Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mathematics professor, and broken

Once I was a mathematician. I looked at the endless white clouds of platonic reality, and saw obscure machinery in black typography rearing up. When I grasped a notion, a mathematic engine, I'd see in focus the whirring proof, built up in towers of interlocking cogs. Return to the beginning, reductio ad absurdum, and see what I said to you was bollocks, so what I'm saying now, well, it's not bollocks - quite demonstrably the opposite of bollocks. QED.

I never liked statistics, there was something jagged and unfinished, and it lurked in the depths, brute and ignorant, concrete intrusions into what is otherwise clean and clear. All that discrete nastiness anchored in mud, with rusty barbs to snag and pull you under.

My favourite was mathematical logic. The recursion of ideas that bite and eat themselves to prove that proof is unobtainable, a ghost, a trick of the eye that won't resolve. And if you had that resolution, you'd be resolved to decide, to say with clarity and decisive intent, that it's unclear and undecidable. That appealed to me.

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