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

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?

Image via Celeste Ng

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Published by Wells Baum

A daily blogger who connects the dots between arts and life.

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  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.

  2. 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!

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