My favorite number is phi (pronounced fee or sometimes fye.) Mark was asking me what's so special about this number... or any number for that matter. I started thinking about how to answer that and I ended up with a deeper appreciation for all numbers in general. Maybe what makes phi special is easier to understand if I explain what makes 1 special, because 1 is an easy number to think about, where phi is an irrational number with very strange relationships with other numbers (kind of like pi.) 1 is such a simple integer, but it separates nothing from something, it defines the value of all "things," counting cannot happen without adding 1 to the previous number, and in a sense, 1 is the beginning of abstract thought. It is the first symbol of human problem solving, literally. This makes 1 crucial, yet it is super simple. Phi on the other hand is not simple. Books have been written about it. Lifetimes have been dedicated to understanding it, or finding its value to some record decimal place, and it is literally beautiful. Fraction approximations of phi are the proportions that Di Vinci used in his famous sketch "Vitruvian Man."

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