Tuesday, February 22, 2005

WHY MATH DON'T WORK:

Hey, you're gonna get on your high horse and denounce me before I've even started? Wait just one cotton-pickin' minute.

Of course maths works. We use it all the time. The screen is pure maths. Pure on/off. Pure invented reality. Congratulations to mankind for being so bright ... but just you wait for a DIVIDE BY ZERO error to awaken you to the fundamental wrongness of mathematical thought.

Here's why math don't work.

It's all a case of interpretation. I'm not talking about stacks of data utilised in the form of graphs, barcharts and pie charts of statisticians here. I'm talking about fundamental properties.

Appleness, for example. Here's the only use of math since time immemorial. I have one apple.

That's where math should have stopped. But even that bit about math isn't true. I can say NOTHING about the apple or its appleness by the use of the apple unit. After all, what is this one unit telling us? It's saying that technically we have all agreed that an apple is a unified element. Devoid of properties. In our human minds we don't need to distinguish between a green, red, bitter, sweet, large, small, good or bad apple. We just need to know that on the owner's spreadsheet he has ONE APPLE.

How can math help you survive a food shortage? Well in this basic sense it can't. You have marked one apple. How big is it? What value does it have? Not important. One apple is the value. But by doing this we are ignoring a million other properties about the apple that might be equally important reference material. Is it the last apple in existence for example. Imagine, from this day forward, there are no more apples, let's call it an apple disaster. Wouldn't it be of extreme importance to be able to note the difference between (i) an apple and (ii) the last apple in existence.

If math worked, there would be an implicit IMPORTANCE factor associated with the particular unit for the particular apple. The unit itself is part of the apple. Not the result of cross-matched Venn diagrams to give its properties. But the one-ness of the apple. What I'm saying is that if math were useful or usable in the real world you'd be able to 'flavour' the apple for importance.

Mike, you're an idiot. That's why we have language. Nope, language and math are VERY DIFFERENT. You can't mix them - they're like oil and water. Apple is a word. One is number. You'll see here how I can't strip the 'one' from the apple and apply it to the one of, say, an elephant. Unless it was an elephant sized apple or maybe an apple in the shape of an elephant.

Gah, I'll write more later...

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