MATH AND THE HOWLING MIND

We all know about fractions and negative numbers.

What I never realized before is that, in addition to the one-dimensional "number Line" that I learned of in school, which contains an infinite number of numerals and fractions, and all the irrational numbers like the Square root of 2, there is also an axis making the realm of numbers two dimensional. These are the "Imaginary" numbers. At first, I thought this sounded absurd and was disappointed that the book I was reading, which had been fascinating, had bottomed out in such ridiculous shallows. But no! The imaginary numbers are real (sic sic sic-a-dee sic sic). Just ask anyone, "What is the square root of -1?" There is no number possible on the one dimensional number line that can answer this question. Both -1 and +1, the only possible answers, are incorrect, since when you multiply a negative by a negative (-1 squared) you get a positive! So there you go, in order that math retain the attribute it demands- completeness, you have this second axis. Now if you have any number on any axis there must be infinite fractions between it and it's zero. So between Imaginary Zero and Imaginary one is infinity of imaginary numbers thus you may as well say there's an infinite second axis of numbers! All of a sudden numbers are Two dimensional. According to the book I am reading, Fermat's Enigma, these imaginary numbers are well established and are used in practical enterprises by the likes of electrical engineers.

Then, a few pages later, my mind swims. Try this:

"Initially Euclid assumes that there is a finite list of known prime numbers, and then shows that there must be an infinite number of additions to this list. There are "n" prime numbers in Euclid's finite list, which are labeled P1 P2 P3.....Pn (where the 1,2,3...n are subscript by the way). Euclid can then generate a new number Qa (where "A" is subtext) such that Qa=(P1xP2xP3x...xPn)+1 {again 1,2,3,....n are subtext). This new number Qa is either prime or not prime. (At this point I am only pretending I understand, hoping that I can grasp it as i go along). If it is prime then we have succeeded in generating a new, bigger prime number, and therefore our original list of primes was not complete. On the other hand, if Qa is not prime, then it must be perfectly divisible by a prime. This prime cannot be one of the known primes because dividing Qa by any of the known primes will inevitably lead to a remainder of 1. Therefore {at this point I am entirely at sea, and I can't even recall the words I just read in order to try and maybe parse it out, because my mind has rejected out of hand any such far-out abstraction as Just Too Much, I know my limits, and so forth, and I just am like, what's uhm, ...} there must be some new prime, which we shall call Pn+1."

SO you figure, the people who have the brains to follow that stuff and "can know it", those who have the memory banks and mental muscle, they have an edge. And this is what occurs to me: there was this Mathematician named Euler who could store vast amounts of information in his mind and he went blind (this is true per the book I'm reading) and after he went blind he was even more prolific in his output of mathematical proofs and projections of the tides and moon location off in the future months for ships to navigate (the dude helped both in the scholar realm and the sweating sea-going howling hounds) and he was a dude immense.

So, brain power. Wjhat is it? The brain has some 4 billion Nuro-transma-hog-afyers or some such squishy bridges that can be opened closed in quick succession forming patterns which we assign meaning (this my own

interpretation of the brain theory last time I heard what "we know about the brain" which is not current I'm sure) and so forth blah vlah. But some people's brain-flesh is more powerful than others. Just like some people can stay awake longer. Put two people in a room with a knife and a concrete floor and a place to go toileting. One will sleep first, it is inevitable, unless both fall asleep at same instant. The one remaining awake can either

-Allow fellow concrete dweller to sleep

-awake concrete dweller

-harass concrete dweller without waking them (i.e. toss wads of balled-up toilet paper at them and watch them flocsh and stummer in their sleep)

-Stab them through the throat with a cry opf "hhheeeeeeyahdrghghghgh!"

So the awake person has that "advantage"

IN the same way the more intelligent person has an advantage.

If there's no conflict, Good.

But so often there is a war. And in war bravery and logistics are key, but also smarts. Brain power. Reverse engineering, speed and accuracy of high thinking. It's a weapon when a conflict is under way. Also important in negotiating peace.

Always an advantage it seems, except maybe when too much thinking can make a person feel ostracized from the less thinking world or maybe those we know who are so damn smart they are angst-ridden by some shit we can't figure out?

But anyway, with the advent of trepanning and implants the platform from which mental muscle takes off will become much higher. A society will have to have surgical theatres where implants can be implanted. You need it like you need a hole in the head.

But anyway, this will be like steel or gunpowder in terms of the haves and have-nots and the possibilities for unfair foreign policy and domination will become more steep and horrible, so we got to remain kind, and stand up for kindness always.

It's more important than ever.

COPYRIGHT 2006 DOUGLAS CLOUD ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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