The birth of the Number Liberation Front

Friends, colleagues, members of the Academy, fellow numerati – I come before you, humbly and with open hands, to tell you of a great ill that is being done to those who depend on us, our friends, our servants and our masters, the humble numbers.  For too long, the obfuscators and the confusers and the pedantic grammarians have been shielding the true meaning of the numbers from us in a cloak of words.  These words, each similar to the next, the million and the billion, the trillion and quadrillion, serve only to cloak the true meaning of 1 000 000 and of 1000 000 000, of 1 000 000 000 000 and 1 000 000 000 000 000, from our eyes and our minds.

I say million and I say billion, and even though I know deep within the core of me that this is not the case, my mind says and my mind believes, these words are almost the same, differing from one another only by a single digit, and so the things they represent, they must be close to each other as well. Lies, lies and scandalous lies, and these lies are eating away at the foundations of our understanding.   We can no longer tolerate such lies.  They must be faced and they must be refuted.  Yea, they must be exposed to the harsh cleansing light of truth.

So, on this day, on this 20 January 2014, I declare the birth of the Number Liberation Front.   I espouse peace and harmony and the use of numbers in their true, unblemished, unshielded numerical form.  I declare that I will strike those words which claim to stand for numbers from my vocabulary and decry their use, today and forever more.  I want T-shirts saying Free the Numbers.  I want demonstrations in the streets, demanding that the truth be set free in its numerical form, without the meaninglessness imposed by the banality of this numbing blanket of letters.

Join me and let us stand together to free the number and to let the truth shine forth.

~ by Jim Anderson on 20 January 2014.

3 Responses to “The birth of the Number Liberation Front”

  1. […] last thing: it is also amusing to share an idiosyncrasy with one of Vonnegut’s characters, as noted in the Editor’s Notes. I have let mine slip […]

  2. […] recently went deep back into the archives and read an old post on the number liberation front. The attempt at humor aside, there was a serious idea tucked away therein. Namely, that how we view […]

  3. […] of those early posts was on another aspect of numbers, namely that the words we use to describe number hide the […]

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