Computing the Yin in our Yang?

‘Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness’

Anne Frank

I grew up hearing family stories of days of little. Stories which when retold seemed like days of lots. We have a collective nostalgia to ‘bring back the old time days’ or ‘make our countries great again’. Selectively reflecting on the authenticity of the past with scant appreciation for what’s genuine in the present. 

writing-vintage-old-nostalgia-close-up-brand-1380584-pxhere.com

Image Source: Pixhere

This nostalgia doesn’t always reflect poverty, loss, starvation or cruelty.  We delight in memories of what was done together. That which was exchanged, in equal measure. What was given and received. Like a cup of sugar for a pint of milk. A lift from a neighbour for no reason other than you were both headed the same way. The offer of a meal from someone else’s pot. 

The negative (-) and the positive (+), we encounter in our environment affect us.  Doctors in training can suffer from ‘medical school syndrome’. As they learn more and more about a particular disease, they can exhibit symptoms of the disease they intensely study – – -. Alternatively, symptoms may be relieved when given a placebo + + +. Something we think is medicine but is actually just water, maybe some Italian herbs. 

This isn’t helped by the ‘filter bubbles’ we live in that reinforce what we see and influence what we come to believe. For instance, Facebook experimented with the news feeds of hundreds of individuals. They showed them either a low number of positive posts or a low number of negative posts. Those shown more negative posts posted more negative comments – – –  while those shown more positive posts posted more positively + + +.

Born of Taoism/Daoism philosophy in 4th century B.C., Yin and Yang is one way of conceptualising negative and positive. This is entwined in Chinese medicine and cuisine too. Yin is the black side, feminine (+), dark, cold, a pull. Yang is the white side, masculine (-), light, hot, a push. Yin and Yang, are relative to each other. They complement, interconnect. Like water and fire, the moon and the sun, soft and hard, front and back, north and south, valleys and mountains, space and time.

Nothing is completely Yin or completely Yang.

There is Yin within Yin.

There is Yang within Yang.

Yang dwells within Yin.

Yin lives within Yang.

Yin can become Yang.

Yang can become Yin.

So, what are the algorithms for finding the Yin in our Yang? (+ + – = -) (- + – = +)?

Ying_yang_sign

Symbol of Yin and Yang

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

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