## The Tango of Zero: Introduction

*20th January 2010*

- Equals what?
- Where It All Began
- That quote - a re-interpretation
- Now the warning

- For more information

### Equals what?

*"The inner walls of the warehouse were covered with numbers. Equations as complex as a neural network had been scraped into the frost. At some point in the calculations the mathematician had changed from using numbers to letters and then letters themselves hadn't been sufficient; brackets like cages enclosed expressions which were to normal mathematics what a city is to a map. *

They got simpler as the goal neared - simpler, yet containing n their flowing lines of their simplicity a Spartan and wonderful complexity

The equations narrowed as they were carried on down the wall and across the floor, until they became just a few expressions that appeared to move and sparkle with a life of their own. This was maths without numbers, pure as lightning.

They narrowed to a point and at that point was the very simple symbol '='

*'Equals what?' said Cuddy."*

---

*"I'd just like to know something. What happened? You did all that maths, all that counting?"
"I...dunno. I saw it all."
"All what?"
"Just all of it everything. All the numbers in the world. I could count them all."*

~ Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett

### Where It All Began

Originally The Tango of Zero was going to be the last chapter of the Ghost Guide to Tango. However it's grown considerably and so it now makes sense for it to exist as a separate Guide.

It's worth noting though, that really the two are interconnected. More like Book 1 and Book 2 in a series, rather than two completely separate entities.

I realised as I was learning tango that I was collecting piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes a teacher would explain how this piece fitted with this piece.

However I had two big problems. If you buy a jigsaw puzzle, you get all the pieces! I was collecting them one by one. Also if you buy a jigsaw, you get a picture of what it looks like when it's completed. I didn't get one of those.

In fact I actually asked a teacher for a private lesson where they didn't need to teach me anything, but would they give me an overview of tango - what did the picture on the box actually look like? Unfortunately they wouldn't, though they did show me a corner piece and how some of my pieces fitted in to it.

### That quote - a re-interpretation

Here's a re-interpretation of the above Terry Pratchet quotes.

*"The floor of the milonga was covered with movement. Sequences as complex as a neural network had been scraped into the dust. At some point in the dance the dancers had changed from using sequences to movements and then movements themselves hadn't been sufficient; musicality like cages enclosed steps which were to normal tango what a city is to a map. *

They got simpler as the goal neared - simpler, yet containing in their flowing lines of their simplicity a spartan and wonderful complexity

The steps narrowed as they were carried on across the floor, until they became just a few motions that appeared to move and sparkle with a life of their own. This was tango without steps, pure as lightning.

They narrowed to a point and at that point was the very simple symbol '='

'Equals what?' said Cuddy."

---

*"I'd just like to know something. What happened? You did all that tango, all that dancing?"
"I...dunno. I saw it all."
"All what?"
"Just all of it everything. All the tango in the world. I could see it all."*

The trick now is understanding and explaining how to do this.

### Now the warning

"*Now** the warning?"* ~ Death Becomes Her

This is my interpretation and thoughts, mainly because no-one else is doing it! What I've written is not necessarily right, or may only be right for a certain value of "right". There are however no "lies to children" - this is the complete story as far as I understand it.

As always, try this stuff out for yourself, go and ask you teachers and so forth.

*"When I wrote the 1st edition I thought I was right. On writing the second edition I now know I'm right."* ~ Michael Gelb

Remember, this is the 1st edition...

If you have any thoughts, comments, or critiques, let me know.

- Christopher O'Shea, 20th January 2010