The Binary System

Posted: 2 June, 2015 in Rants
Tags: , , , , , ,

For about six years now I’ve been sharing an idea. For most of that time I thought it was something silly, something insignificant, a somewhat humorous bit to share with new groups of friends when you can’t figure out where to go next with the conversation.

But over the past year or so, I’ve heard other people discussing and using this idea. People I did not share it with, people who live far away, in other cities, in other states. And when I ask them about where they heard about it I found it usually traced back to me. Of course, whenever I hear someone saying this, it makes me smile and gives a small boost to my ego.

However, the truth is I can’t take credit for the idea. I only added to it, modified it a bid, and did my best to share it with the world.

Like most all great ideas, it all started in a bar and to be honest I can’t remember who exactly said it first.

Addison, Texas is a not quite suburb of Dallas, resting just above the northern most edge of the city, hugging the curve of the LBJ. On Monday nights, if you ride Midway under the monstrous growing overpass, each of its pillars engraved with the Lone Star of Texas, you will arrive at an English style pub called the Londoner and, so long as it isn’t raining, you’ll find the same four people at the front of the patio enjoying two dollar pints of Shiner.

One particular summer night, we were arguing about the attractiveness of some of our fellow patrons.

The problem was none of us could agree on which of our fellow drinkers were 10s or 8s or 5s or whatever. Furthermore we couldn’t even all agree on any one individual being more attractive than any other individual.  Much of this could be chocked up to taste. Some people have a type, dark hair or fair, curves or heroin chic. Aesthetic is subjective in nature, but that wasn’t the whole of the problem. People couldn’t even seem to settle on what the scale meant.

—I only go home with eights or better, said one

—Bullshit, said another —I’ve seen you hit a six for sure.

—that doesn’t even make sense, said a third, —Five is the middle. Literally anyone above a five is someone attractive enough to sleep with. The rest is degrees of ugliness or hotness.

—then it’s a sliding scale relative to the individual? I ask —someone’s four is someone else’s six? Or is it a curve? Like, of all six billion people on the planet they must be evenly distributed between one and ten? Then someone’s attractiveness is still relative, not to the observer but the every other living person.

It was quite the conundrum. With all our combined years of social indoctrination, training us to reduce our fellow humans’ value to a digit, we couldn’t even decide what the scale was, much less, where others fell on it.

I’m not sure which, but it was one of these four who first said.

—It pretty much comes down to a binary system.

With those words my entire way of superficially judging strangers changed forever.

This is what he meant.

Binary a system of ones and zeros. The basis of all computer programming and more importantly, Morse code.

In our case, a one or zero represents an answer.

Yes or no.

A brutally honest method of getting to what is most important (at least to people in bars): Based strictly on an aesthetic basis would you or wouldn’t you fuck said individual.

Because it doesn’t matter if they’re a 9 or an 8 if you’d fuck a 6, now does it?

Aside from settling arguments in pubs, the Binary System actually solves a number of first world problems.

For one, it eliminates that false sense of comparative beauty.

Don’t know what I mean? Sure you do.

Beyoncé or Christina Hendricks?

Exactly, it’s not a fair choice.

You can’t compare them and even if you did it would really come down to personal preference.

No more of that cruel cattiness that plagues incestuous social circles. No more which is the prettier one (It’s Illana! Fuck yourself! You know I’m right! JK, trick question, they’re both 1’s). No more ranking people like they’re draft picks (it’s a sports thing look it up) because it doesn’t matter.

In fact, the Binary System eliminates most of that beautiful people bullshit. Once you achieve binary enlightenment, a beautiful truth emerges. If you have ever been laid then you are a one.

Dawww I wish I was like [insert topical Hollywood/pop star(let)]. No! You don’t! Those people can’t even go to a They Might be Giants Concert without a body guard. Do you seriously want to give up going to Concerts? You are a one! Learn contentment in your oneness. Being a one puts you in the same league as Brad Pitt (even Snatch Brad Pitt, aka best Brad Pitt) or JLaw or the that one chick from Sleater-Kinney (see what I did there?).

Yeah, there’s some room for, shall we call it “liquid interference”, but I say that really just helps you understand the truth of the signal.

The Binary System takes some of the power out of the mainstream standards of beauty. You only have to be pretty enough to fuck, after that it’s all personal choice.

Oh, so I don’t need to be a perfectly chiselled Adonis. Even with a beer belly, I’m still a one.

You, want me to do what with my pubic hair? No way! and I don’t give a shit, cause I’m still a one.

Most importantly the Binary System forces us to admit the truth of the matter; we humans have pretty low standards.

Everyone is someone’s 1.

So, Dirty Old Man, I hear you say, what about personality? cause that counts for a lot right?

Right. Good point.

And shut the fuck up that’s not the issue we’re addressing.

This isn’t a method of settling on a lifelong relationship or deciding whether you should leave your husband and the get the pain over with now or start cheating and try and keep it together for the kids.

This is for people making quick, potentially dangerous choices before the bar closes. This is for people walking into a room and getting the hard part over with fast so they can enjoy their drinking. This is for making yourself feel better when you wake up and shake your head at yourself, so you can say

—hey at least they were a 1,

and take your long, beautiful walk of not-shame home to a happier life.

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