‘Why is 1+1 = 2?’

I had a fairly interesting conversation with my partner a couple of days back. It all started with this mathematical question:

1 + 1 = ???

Well, depending on the context it could be either ‘2’ or ’10’ (for those who learned binary would figure out why 1+1 = 10).

Then my partner asked. Why is 1 + 1 = 2?

I stared at him.

His logic is highly interesting in my opinion. Hey, you gotta admit, the education system for the first few years usually involves shoving information down your throat. Thus his analysis totally captured my attention.

Let’s say I have 1 apple and he gives me 1. How many apples do I have? I, as someone who works with numbers (and calculators) fairly often, answered 2. He stared at me and asked why is it 2? I couldn’t answer.

He went on by saying what if the apples are different? What if 1 apple is red and 1 is green? Or 1 is a fuji apple and the other some other kind of apple? Does it still amount to two?

i thought for a few seconds…and still couldn’t come up with a reply.

In his opinion, there are many variables that should be considered. The weight, the size, the circumference, the type, the length of the stem, the shade/color of the apple etc.

Unless the two apples are completely identical…as in clone-like identical, why should the answer be 2?

I simply smiled cause honestly speaking? I’ve never met anyone who has that kind of analytical abilities.

True, he might not be smart academically, but in other areas? He’s a whole lot more intelligent than even some uni students I know.

I couldn’t help but mention though,

Of course, there’re other answers to what 1+1 equals to. We have 11, or like my cousin likes to put it -> window.

At first I didn’t get it…but then I thought…remember how we used to draw windows as a kids? It’s usually a square/rectangle like shape that’s divided into 4 grids? Visualize it in your head and you’ll figure out why I said that.

My partner disagreed though. He reckoned that it should be called ‘tian’ and not window. Cause as adults we should have a better grasp of knowledge and chinese words.

I simply sighed.

Ok, that’s all people! =D


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