The Truth About 25: The FAQ 2017-09-24T22:24:10+00:00

What is the Baby Using?

The following is a compendium of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers regarding what is being hailed as The 25 Phenomenon by researchers. For those requiring an introduction to this new advancement in world knowledge, we would refer you to the original video.

Q: What is the baby using?

A: The baby is using 25.

Q: Is this true for all babies?

A: Yes.

Q: Are you kidding? My baby doesn’t use 25.

A: Yes. Yes, it does.

Q: I have never witnessed my baby using 25. How do we know this is the case?

A: Babies use 25 universally. Even in societies where the usage of 25 has been demonized or even banned, babies will surreptitiously use 25 when not being watched.

Q: You’re freaking me out here. If my baby is using 25, how do I know that 25 is safe?

A: There are no documented cases of babies being injured during their use of 25. Any reports to the contrary, once properly investigated, have turned out to be rumors.

Q: What if there are five babies in a room, let’s say. Are they each using 5 then?

A: No. Babies will collectively use 25. The 25 cannot be broken down into pieces lower than 25.

Q: So the five babies aren’t using 125?

A: No. Because they collectively use 25, there is only the one 25 in use at a time.

Q: What did babies use before 25?

A: Babies knew about 25 and used it even before 25 was in wide use as a number on its own. There has always been 25 and babies have always used it.

Q: Why aren’t babies using 42?

A: The prevailing theory is that for unknown evolutionary reasons, babies have developed the usage of 25. There are theories that there were different species of competing babies that lived in Northern Europe around 300,000 years ago that might have developed the usage of other numbers, but as to what these numbers were, there is no scientific consensus as of yet.

Q: Have we noticed the usage of 25 in non-human babies?

A: There are rumors that primate researchers such as Jane Goodall have noticed the usage of numbers other than 25 in non-human babies, but there simply has not been enough research to be able to say that conclusively that, for example, “17” is a universal answer to “What’s the baby chimpanzee using?” despite an article in the October 2005 issue of Nature that put forward this as a solid fact.

Q: Do Spanish babies use 25 as well? Or do they use veinticinco?

A: 25 is outside the realm of language. Knowledge of 25 and its usage are hardwired into the brain. Therefore, they may call it using any language that they learn, but even before they know it as “twenty-five” or “veinticinco” or anything else–they are indeed using it.

Q: Did babies during the Roman Empire use XXV?

A: Archaeologists have not found any Roman cell phone kiosks thus far, so there has been no evidence. It would stand to reason that this is true, however.

Q: Is my teenager or pre-teen using 25?

A: No. Even if they think they are, they are not. Babies use 25. At what age the knowledge of how to use 25 is lost is currently under debate. In many cases teenagers have been known to use 52 in a mirror and pretend it’s 25, but it’s not the same. It never is.

Added 8/23: Q: Is there a connection between Area 52 and Alien babies using 25?

A: I’m quite certain we don’t understand the question, sir. But do please remain where you are. We are sending some people to your location to get clarification.

Q: Is there any numerological basis for the usage of 25 by babies?

A: Internationally renowned numerologist Prof. Naegele puts forward the following: if you convert the letters to their order in the alphabet, like this:

b a b y
2 1 2 25

Then the following is true: (b+a-b) * y = 25

Added 9/2: Q: Is there really going to be a “What’s the Baby Using?” movie?

A: Yes. At the moment, M. Night Shyamalan is attached and the twist ending is that the baby is using 2.5 instead of 25. Of course, the baby will be played by Shyamalan himself. So.

Added 9/7: Q: What do Cthulhu babies use? The square root of negative twenty-five?

A: It should be noted that Cthulhoid creatures are largely the stuff of the legend. That being said, any researchers who have attempted to investigate them from a 25ology standpoint have either disappeared or gone mad.

Added 9/28:: Q: I’m a Christian, and was wondering if there’s any scriptural basis for believing in the baby using 25.

A: Well, science shows without a doubt that the baby uses 25. So you can believe whatever you wish. But if you must back it up with scripture, Prof. Schmidt, a theologian points out that Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. And if that wasn’t enough, ChurchFun points out that the scripture backs it up thusly:

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” -Matthew 11:25.

25: bringing science and religion together in harmony.

Do you have a question about 25? Ask us at 25 at need coffee dot com and we’ll answer if we can. Check back often for updates, as 25ology is a new field and subject to late breaking news.

19 Comments

  1. Russ Rogers September 6, 2008 at 2:24 am

    The more time that’s invested in a pointless activity, the more importance it seems to convey. This is the logic (if it can be said that there is any) behind most fraternity hazings and many modern religions! It’s called cognitive dissonance. What’s the baby using? 25.

