Computer Science Joke

My sister was watching one of her favorite television shows, Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS for short. During one of the episodes a camera panned to a poster on a back wall that contained this quote. She thought of me, paused the episode, and called me into the room. She then rewound the episode and told me to watch.  Right before the sign was about to appear she yelled “watch, watch, watch!” Then the quote appeared on the screen. “There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those who don’t.”  As soon as I saw the quote I started laughing. She then asked me to explain what it meant because she didn’t understand the joke. I then explained that 10 in binary means two. Thus the quote reads, “There are two types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those who don’t.”  This translation makes sense everyone. The humor of the joke comes from the fact that people who don’t understand binary won’t be able to understand the joke.

My sister is a political science and economics major. She plays water polo and is a member of many “fandoms”. A “fandom” is a group of people who follow, generally, a television show or a novel. Some of the fandoms that she belongs to follow shows such as Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service(NCIS). The group develops terminology that is only understood by other members of the group. For example, many fandoms “ship” certain characters. This means that the members of the fandom or just fans of the show want two characters to become a couple.

I thought it was thoughtful of her to pass on this saying to me even though she didn’t fully understand it.