Nothing = Nonsense

Do you know what I realised a while back? I realised there is no such thing as ‘nothing’. And yet, why do we have a word to describe such a concept?

The MacMillan dictionary describes it as such:
– not anything as in its ‘not a thing’ or ‘no thing’, no matter
– nothingness: the complete lack of existence, life, or any quality/empty space
– zero

What do I understand as nothing? An empty space, a blank page, a vacuum, a dark hole.

I remember way back when I was in primary school and in mathematics class we had this whole discussion of what is nothing/zero. Some pupils and their parents were adamant that 0 + 0 = 1

If we follow their logic it means that those two zeros aren’t really nothing but something.

When I think about that debate it reminds me of George Orwell’s classic “Nineteen eighty four” (BIG SPOILER ALERT). When the hero of the story meets Big Brother the latter try to convince him that 2 + 2 = 5 

These two events may seem absurd at first, but what if they are right?

In school we were taught to accept these things as the truth. But when I went to university we were taught to question everything. But why is it so? (That’s one thing that still bothers me about the school system – we were not given time or the option to question things).

What do I understand as a vacuum? According to the MacMillan dictionary it is a physical term which describes “a space that has had all the air and any other gases removed from it.”

In science, there is no such thing as nothing. Physicists even argue that there is still something in a vacuum. There will still be forces acting in on it such as gravity, forces that can be measured.

If you can define it, that means it has properties, and if it has properties it is something – (

If you look around you it seems like there is empty space, but there is still atoms and bacteria floating around – things so small it cannot be perceived by the naked eye.

99.999% of every atom is itself made up of empty space. (

If you could eliminate all matter, you will still be left with something. This is where the Higgs Boson comes in.

Even if we use it in a social context, it is always something.

Whenever a man asks a woman if something is wrong and she replies “nothing” don’t let that fool you! There is always something that he did wrong or shouldn’t have said.

Go look in the dictionary, all the phrases we use with the word “nothing” in it always implies something. For example:

  • “nothing doing” used for refusing a request or saying that something is not possible
  • “there’s nothing in it” used when you are saying that something is not true
  • “nothing of the kind/sort” used for emphasizing that you disagree with someone’s statement, or that you refuse to let someone do something

How can you disagree with something that does not exist?

According to the Greek logician Thales, there can only be nothing if there is no one there to contemplate it. 

It’s the same with the dilemma: if a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If no one is there to hear it fall does it mean it didn’t fall?

I think it is nonsense that we have a word that describes a thing that supposedly doesn’t even exist.




About dada4nonsense

I am a 30-year-old (23 at heart) who loves anything nonsensical

Posted on November 5, 2016, in Notes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Nothing = Nonsense.

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