    There is no cleverness to 25. 43 is a clever number. 25 is square, not clever. It’s just a number. It’s just what the baby is using. If it was clever, it would be funny. And if it were funny, it wouldn’t be funny that people know it. The beauty of 25 is that if you know that’s what the baby is using, you won’t be confused by the question! You will just give the answer, nod, smile, chuckle, scratch your head and move on with your day. That is until you ask or someone else asks you again, “What’s the baby using?” 25.

    A clever answer like, 52 or “The baby had 25, but ate three and then puked up one , so the baby is only using 23 today,” is no good. Clever isn’t the point! Clever isn’t clever. In this case, clever is just stupid. The answer is 25. If you don’t answer “25″ then you don’t know the answer or you’ve missed the point entirely. Because the point is that there is no point at all. What’s the baby using? 25.

    What’s the point of a meaningless activity if we analyze it to death and try to understand it’s meaning? What’s the baby using? 25. It’s not a forced meme, just pointless. What’s the point of a meaningless activity if we are willing to give up on it quickly or easily? Treadmill sales would crash if everyone gave up on pointless activity. So go ahead, jog to nowhere and just freely admit that the baby is still using 25.

  2. Russ Rogers September 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I was very flattered that someone took the time to add my comment on “what the baby is using” after I emailed it. I was also surprised and delighted that they added a link to the book, “Nessus Network Auditing, Second Edition!” Thank you!

    I didn’t write “Nessus Network Auditing, Second Edition.” Some other “Russ Rogers” did. In fact, I didn’t even know there WAS a second edition. But “Nessus Network Auditing” is my favorite book on Open Source vulnerability assessment tools. Nessus is Da Bomb Squad of free vulnerabilitly assessment! “Nessus Network Auditing” (or as I like to call it, just “NNA”) is nearly as good a book as “The 17 Laws of Parenting,” which I also didn’t write (or even read).

    I was very confused by the added link to the book, “The Answer,” by by John Assaraf and Murray Smith. It’s my understanding that “The Answer” is a load of crap! It has nothing to do with what the baby is using. According to Assaraf and Smith, “The Answer” is something like “the law of attraction.” Piffle! Everybody should know by now, THE answer is “25.” Unless, “What’s the baby using?” isn’t the question.

  3. Widge September 7, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Russ: Around here we say “Nobody messes with the Nessus” about as often as we say “Nobody leans on Sharky’s Machine.” Which is to say: often.

  4. Greg September 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    But just what is it, this 25?

  5. Widge September 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Ah, Greg, that’s what we ALL want to know. Welcome to the field of 25ology.

  6. Russ Rogers September 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    What is 25? 25 in an Integer. A positive number. A whole number greater than 24 and less than 26. It’s 5 squared. It’s one quarter of 100. It’s an odd number, but slightly more than half of the Integers are odd, so that’s not saying much.

    I think a more profound question is, “Who is the baby?” Is “the baby” a platonic ideal representing ALL BABIES EVERYWHERE? 25 is a platonic ideal representing every 25. Any 25 is 25. There is no 25 more twenty-five-ish than any other. But are some babies more babyish than others? I was once a baby. Am I still THE baby because I still use 25? Grasping the concept of “25” (in effect “using 25”) is a skill that many consider far from infantile!

  7. Widge September 10, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Russ: Thank you for your musings. Currently 25ology studies show that the baby means essentially ALL babies. So any human baby anywhere is using 25. As we grow older we lose the use of 25, although at what point this happens, that is still a matter of contention.

  8. Russ Rogers September 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Widge: I agree with you entirely that THE question, “What’s the baby using?”, does in fact refer to ALL babies. I would extend your definition beyond just “human” baby and include any baby of a sentient species capable of grasping (and thus using) 25.

    And, although I agree that as we grow older we may become less deft in our use of 25, I contend that we never really outgrow 25. Like Bette Midler says, “God is watching us from a distance.” And from a distance (say, even as close as 25 feet) we can all look like we still use 25!

  9. Widge September 11, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Russ: We have heard conjecture regarding ALL babies using 25, but I fear I would require more evidence before agreeing with you. But I do agree that IS possible.

    If you are still using 25, then I envy you. I myself do not.

  10. Russ Rogers September 11, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Widge, like they say, “You can’t help getting older; but you can stay immature your whole life!”

    And I’m not sure about the term, “25ology,” I prefer the word, “Crypto-infantimemetics,” or simply “Cryptomemetics.”

    Although Cryptomemetics is technically a broader field of scientific and philosophical study, that of pondering the imponderable. “What’s the baby using?” is just the field’s most hotly debated topic.

    Other notable cryptomemetic questions, “Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?” Which is closely related to “Who knows and who cares?”

    Some argue that Cryptomemetics is not a new field of study at all. There are similarities between Cryptomemetics and the ancient science of Ursine Scatology. By the way, recent anecdotal evidence seems to indicate but still not conclusively prove: Yes, the woods!

