Circumstances required that I table HEX for some time, but I am happy to report that I am back on track after an extended hiatus. HEX is an anonymous forum concept that strives to combine: place, time, and color in an elegant and new way. Explaining the vision for this product is exceedingly difficult because much of what will be needed is not fully sketched out in my brain let alone on paper.
The core of the idea is to construct a seamless, permanent, and labyrinthian network of forums that use color as identity. This is the central conceit from which all of the other creative ideas flow forth from. What on earth does this mean though?
Hex stands for Hexadecimal, which is just a number system different from the one you are probably familiar with, the decimal system ( 0.001 1,000.00 etc. ). The hexadecimal system uses many more "numerals," so when our good old decimal system basically has ten, it has 256. Computers rely on hexadecimal notation for many reasons, one is because they provide more granularity - computers like to be precise.
One of the many places computers use hexadecimal notation is in defining colors. There is a color system inside your computer that knows that:
- #ffffff = White
- #000000 = Black
- #FF0000 = Red
What is really going on here is that there are three pairs of hexadecimal numerals comprising each hex code:
- FF & 00 & 00
Knowing this we can quickly calculate how many possible hex codes there are. Meaning, we can easily calculate that:
- 256 x 256 x 256 = 16,777,216
Basically, there 16.7M hex codes. Which tells us that, at least in the hex color system, there are 16.7M colors. But so what, I thought we were building a sprawling network of forums.
Key Space (Cryptography)
In cryptography, an algorithm's key space refers to the set of all possible permutations of a key.
As explained earlier, the whole product hinges on the idea of color as identity. We want a softer layer of identity than what is available today. We don't want a table of usernames and passwords, what's more is that we want as little oversight of identity as possible. Well, this means we need to calibrate the bits to a certain level.
How to choose the size of this key space? Simply choose the uibiquitous hex color code and allow its constraints to be determine the key space. This is the correct decision because:
- Color Hex is ubiquitous across computers and networks (it is everywhere, no exception)
- Color Hex is intuitive; it's just 16.7M colors as we humans know them
- Color Hex happens to be big but not 2nd-half-of-the-chessboard big; 16.7M perfectly constrains it from ever being viable at global scale (something we want to avoid)
- Color Hex is elegant; emergent solutions always conquer chosen solutions eventually