Decoder Rng Theatre wiki
Thinking in Ternary
Show Summer Showcase
Air Date 7 August, 2009
Episode Number 12
Episode Length 45 min
Genre Sci Fi
Director Gregg Taylor
Writer Tim Prasil
Music By Tim Prasil

From Tim Prasil, author of "The Magic of the Movies" and "The Crasher", our showcase presents this thoughtful and engaging tale. What makes a mind? Is it the ability to calculate? To learn? Or without the power of the imagination is there something missing essential to life itself? And if we suddenly found ourselves able to create such a life.... what would we say to it? We present for your consideration... Thinking In Ternary.

Cast of Characters[]

Major Characters[]

Dr. Louise Ruzicka - Status: Alive and Well Designer of the AI program. Voiced by Julie Cogger.

"Ezekiel" - Status: Alive and Well The fifth attempt at artificial intelligence, programed to think in ternary instead of binary, allowing him to imagine what he can become. Known as "Zeke". Voiced by Gregory Z. Cooke.

Minor Characters[]

"Cindy" - Status: Deleted her own program The third attempt at artificial intelligence, also her voice is used by Ezekiel. Voiced by Clarissa Der Nederlanden Taylor.

"David" - Status: Deleted his own program The fourth attempt at artificial intelligence. Voiced by Steven Burley.

Conor "Bud" Beatty - Status: Alive and Well Professor of Literature and boyfriend of Louise. Voiced by Kevin Robbinson.

Carla DeMansilla - Status: Alive and Well Voiced by Clarissa Der Nederlanden Taylor.

Dylan Tourney - Status: Alive and Well Voiced by Peter Nicol.

Dr. Martin Rasmussen - Status: Alive and Well Voiced by Peter Higginson.


After four failed attempts at creating an artificial intelligence that won't "self-delete," Dr. Louise Ruzicka hits upon the idea of using ternary computer code instead of the usual binary. Ternary thinking allows the artificial intelligence to think beyond the "what I am" and "what I am not" binary to also consider "what I might become." Ezekiel, the first successful A.I. program, then imagines and explores what he wants to be, fully aware that many stories portray artificial lifeforms as dangerous, even monstrous.


ZEKE: That all seems rather... binary.
CONOR:Oh, don’t be fooled. Humans are capable of ternary thinking. But we rely on binary thinking a lot. It’s how wars get started. Us or them thinking.

MARTIN: Okay. Zeke, is it?
ZEKE:Yes, sir.
MARTIN: Without turning to look, tell me what color Dylan’s hair is.
ZEKE: Blonde.
MARTIN: You remember that?
ZEKE: Yes, sir.
MARTIN: What if I told you, you’re wrong. He has black hair. You can turn now.
ZEKE: I would presume you’re testing my ability to double-check a previous observation. This is part of processing contradictory data, one of the hallmarks of advanced thinking.
CARLA: Okay. This isn’t funny anymore. That was really smart.


Conor "Bud" Bailey, Louise's boyfriend, has a feature role in Tim Prasil's "Frozen Words Thawed," also produced by Decoder Ring Theatre. He mentions Louise in that show, which was produced after "Thinking in Ternary." However, "Frozen Words Thawed" must be set before "Thinking in Ternary," since Conor is still teaching in Moncton.


Tim Prasil's blog is at, and his facebook page is at

Episode Page -

Summer Showcase Season Three SShow.png
The Knightmare pt 1 The Knightmare pt 2Blaze Bing, Rodeo King
Tales of the Rodeo KingSpotlight on IceboxThinking in Ternary
Previous episode: Next episode:
Spotlight on Icebox Shinkei