    “What’s the baby using?” is an exciting question, but not because the answer is open to interpretation or debate. The answer is “25”. Any other answer is, by definition, wrong. “What’s the baby using?” is a closed question. There is no room for debate on the answer. And yet, Cryptomemetic debate still rages on why the answer, although simple and specific, seems so carpiciously dogmatic.

  11. Widge September 11, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Cryptomemetics is an awesome term. I think 25ology can certainly be a subset under its umbrella.

  12. Russ Rogers September 20, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Memetics is the study of how ideas, thoughts, and knowledge (memes) catch on and propagate.

    Cryptomemetics is the study of how and why random, pointless or seemingly useless memes spread. What is the connection between Cryptomemetics and Dada? There is an almost inexplicable purity, sincerity and beauty in things that are absolutely pointless and unashamedly inane.

    The pet rock. The dancing baby. The flying toaster. Waiting for Godot. Clutch Cargo. You know my name, look up the number. Number nine, number nine, number nine. What’s the baby using? 25!

  13. ScottC September 20, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    My mind has been officially blown.

    What about metacryptomemetics? Pondering the method that the imponderable becomes so popular to ponder.

  14. Russ Rogers September 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    What is the point in studying the intentionally pointless! Where is the logic in trying to find the nuances in things that are by definition illogical? I don’t know. All I know is that I find a certain purity, sincerity, beauty and joy in all of it. There is a certain truthiness here that goes beyond facts or sense.

    Maybe it’s just reassuring to know that things don’t always have to make sense, in fact, some things aren’t meant to make sense. Because making sense out of what can seem like a senseless world gives me a feeling of agoraphobic vertigo. Like just sitting inside on my couch is gonna make me so dizzy that I’ll be sick. But maybe that’s the Mad Dog and Tang screwdrivers talking.

    What’s the baby using? 25.

  15. Russ Rogers September 25, 2008 at 1:12 am

    I’ve continued to seek out new sites and pages referencing the phenomenon of “What’s the baby using”. I am refining my thoughts on the subject through obsessive/compulsive comentary. I found a new site today and tried to leave a comment there. But either the comments are moderated or some gremlin in the system kept my comments from being posted. So I put them up on my Blogger Page and now I’m reposting them here. Some of these insights are cribbed from comments already on this page. Like I said, I’m refining my Cryptomemtic Theories.

    What’s the baby using? If you still just don’t get it.

