From our teens onwards, it often feels like we’re defining ourselves against the world around us. We’re musical or nerdy or a jock, but never all three; we’re 'not like other girls'; we think that in order to be ourselves we have to be different from something else. We create a binary identity, and draw a line between us and everyone else.
Over time these lines can blur; we might realise that we like playing sport and reading books, or that you can be smart and strong and still love shopping. Or sometimes people are just inherently different, and there isn't any point where their interests cross over.
We often think about binary as meaning two separate things – black and white, arts and sciences, liberal or conservative – but the concept of binary is based on two parts making one whole. Binary itself is a code that needs two characters to communicate, a stream of 1s and 0s that make up a whole language. The two sides of a binary may be as different as can be, but they’re connected and dependent; you can’t have night without the day. Our differences help us to better understand ourselves.
Antithesis in 2018 is all about 'binary', and whatever that means to you. It might be academic or emotional; suggestive of political struggle, of gender identity, or even just of old-school computers and vintage sci-fi. Whatever binary makes you think of, we want to know.
Comment, email, or apply for our committee and tell us the good, the bad and the unusual about 'binary'.
Image by Mark Round. Used with permission.