What’s your favorite number? Autistic author Naoki Higashida provides a beautiful answer


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In an interview with Time Magazine, Japanese author Naoki Higashida reveals his favorite number. His answer is both complex and beautiful:

I’ve never really thought about my favorite, but if pushed, my answer would be 3. The number 1 is the most important. It feels like proof that something is there. Then again, zero is the most amazing discovery. The concept of nothingness is proof of human civilization. After 1 comes 2 in order of importance. The number 2 lets us divide things and put numbers in order. These three numbers (0, 1 and 2) would have been sufficient. As a number, 3 is enchanting. It was created even though it wasn’t needed. Perhaps it was born out of creativity?

Digits transcend each other. Like words, each one fits into the fabric of a larger numerical system.

People often recite the number 108 as the most beautiful number because it’s “simultaneously One, emptiness, and infinite.

The whole is a sum of its parts. What’s your favorite number?



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4 thoughts on “What’s your favorite number? Autistic author Naoki Higashida provides a beautiful answer”

  1. This is a wonderful and creative answer to a question most people would give little thought to. 3 is the number in my family (not counting the dog). And I love them a lot. But, overall I find 3 to be unbalanced. There’s always an odd man out. 1 is next to 2 and 2 is next to three, and if 1 and 3 get together 2 is left out. I’m going with 4. Mostly because one of those carnival machines at Disneyland when I was a kid spit out a card that said my lucky number is 4. So, I believe it. And it looks like a triangle trying to remember where it ends and where it begins. Fun post!

    1. Lovely comment, thank you. Growing up in the Michael Jordan era it’s impossible to resist the number 23. The number 3 seems to be the hallmark number for sets of anything we do in life from exercise sets to homework sessions. I might just have to go with 13, because the rebel in me always wants to go against what’s unpopular.

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