Monday 6 June 2022

Trouble in The Shed

My maths teacher told me that there is a mathematical symbol that designates a distance that could be anything but is not infinite. It could be known and unknown at the same time.


‘That’s a complicated thing to represent with a simple symbol’, I said looking at something that I was pretty sure I had never seen before but apparently would be covered in an upcoming exam.


‘Think of it as a room’, he explained.


I tried.


‘Imagine running your finger around the surface of the wall, there is a set starting point, and always a finishing point when you return, but the distance covered is unknown until you cover it and it might not be a wall.’


‘Infinite in that case.’


‘No ‘, he continued, ‘it is absolutely finite. ‘but you don’t know when it will be finite until it is’.


There was another symbol on the paper in front of me and it had a name: ‘A Durgist,’ he explained, ‘named after the Greek philosopher that nobody remembers’.


‘What does it represent?’ I asked, trying my best to understand.                                               


‘It’s a quantity, unknown, even one that we don’t yet know exists.’


‘Infinite then’, I concluded.


‘No, again it is absolutely finite, it can only be a quantity that either exists or will exist when we discover it.’


‘It sounds like infinity’, I mumbled.


‘Not at all’, he said, apparently able to read my thoughts, ‘it’s also “a quantity of something that we don’t know the nature or even if we will ever know it. It may be mixed. The symbol represents all that.’



When I was at school, my real school that is, not the one I was taken to in my sleep last night the only symbols I had to learn about were X and Y.


It all made sense.


Last night, my teacher explained that the equation in front of me could be used to predict, confirm and alter any digital, computer based structure that we could imagine we might need or never need.


When I was at school, my real school that is, they taught me about the Welfare State and how it worked and why it was needed. And, I understood and it all made sense.


Last night and today, nothing makes any sense to me.


And nobody bothers to teach me.


Except in troubled dreams.





Anonymous said...


popps said...

And welcome!!
Please come again !!!!