IDIC is usually one of the first things most people know about Star Trek, even though it’s not often directly addressed. However, the concept often gets distorted and appropriated in manners that twist the meaning.
IDIC stands for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. It’s the foundation of Vulcan philosophy, which dedicates itself to reasoning and logic. Theoretically, the two should be problematic, yet they are not.
At its core, IDIC talks about recognizing that others can have different views, which was central to Vulcans whose logic may arrive at different points. Given some of the Vulcan schisms, one could argue IDIC is partially responsible for Vulcan’s advancement to the stars.
IDIC creates a symphony of unlike things. Kirk remarked that Vulcans recognized this centuries before Earth in TOS, and he’s not wrong. It becomes a celebration of similarities, which we all share more of, and differences.
Today when we see IDIC, it’s often employed in arguments from politics to pop culture. Usually, the post goes something along the lines of “But IDIC means you have to accept my point of view is valid too.” That’s not true, however.
As this post from Women at Warp explains so eloquently, IDIC does not encompass ideas that mean someone else’s differences make them lesser. Roddenberry dreamed of an inclusive world and brought it to the screen, not one where bigotry was tolerated.
Even the symbol is inclusive, even if the design is a tad heteronormative. The smooth and angular shapes with a stone in the center could not be more elegantly simple. Yet it is a great way to express both beauty and purpose in the universal language of math.
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations means a lot to Star Trek Fans and broader global culture. Let’s aim to make it a positive number of infinite combinations.