Ronald Brak

Because not everyone can be normal.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

One! One Fatuous Dick! Two! Two Fatuous Dicks! Wait! My Mistake! One Fatuous Dick, But He's Really Fat!

My next maths lecture is on imaginary numbers. But surely imaginary numbers would be all numbers, wouldn't they? Are not all numbers in our mind? As Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either positive or negative but thinking makes it so.” For example, if you had two rocks, there would be nothing intrinsic about them that would indicate the number two. Except for the fact that there were two of them. But that's not intrinsic! If you think it is it just goes to show how much you've been brainwashed by the number-industrial complex. Or possibly Sesame Street. Specifically, an obsessive compulsive vampire. Look at it this way, if an atom of carbon and four hydrogen atoms come together to form a methane molecule then we can describe it as such because it has the properties of a methane molecule and not the properties of five random atoms. But having two rocks results in no properties of two-ness. If I had a box and I took a rock out of it and handed it to you, there is nothing you could do to that rock that would indicate the number of rocks in the box. There is no way you could know. Unless you cheated, which you probably did by peeking in the box or assuming the box was made of glass or diamond or transparent aluminium or whatever. Or you got all Sherlock Holmesian and were able to deduce how many rocks were in the box from scratch marks on the rock I handed to you or the noise the rocks made as they slid around or the little post-it note on my folder saying, 'Put five rocks in a box. Act like a dick.'

Anyway, the point is the number 2 is not a property of the universe. It's a label we use to help us describe parts of the universe in an abstract way. Of course, since everything comes down to our perceptions, and our perceptions are part of the universe, then for an observer to exist then those observations would have to be intrinsic to the universe...

Oh screw this! I'm off to study maths. Or at least I will pretend to study it. That's how one learns about imaginary numbers, right?

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home