Zero debunked

This website invites the reader to do something that to a traditionally trained mathematician borders on heresy: to stop believing in zero (nothing) and rely instead on the physical properties of real things to perform computation. It debunks zero and proposes new mathematics in which each element has a physical construct.

Nothing possesses no physical properties through which it can interact with the senses or machines adapted to detect physical properties. It is a disembodied, abstract idea. It is constructed by our minds according to a set of man-made rules for manipulating symbols. It is these rules that give rise to its meaning. Physical things interact with one another through the agency of their physical properties according to the laws of nature. Their interactions are meaningless.

The word “nothing” and its symbol “0” mean the difference between two equal things: two things that are the same. Consider the two different symbols 1 and 0. The difference between 1 and 1 is 0, and so is the difference between 0 and 0. The two equal things mutually negate to give zero. We are taught to express this idea symbolically using equations.

1 – 1 = 0       0 – 0 = 0.

How could something as mathematically perfect as zero possibly be the cause of any trouble at all?

Imagine the two equal things in an equation interacting with one another: 1 turns 1 into 0 and 0 turns 0 into 0. Now imagine two different things interacting with one another: 1 turns 0 into 1 and 0 turns 1 into 1. We want to be able to say that 0 means the same and 1 means different (XOR in Boolean logic), but there is a problem. It is a problem right at the heart of all the systems we use to process information about economic relationships, financial and voting.

To see the problem, you need to express the rules of equations using ordered pairs of symbols, as is done in double entry book keeping.

If 1, 1 were not cancelled down to 0, 0, then zero represented by 1, 1 would behave differently from zero represented by 0, 0. For example 0 (1, 1) would turn +1 (0, 1) into -1 (1, 0). The Boolean logic upon which the mathematical meanings of 0, +1 and -1 have been constructed (XOR) would not work!

Nothing (zero) is a mathematical fairy at the bottom of the garden. It is not a point on a number line between +1 and -1 or the origin of a set of axes. It is a chimera. It needs to be debunked.