## Monday 6 June 2011

### Ancient binary symbolism and why it is relevant today

It is a well-known fact the human use of binary strings (or even binary numbers, see Pingala) predates electronics and automatic calculators by thousands of years.

Divination was probably the earliest human application for binary arrays. There are several systems in Eurasia and Africa that assign fixed semantics to bitstrings of various lengths. The Chinese I Ching gives meanings to the 3- and 6-bit arrays, while the systems used in the Middle East, Europe and Africa tend to prefer groups of 4 and 8 bits.

These systems of binary mysticism have been haunting me for quite many years already. As someone who has been playing around with bits since childhood, I have found the idea of ancient archetypal meanings for binary numbers very attractive. However, when studying the actual systems in order to find out the archetypes, I have always encountered a lot of noise that has blocked my progress. It has been a little bit frustrating: behind the noise, there are clear hints of an underlying logic and an original protosemantics, but whenever I have tried to filter out the noise, the solution has escaped my grasp.

Recently, however, I finally came up with a solution that satisfies my sense of esthetics. I even pixelled a set of "binary tarot cards" for showing off the discovery:

For a more complete summary, you may want to check out this table that contains a more elaborate set of meanings for each array and also includes all the traditional semantics I have based them on.

Of course, I'm not claiming that this is some kind of a "proto-language" from which all the different forms of binary mysticism supposedly developed. It is just an attempt to find an internally consistent set of meanings that match the various traditional semantics as closely as possible.

Explanation

In my analysis, I have translated the traditional binary patterns into modern Leibnizian binary numbers using the following scheme:

This is the scheme that works best for I Ching analysis. The bits on the bottom are considered heavier and more significant, and they change less frequently, so the normal big-endian reading starts from the bottom. The "yang" line, consisting of a single element, maps quite naturally to the binary "1", especially given that both "yang" and "1" are commonly associated with activity.

I have drawn each "card picture" based on the African shape of the binary array (represented as rows of one or two stones). I have left the individual "stones" clearly visible so that the bitstrings can be read out from the pictures alone. Some of the visual associations are my own, but I have also tried to use traditional associations (such as 1111=road/path, 0110=crossroads, 1001=enclosure) as often as they feel relevant and universal enough.

In addition to visual associations, the traditional systems have also formed semantics by opposition: if the array 1111 means "journey", "change" and "death", its inversion 0000 may obtain the opposite meanings: "staying at home", "stability" and "life". The visual associations of 0000 itself no longer matter as much.

The two operations used for creating symmetry groups are inversion and mirroring. These can be found in all families of binary divination: symmetric arrays are always paired with their inversions (e.g. 0000 with 1111), and asymmetric arrays with their reversions (e.g. 0111 with 1110).

Because of the profound role of symmetry groups, I haven't represented the arrays in a numerical order but in a 4x4 arrangement that emphasizes the mutual relationships via inversion and mirroring. Each of the rows in the "binary tarot" picture represents a group with similar properties:
• The top row contains the four symmetrical arrays (which remain the same when mirrored).
• The second row contains the arrays for which mirroring and inversion are equivalent.
• The two bottom rows represent the two groups whose members can be derived from each other solely by mirroring and inversion.
The semantics within each group are interrelated. For example, the third row ("up", "in", "out", "down") can be labelled "the directions". In order to emphasize this, I have chosen a pair of dichotomies for each row. For example, the row of the directions uses the dichotomies "far-near" and "horizontal-vertical", and the array called "up" combines the poles "far"+"vertical". All the dichotomies can be found in my summary table.

The arrays in the top two groups have an even parity while those on the bottom two groups have an odd parity. This difference is important at least in Al-Raml and related systems, where the array getting the role of a "judge" in a divination table must have an even parity; otherwise there is an error in the calculation.

The members of each row can be derived from one another by eXclusive-ORing them with a symmetrical array (0000, 1111, 0110 or 1001). For this reason, I have also organized the arrangement as a XOR table.

The color schemes used in the card pictures are based on the colors in various 16-color computer palettes and don't carry further symbolism (even though 0010 happens to have the meaning of "red" in Al-Raml and Geomancy as well). Other than that, I have abstained from any modern technological connections.

But why?

