Sunday, 12 September 2010


Nothing can be a bit of a difficult concept. Nothing really matters, according to Mr Mercury, and according to Mr Lennon, Nothing Is Real. And not everyone can even agree on what to call it. If you're playing cricket you can be out for naught or, alternatively, a duck. Nothing is Love in tennis, but in football it is Nil. If you happen to be a shepherd but you have no sheep, would you still be a shepherd? Which brings us to the problem of counting nothing. Headaches all round, because there has to something between +1 and -1, doesn't there? (We know that there is such a thing as a negative number in the so-called real world because the banks, amongst others, tell us so. If you draw out more money than you pay in, then you are in debt).
So we have established the concept of Zero, Nothing, Nil etc.
Meanwhile, if you divide 1 by 1, you get 1. One goes into one once. So how many times does nothing go into nothing? Once. So 1 = 1. No problem there. So 1 over 1 equals, and 0 over 0 equals 1. Therefore, 0 = 1.
Hold up! That can't be right...

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