American in Spain

Two Bits

November 3, 2008

What do you think of when you see the words "two bits"? Is that 25¢ or half of a nibble? To me, a computer geek in the early 21st century (no quantum computing yet), two bits means the latter: half a nibble, a quarter of a byte. Two binary values, 0 or 1. Combined possible values: 00, 01, 10, or 11. Information. Two important bits of information are scheduled to become known this week, and I'm so anxious to know the outcome of both. One could affect billions of people and be the primary event from this half century that 23rd century school kids learn about. The other might, too, but I'm not going to set the bar that high. One is, in theory, not yet decided and could go either way. And the other, depending on your interpretation of knowledge and the universe, is already decided and waiting to be observed.

I am, of course, referring to the US Presidential election and the sex of my first child. I only have a preference for one of the two bits. Feel free to prognosticate in the comments.