bucky on zero

“… the 400 year battle
from 1200 to 1600
between the Church and science
in which the Church tried by decree laws,
torture and death
to prevent the lay use
of the cipher in calculations.

For the cipher or zero,—
brought to our civilization by the Arabs
from the Hindus,
along with their simple numerals and algebra,—
was symbol for all the non-sensorial world
soon to be popularly revealed
as a natural rather than mystical phenomenon.”
—r. buckminster fuller
untitled epic poem on the history of industrialization (1962)


  1. vlorbik

    Define the identity function, I, by I(x)=x. This function is just as essential to the theory of compositions as the number 0 is for the theory of addition (or the number 1 is for the theory of multiplication): an object that does nothing gives us a simplest possible case… to which every other case can then be compared. If you don’t understand this parable, how will you understand all parables?

    me, here:

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