There are two kinds of people, those who think there are two kinds of people and those who do not, but of course, the latter group are wrong. The very taxonomy of human being, that state of existence so bullied, bloodied, disparaged, idolized, hated, loved, condoned, copied, studied, spied, watched, ignored, rejected, classified, identified, distinguished, too often extinguished, and so totally misunderstood, is incomprehensible unless you use this simple tool. There are two of you and no more.

Some may disparage this realization as the petty enlightenment of a sophist. But sophistic or not, it is true and truth bears a great weight of its own. Many people, too many people it appears, are unable to make a simple choice between good and bad. They choose to make no choice at all which is a choice in itself.

I once knew a fellow who thought there were three. This is very similar to the phenomena you may have experienced at the eye doctors when looking at the chart. It is a physiological illusion. But this fellow persisted. Nevertheless, he repeated, there are three. There are those who do and those who don’t and those who do not care. This delusion did not keep him from constantly coming to binary conclusions in his everyday life, it simply made it possible for him to disagree. Which he often did. He is, or was, a curmudgeon.

There are those who can ride a horse and those who can’t. You can parse the quality of the horsemanship all you like, but it still amounts to the same. I am one of those who can’t. This is not to say I won’t, as in ‘will never,’ though that is very likely the case now that I have gotten to an age that does not bend as well as I once did, but simply that the opportunities for this particular endeavor of human being are now diminishing.

I say, I once knew a fellow. That is because I do not know him now. This happens. It is not so much forgetfulness as lost faith. You thought you knew someone but you were wrong. It is an important point. There is no omniscience in making distinctions. You are either right or you are wrong. You can load the judgment with preconditions and assumptions, but this does not change the outcome. This is the beauty of the matter. The clarity. The learning. You make your call and then act upon it. If you are correct, you may be pleased if that correct judgment is something you wanted, and if you are not correct but are of an open mind, you may still be pleased because you have discovered something you did not know before and moved from one category to the other—those who know and those who don’t—and this may be called progress, so long as you are of the mind to want to know. There are those who don’t, you understand.

The known universe is made up of countless examples of judgments just like this. I can’t speak of the unknown universe, naturally, (though some do) but of what is known, we can quickly determine the facts by applying this simple rule. And remembering, any good rule is a tool, and a rule that is not, is not a rule at all. And this methodology, which is the basis of all science, art, and good cooking, is actually the same one that has been applied to the marvelous development of computer language.

And this then is key to our moment in history: the secret of the zero and the one.