by Breck Yunits

May 11, 2024 โ€” That charts work at all is amazing.

Forty years.

One-billion heart beats.

Four-quadrillion cells.

Eight-hundred-eighty-octillion ATP molecules.

Compressed to two marks on a surface.


You put marks on a surface to stimulate your visual system as if you were looking at real things.

When you look at real things you don't need marks.

Look at your two feet right now.

You can compare and contrast and model directly.


But what if you want to compare your feet now to your feet decades ago?

It is impossible to fly through time and compare directly.

It is impossible to press a button and materialize a hologram of your infant self.

But you can use marks.


What if you want to compare your feet to the feet of hundreds of others?

It is impossible to pause time and fly across space to do it.

It is impractical to herd everyone together to do it.

But you can use marks.


Marks stimulate our retinal cells and visual pipelines like real things.

This is amazing.

Marks make science possible.

They allow us to compare and contrast and model infinite things across space and time.


Even binary depends on marks.

Binary delivers precision:

00000100 00001011

But for meaning, it takes marks.


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