Our subjective worlds are full of symbolism that brings various mental categories together. We associate numbers, letters, colors and even playing cards to various real-world things. We may have superstitions about them or give them unique personalities. Synesthetics even do this involuntarily, so I guess it is quite a basic trait for the human mind.

Binary numbers, however, have remained quite dry in this area. We don't really associate them with anything else, so they remain alien to us. Even experts who are constantly dealing with binary technology prefer to hide them or abstract them away. This alienation combined to the increasing role of digitality in our lives is the reason why I think there should be more exposure for the various branches of binary symbolism.

In many cultures, binary symbolism has attained a role so central that people base their conceptions of the world on it. A lot of traditional Chinese cosmology is basically commentary of I Ching. The Yoruba of West Africa use the eight-bit arrays of the Ifa system as "hash codes" to index their whole oral tradition. Some other West African peoples -- the Fon and the Ewe -- extend this principle far enough to give every person an eight-bit "kpoli" or "life sign" at their birth.

I guess the best way to bring some binary symbolism to our modern technological culture might be using it in art. Especially the kind of art such as pixel art, chip music and demoscene productions that embrace the bits, bringing them forward instead of hiding them. This is still just a meta-level idea, however, and I can't yet tell how to implement in it practice. But once I've progressed with it, I'll let you know for sure!

#### 23 comments:

Kartturi said...

Interesting! However, it would be nice if you gave the sources for this information.
Okay, there are four items listed at the end of crosstrad-4bit.html
Any others? Do you have read books of Marcia Asher, for example?

Pingala's work I first encountered in Knuth's History of combinatorial generation, still available here:
http://www-cs-staff.stanford.edu/~knuth/fasc4b.ps.gz

For a very inspiring set of graphical representations of various ways to organize binary systems, please see the user Lipedia's images at Wikimedia:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lipedia

Anonymous said...

may I offer the following for your consideration?
http://www.mi.sanu.ac.rs/vismath/hess/hess.htm

fillikir72518 said...

You made some first rate factors there. I appeared on the web for the problem and located most people will associate with with your website. online casino slots

keanna said...

Python is a well known abnormal state, open source programming language with a wide scope of uses in computerization, huge information, Data Science, Data Analytics improvement of games and web applications. It is an adaptable, ground-breaking object-situated and translated language. Python is considered to be a programming language with the most elevated number of openings for work

For More Info:- Python course in Gurgaon

George Henry said...

I got my already programmed and blanked ATM card to withdraw the maximum of \$5,500 daily for a maximum of 6 years. I am so happy about this because i got mine last week and I have used it to get more then \$350,000 and ready to pay more. United Hackers is giving out the card just to help the poor and needy though it is illegal but it is something nice is not like other scam pretending to have the blank ATM cards. And no one gets caught when using the card.
WhatsApp: +351 965 761 372
Email : unitedblankatmhackcard@gmail.com

Neliso Dlamini said...

Become rich today and take the risk of transforming your own life. Try and get a blank ATM card today from (MR JOHN) and be among the lucky ones who are benefiting from this cards. This PROGRAMMED blank ATM card is capable of hacking into any ATM machine,anywhere in the world. I got to know about this BLANK ATM CARD when I was searching for job online about a month ago..It has really changed my life for good and now I'm rich because am a living testimony. The list money I get in a day with this card is about \$50,000. I keeping pumping money into my account.there is no risk of being caught because it has been programmed in such a way that it is not traceable, it also has a technique that makes it impossible for the CCTV to detect you..For details on how to get yours today, email the hackers on
Email: { programmedatmcards@gmail.com}OR Text or Call or WhatsApp: +2348154637647

ben rita said...

I was searching for loan to sort out my bills & debts, then i saw comments about Blank ATM Card that can be hacked and withdraw money from any ATM machines around you anywhere in the world . I doubted thus but decided to give it a try by contacting united blank atm hack card they responded with their guidelines on how the card works. I was assured that the card can withdraw \$5,000 instant per day & was credited with\$50,000,000.00 so i requested for one & paid the delivery fee to obtain the card, after 24 hours later, i was shock to see the Courier agent in my resident with a parcel {card} i signed and went back inside and confirmed the card work's after the agent left. This is no doubts because i have the card & has made used of the card. Contact these email if you wants to get rich with this....Via email: unitedblankatmhackcard@gmail.com or whatsApp +44 7466 770724

Jakinlade said...

