I was watching a lecture by physicist Shoshini Ghose on the new science of quantum computing, based on quantum physics. As she explained, quantum computing is altogether different from current computing technology based on combinations of binary “bits”….zeros or ones. In quantum computing a “quantum bit” has a more fluid, nonbinary identity. It can exist in a superposition, or a combination of zero and one, with some probability of being zero and some probability of being one. In other words, its identity is on a spectrum. For example, it could have a 70 percent chance of being zero and 30 percent chance of being one or 80-20 or 60-40. The possibilities are almost endless. The key idea here is that we have to give up on precise values of zero and one and allow for some uncertainty. Dr. Ghose observed that a quantum computer creates fluid combinations in a quantum “bit” that cannot be predicted and, in the end, can move back to a position of zero or one from its mysterious and ever changing superposition…. like mixing two fluids, then unmixing them. It offers tremendous advantages for computer and internet security applications, maintaining the integrity of transactions and eliminating the risk of hacking. Her diagram of the simplicity of the quantum “spectrum” registered in my spirit with something I have been using to visualize the issue of gender identity in dealing with some individuals who have gender identity confusion. The binary system (male/female) that we have historically used was based on simple observable biological features (and more recently on genetic markers for the same), as well as stereotypical assumptions about body typology and social behavior/roles and gender identification with same-gender parents by their children. Recently, some government entities have added a new gender designation “X” (or “Other”) to the historical birth certificate designations of “male” and “female”, acquiescing to the liberal cultural demand to be free of such “either/or” designations in favor of the more individualistic preference to be whatever one chooses to be. It remains to be seen if such individualized self-proclaimed gender statuses will be a temporary “fad” that will die out in 10-20 years or the beginning of a new standard for self-identity that transcends, and even dismisses, biology and genetics altogether. But, as in “quantum bits”, you can mix it anyway you choose, but in the end it’ll fall out one way or the- as zero or one – XX or XY. Unless genetic mutations create something other than XX or XY. I think, however, the broad, variable biodiverse spectrum that exists between the most extreme expressions of what is deemed “feminine” and the most extreme expressions of what is deemed “masculine” have always been around and will always be around. And the extremes themselves have always been more the exception than the rule.