1 + 31 = 131

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1+31 = 131.

I find this a far more interesting proposition than the cliche’d 1+1=3. Everybody knows, intuitively, that 1+1=3. Humans have been having babies for millennia. Business schools call this “synergy.” 

1+ 31 = 131 makes perfect sense. It’s logical.

Until we realize that the world is made up of symbols—things with rich and varied meaning, like the sun and the moon and the stars; and that numbers are symbols of symbols like one moon and a zillion stars; and that concatenating two numbers (like two cells in Excel) is combining symbols of symbols.

The latter is called modern art. It may provide a mindf*ck, but it doesn’t provide any insight into reality.

As for me, I still think 3 -1 = 4.

Take many dishes with three ingredients, remove one, and focus on boosting the flavors of the other 2. The result is always greater than if you’d added a fouth. 


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