I know it's been 9 years but thought it worth a chance of contacting you.
I've been looking at this binary system prevalence and came across this page.
I'd love to talk with you about this and its potential applications.

musicfa said...
IAHIA said...
No Name said...

Selling USA FRESH SPAMMED SSN Leads/Fullz, along with Driving License/ID Number with EXCELLENT connectivity.

**PRICE**
>>2\$ FOR EACH LEAD/FULLZ/PROFILE
>>5\$ FOR EACH PREMIUM LEAD/FULLZ/PROFILE

>All Leads are Tested & Verified.
>Invalid info found, will be replaced.
>Serious buyers will be welcome & will give discounts to them.
>Fresh spammed data of USA Credit Bureau
>Good credit Scores, 700 minimum scores.

Email > leads.sellers1212@gmail.com
Telegram > @leadsupplier
ICQ > 752822040

**DETAILS IN EACH LEAD/FULLZ**

->FULL NAME
->SSN
->DATE OF BIRTH
->DRIVING LICENSE NUMBER WITH EXPIRY DATE
->ADDRESS WITH ZIP
->PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL, I.P ADDRESS
->EMPLOYEE DETAILS
->REALTIONSHIP DETAILS
->MORTGAGE INFO
->BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

->Bulk order will be preferable
->Minimum order 25 to 30 leads/fullz
->Hope for the long term business
->You can asked for specific states & zips
->You can demand for samples if you want to test
->Data will be given with in few mins after payment received
->Payment mode BTC, PAYPAL & PERFECT MONEY

**Contact 24/7**

Email > leads.sellers1212@gmail.com
Telegram > @leadsupplier
ICQ > 752822040

Arul Raj said...

Good post,Thank you.
look here
Sofa Refurbishing in Bannerghatta Road

Anonymous said...
โรซ่า said...

Hello, we have a game to recommend.

ทางเข้า ufabet
ufabet kick
รูเล็ตสายฟ้า
แทง บอล ผ่าน มือ ถือ
กา บอล

Thank you for your interest."

Nirana said...

Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also เว็บ ตรง

Anonymous said...

[Ha-cking, Spamming, Carding]
[Tools with Tutorials, Ebooks & Guides]
:-Fresh Spammed Fullz/Pros/Leads
:-All USA states fullz Available
:-High Credit scores & Good Connectivity
=>Details Included
"Name|SSN|DOB|DL|Complete Address|Employee details|Bank Account Details"
>CC's with CVV (USA/UK/Canada)
>Dumps With Pins
>Legit & 100% Valid info
{Contact Details]
WA +92/317/272-1122
ICQ 752-822-040
TG @leadsupplier/@killhacks
*SMTP's/RDP's/Mailers/C-panels
*Brutes/VPN's/Proxies/Server I.p's
*Kali-Linux Complete with tutorials
*D=eep/D==ark web complete courses
*F^^ud B^^le 2021-22-23 Updated
*SQLi Injector/Key-loggers/Viru-ses/RAT's
=>Legit tools with working guarantee
=>Invalid info/Stuff will be replace
=>Payment Mode BTC & USDT
e-mail exploit.tools4u at g-mail dot com
WA +92 317 272 1122
ICQ/TG @killhacks

Thanks in advance

Majortotosite Top said...

Please stay us informed like this.

Oncasinosite Net said...

Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present.

카지노사이트 추천 said...

You’re wonderful! Thanks!

안전놀이터 said...

Very well written information.

사설 토토사이트 said...

It will be beneficial i really appreciate all your efforts

파워볼실시간 said...

thank you so mch for sharing this valuable information with all of us.

Gouse said...

This is a fascinating exploration of how ancient binary symbolism continues to resonate in modern times! It’s intriguing to see how concepts that originated in ancient cultures still hold relevance in today’s digital and symbolic landscapes.

I’d love to hear more about specific examples of ancient binary symbols and their modern applications or interpretations. How do these historical symbols influence current technology or cultural practices? Are there any particular insights or parallels that have emerged from your analysis?
Digital Marketing Course In Hyderabad