These 8 trigrams are the building blocks of 64 hexagrams that display every possible combination of these lines. It was the first of these sequences that led the 17th century father of calculus, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to discover the functioning of the binary system. A Jesuit priest, who was based in China, showed the configuration to Leibniz, who investigated further and discovered that if the value of 0 were attributed to each solid line, and the value of 1 to each broken line, it would give the binary notation for the numbers 0 through to 63. The uncovering of the binary code allowed Leibniz to change the path of mathematics for all time. The I Ching is therefore the earliest known example of binary notation, this being the smallest complete arithmetic number system as well as the language that enables computers to work.
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- Symbols of Chinese Cardinal Directions
- In Chinese divination philosophy, the tortoise is the foundation of the cycle of creation – birth, life, death and rebirth