Following this theme, our logo is also shaped like a square. The style of the square comes from the I Ching (易经), or “Book of Changes”. We now provide some historical background about this text.
The I Ching is the oldest of the Chinese classics, dating back to 1000 BC. Originally it was used as an oracle by kings to predict the future. Over time, it became a general guide for moral decision making, used to organize governments, root out corruption, and provide the foundations of Confucianism, Taoism, and Tai Chi.
The core of the I Ching lies in its system of hexagrams, which consists of six horizontal bars stacked together, each of which can be either open (Yin) or closed (Yang). By varying the pattern of open and closed, sixty-four different hexagrams can be created, as illustrated below in their original ordering. Each hexagram is associated with a different phenomenon, such as #46: 升 (Pushing Upward / Ascending), or #7: 师 (The Army / Leading).
During the Song dynasty, a philosopher named Shao Yong (邵雍, 1011–1077 AD) provided a novel reordering of these hexagrams, shown as follows:
Another figure in Chinese history, King Wen of Zhou (周文王, 1099–1050 BC), observed that by flipping a hexagram upside down, we can generate another hexagram that is referred to as its dual. Consequently, by drawing vertical strikes rather than horizontal ones, King Wen compressed 64 hexagrams into 32 dualities.
The duality we chose for our logo is the following:
Character: 革 (gé) = revolution
Binary Index: 101110 = 2^0 + 2^2 + 2^3 + 2^4 = 29
Etymology: Picture of a dead animal’s skin being flayed from its hide.
Interpretation: “Abolishing the Old.”
Character: 鼎 (dǐng) = cauldron
Binary Index: 011101 = 2^1 + 2^2 + 2^3 + 2^5 = 46
Etymology: Picture of an ancient cooking vessel.
Interpretation: “Establishing the New.”
Putting the hexagrams together, this is the message embedded within: to abolish the old and establish the new.
All people search for constants to rely on, only to eventually discover that there are none. In both the East and the West, our ancestors knew this, and advised their posterity to embrace uncertainty and explore the unknown.
Accept disruption as a necessity for the betterment of humanity. Do not fear breaking away from convention, as the will to break away is the catalyst of all progress. Let us free ourselves from pre-existing notions about how workforces should be structured, about which nations and peoples are worth being of service to, and about what others say we can or cannot do. This is the underlying ideal of QED, to fearlessly embrace the cycle of disruption that springs forth all innovation, and which provides optimism toward a future more livable for all people.
– William Wu, 2016-06-25