    What’s to get! It’s not funny. It’s not supposed to be funny. It’s not supposed to be anything.
    Len Peralta was walking through a mall with his baby. A guy at a cell phone kiosk asked the non sequitur question, “What’s the baby using?” Who knows what the salesman meant by that! Maybe he was just trying to get Len to stop and chat. Maybe Len misheard him. But the question stuck in Len’s head. So he and the baby continued through the mall, and when they came upon another cell phone salesman, Len asks, “What’s the baby using?” Maybe Len thought it was some kind of cell phone salesman catch phrase. Anyway, without missing a beat, the other salesman simply says, “25!”
    Again, this is a complete non sequitur. “25” has nothing to do with “What’s the baby using?” But “What’s the baby using?” has nothing to do with anything in the first place.
    OK. So Len finds this silly or funny or somehow interesting. And Len makes a video. He asks some of his friends, “What’s the baby using?” and they answer, “25.” My guess is that Len was holding up a sign that read, “The Answer is 25,” right under the video camera.
    Some of Len’s friends are moderately and modestly famous. (Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm, to name a few.) Even Len is modestly famous, he hosts a Podcast, “Jawbone Radio.” That podcast has talked about this phenomenon. Len is also a talented graphic artist.
    SO, “What’s the baby using? 25!” catches on. Some call it an “inside joke,” some call it a “forced meme.” I call in nonsense, Dada and intentional pointlessness. But it’s caught on.
    Several YouTube videos have been dedicated to the subject. Len has a site, http://www.whatsthebabyusing.com that feeds into another site, http://www.needcoffee.com/the-truth-about-25/ He’s also got http://www.thetruthabout25.com, but that just feeds back to needcoffee.com. Since Len created “What’s the baby using?” and he seems to be connected to needcoffee.com, I consider that to be currently the definitive web site on the subject.
    Now, here’s the deal. A joke that has to be explained is never funny. A joke that get’s explained to you is less funny. But this isn’t a joke. Or if it is a joke, it’s just that if you know that the answer is “25” you won’t be confused by the question, “What’s the baby using?” Jokes are funny. If “What’s the baby using?” was funny it wouldn’t be pointless. And my contention is that pointlessness is the whole point.
    If “What’s the baby using?” is a joke, I just ruined it!
    It it HAS to be a joke, here’s one of the funniest:
    http://apelad.blogspot.com/2008/09/laugh-out-loud-cats-25.html
    Here are some reasons for enjoying “What’s the baby using? 25”:
    1) It’s a non sequitur. It’s nonsense. Nonsense is funny just because it makes no sense. I’m not sure why that is, it just is. Read “Alice in Wonderland” or the Far Side or watch Andy Kaufman lip-sync the Mighty Mouse Theme Song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfsrg28jE7k
    2) It’s an inside joke. If you know the answer,” 25,” you aren’t confused by the question, “What’s the baby using?” In fact, you may somehow feel empowered by your knowledge and by the belief that you are now in the In-Crowd.
    3) In a world where Macro-Economics, International Military Policy, Radical Religious Extremism and the Price of Gas make NO SENSE, our confusion can lead to FEAR. Finding something that is confusing but totally innocuous can be comforting.
    4) “What’s the baby using? 25!” is just plain silly. It’s silly that anybody would devote hours of time, several URLs, the aid of his friends and strangers in promoting a non-concept. Seriously, there is nothing there. No hidden meanings. No meaning at all. It’s just a glorious mess, a beautiful waste of time. It’s silly that someone like me would spend WAY more time commenting on your blog than you took in creating it!
    5) “What’s the baby using? 25” is a bit of interactive performance art, mostly on the Web. I think it relates to Dada, but I might be full of crap. I think Len has been very generous in not claiming ownership or even authorship of this work. He’s just it’s original curator, promoter and philosopher. The work is open for contribution, interpretation and addition. I see THIS VERY BLOG entry as a major contribution to the art piece that “25” is becoming.
    Have you ever heard of the John Cage piece, 4’33″”? Here’s a link to an orchestral version.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E
    If you’ve never not heard 4’33” then this is your chance to not hear 4’33” now. I think there are parallels between what John Cage was trying to convey in 4’33” and what Len and others have been trying to say or unsay with “What’s the baby using?”
    6) “What’s the baby using? 25” is like a Rorsharch Test. Because (by definition) it has no meaning, whatever meaning you see in it is ameaning that you bring to it or has somehow been conveyed upon you. My ramblings here are, by definition, pointless. I’m just trying to foist the meanings that I have “discovered” in “25” on you! My hope is that I haven’t spoiled this for you, but enhanced in some small way your experience of “25.”
    7) The more time that’s invested in a pointless activity, the more importance it seems to convey. This is the logic (if it can be said that there is any) behind most fraternity hazings and many modern religions! It’s called cognitive dissonance. “What’s the baby using? 25!” What is the point in studying the intentionally pointless! Where is the logic in trying to find the nuances in things that are by definition illogical? I don’t know. All I know is that I find a certain purity, sincerity, beauty and joy in all of it. There is a certain truthiness here that goes beyond facts or sense.
    I’ve coined the term, “Cryptomemetics,” to describe the phenomenon of fads that catch on even if we have no understanding of what they are or why. It’s not a forced meme, just pointless. What’s the point of a meaningless activity if we are willing to give up on it quickly or easily? Treadmill sales would crash if everyone gave up on pointless activity. So go ahead, jog to nowhere and just freely admit that the baby is still using 25.

    Some afterthoughts: Len, I would like to see a few “What’s the baby using?” T-shirts available someplace like CafePress. Very simple. “What’s the baby using?” on the front and a large “25” (like the one from http://www.whatsthebabyusing.com) on the back. Alternately, a large “25” on the front and “It’s what the baby is using,” on the back.

    Also, the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats have referenced “What’s the baby using?” Isn’t it about time that a “What’s the baby using?” Monster-by-Mail type drawing be made? Could someone make reference to babies and “25” in a drawing for the 700 Hobos Project? How about a Monster-Baby-Hobo! Just cover all bases at once.

  16. minimo September 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

    25 is only one theory. I think you need to give equal time to some other theories based on Judeo Christian deities for balance.

  17. Russ Rogers September 25, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Oh, “25” is more than a theory. It’s practically a Mathematical Postulate. It’s truth is just assumed. But I don’t think this conflicts with Judeo-Christian theology.

    For a Christian perspective on “What’s the baby using,” I would point you to ChurchFun.com, the Fun, Safe Place for Kids:

    http://churchfun.com/2008/08/21/whats-the-baby-using-25/

    I will quote them here:

    What’s the baby using? 25

    At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

    Matthew 11:25

    Somebody over at ChurchFun is very clever and well versed. This is truly the insight of a scholar!

  18. schmidt, izz October 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Since the baby is using 25, I could not help but question what we are using. (if anything at all) Maybe 26? I’ll be in my room trying to figure this one out.

  19. Matthew Borum November 11, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    This whole phenomenon makes me think of a favorite joke of mine, coined by a high-school friend:
    Q: “How many to an orange?”
    A: “The more you polish it, it gets!”

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