What is NULL?

Recently I was asked by a co-worker to define relational database terms in a glossary. I cheekily wrote of NULL:

What is NULL? It is nothing. But nothing must be something, otherwise it would not have a name. But perhaps nothing is nothing but an empty abstraction of the mind, devoid of any material reality. But this proposition must imply that nothing came from something, namely our minds, which happen to have a material basis, namely our brain. If nothing is a result of something and that causal something has a basis in material reality than ergo nothing has a material basis as well. Ask yourself, is not the nothing of outer space, or the gaps between atomic particles, constitutive of the universe and all of material reality? To be is to be perceived. We see nothing everywhere; it is pervasive amongst the other somethings. NULL is not nothing, but a mere signifier or pointer to another reality in which nothing really does not exist.

My co-worker was amused, as they ought to be. Such philosophical speculation only has value for amusement.


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