Thursday, November 18, 2010

Digitism (Worldbuilding)

I've been on a quest for modern gods. First with the Virtue project (Lord Uertu stuff on this very blog) and before that I had other ideas that never made their way outside of a writing journal (things based on colors, an old fashioned goddess of creation).

Often my idea isn't to create something that would be useful, simply something that is memorable. If it is only memorable to me, so be it. What I consider memorable though, is likely my main problem. This is not the focus of this post though.

My most recent idea is to create modern gods. I know this has been done before, so originality is not a goal that is set on my plate (thank all that is good). So that requires thinking about what makes a 'god', and why we make them. It seems that gods have likely always served one primary purpose, the purpose of every supernatural, to explain things that cannot be explained. When lightning was still a frightening and terrible thing, there must have been something that set it upon the world, and it had to have a purpose. As people realize that is not the case, guys like Zeus, Odin or Raijin, don't really have the same flare that they used to (sorry guys. Especially you Raijin, love the drums).

Man has now learned so much, only to realize there is still so much we do not know. The things that relate to our lives though, our everyday, it all makes sense to us. To most of us, it makes sense scientifically (even if we don't know the highest details). I am no longer afraid that a demon is going to come sit on my chest, I may have sleep paralysis though, lightning is now a facet of nature and mermaids are just the drunken ramblings of seamen.

So why make gods now? If I was going to make an excuse for my behavior, I'd say it is just for my own entertainment. If I was going to be completely truthful, I'd say it is out of a vain hope to strike gold, to implant my own piece of truth and reality into another human being. Instead I'll say that we could use it. Not in the way that we need some sense of morals, but I like having things to believe in, and what better to believe in then reality?

I'll go over what brought me to these concepts on another day, but in the meantime, I figure I should look at some of these 'Gods'. I call this digitism (in defiance of Internetology and things with the same name) because of numbers. My main goal has been to align the numbers, things that are inherently true, with other things that we consider reality now in the present (though not necessarily also true). The goal is to avoid directly relating to one culture, gender, people. They should be about our planet in general, in a way that they could be seen in many different ways (and I will give some of my mental pictures as I go I guess). These gods would and do have purviews (things that they relate to, control), but I have to work those out for a lot of them.

0 - Cheating its way to the first slot is 0. The troublesome one. Related to nothingness, oblivion, destruction (though maybe not death). 0 is the first number, but did not come first. 0 adds nothing to the world, 0 always takes away or leaves things as they are, or completely invalidates. As a character, 0 is the jealous sibling, the grand force that puts itself at the head, yet is often overlooked. In appearance, I see very little 'appearance' at all, cloaks of black and white, or possibly melding into whatever surrounding is there (take all or take nothing). Around 0, things decay, fall away.

1 - Originally imagined as the godhead, 1 is still the prime. 1 is the start, the beginning, the alpha. When we have a thing, we have 1, when we have many things, they still came from 1. 1 is truth and 1 is greatness, because when you put something with 1 you gain that same thing back. In character, 1 and 0 are the siblings (though 0-9 are all 'related' in their position), because they are both first. They share this position, but 1 truly holds the position, while 0 holds it on technicality. 1 is of course, the loneliest number, and I see it as proud and arrogant (we are number 1). In appearance 1 should show its pride, but not flaunt it. It does not need to scream that it is the first, everyone knows it, respects it.

2 - The companion. Originally imagined as the wife, it is instead simply the 2nd, the helper, the assistant. It is also the first in line that truly helps things grow, so for that it is the multiplier. While 0 and 1 remain stagnant, 2 creates. Even if something is made up of 0s and 1s, it must have at least 2 numbers there to mean something more. Marriage, dating, sex, conversation, blending, the things that start with at least 2 things, are 2's to control. They are also often things of creation. In character, 2 is warm, often inviting, yet still divided. Unlike the siblings, 2 is less unified, and represents the basic aspect of being divided through subtle hints toward the hostility between two people.

3 - Once there was three, there was a conspiracy. 3 is the outsider, the one that holds things up from outside the spotlight. 3 contains vital things, like Pi, but at once is unwilling to divulge everything. Jealousy is 3's purview, moreso than 0. As is the circle and triangle, important shapes that also give 3 control of math. In character, 3 is a thinker, and a sneak. It knows much more than it lets on, and always has something more to add if it could only be pressed.

5 - The number of (hu)man. Though man is defined by all the first ten in some fashion, man belongs to 5. Our hands and feet that make us industrious are from 5, and so 5 is the number of industry. In character, 5 is devoted to humans (though not necessarily humanity) and other mammals. It is a builder, a factory worker, a crafter. In appearance it looks like the hard work it does, often in work clothes of heavy apron or hardhat.

That's all for now. Some basic ideas I shot up in the last few hours. Though other ideas gained from friends: more digits dilutes divine-ness. So two digits are demigods, and three may simply be supernatural creatures. The digits within a person shows its relation (ex. 10 is the offspring of the siblings). Oh well, later folks.


  1. I like it! very interesting, I'd love to read about the other numbers!

  2. Math Gods, cool, from the most basic logic we get unprovable beings. Also throw in humorous comment about seamen.