how many feathers to keep, who is prettier, more talented, and all that occasionally valid discourse. But PLEASE let’s do this as we fly and not burn ourselves to the ground. Please let Zero be the Hero and not a goal for humanity.
Thank you for coming to my Herisme talk today. You can catch me here very occasionally as my brain and life permit. You can also catch me (if you can) at our local co-op (physically distant with my kitty cat mask on – meeeow), or wandering the park trails throughout our lovely county while SonHerisme runs circles, kicks balls, screams, leaps, etc around me. You really can catch me there, because I am a s-l-o-w daydreamy walker (apologies to my irl showing up friends!).
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
Best of luck this week, this season, this year, next year, and all of that
Go Humans! I believe in You!