Today I was accused of preferring parallels to finitudes. Well of course. Professionally, I’ve been interested in obscure things such as the fragment, for God’s sake, and personally, I like the idea that in my relationships with people in my circle of friends I have with each and one of them a specific frequency wave that we share. Woa, some would say, this is gobbledygook, and indeed it is, if one insists on using as a set of norms things such as beliefs. As far as I’m concerned, I believe nothing on Sundays. On Sundays I think. This whole discussion about parallel dimensions was sparked by my getting up with Cantor in my head. Cantor’s infinity – how many of them there are, what attributes they have and the like, not to mention digitalized mathematics, which claims to be on the brink of surpassing axiomatic thought through emergence, etc. – is enough to keep a girl busy over coffee. I felt coerced into thinking about things that I didn’t want to think about. I’m actually in the middle of writing a paper on, you guessed, fantasy, for a volume that goes in print at the end of this month. Gosh, I feel privileged that the editor trusts me to deliver the word in the last second – he allowed me to do so, because he knows that I always do, so I will – but it seems that I can’t get on with that until I say something here to the effect of how we tend to think of ourselves in categorial terms. (For the sake of simplicity, I’ll leave out the argument about the observer/observed paradox). So, stereotypically there seems to be a difference between ‘parallel’ people and ‘finitude’ people. So far so good, the parallel ones go with the process, and never ask questions pertaining to content: an example would be: ‘what’s in it for us?’, but rather ask questions pertaining to form: ‘how is it for us?’ Obviously in opposition, the ‘finitude’ people go with the end result and thus pose pragmatic questions that rely on a linear progression of things that follow a clearly demarcated unfolding of a beginning, middle, and end. And now to the interesting question: what happens when finitude people fall for parallel people? If I have to provide an answer myself, and as is now established that I go with the parallels, I would have to say this: “it is rather unfortunate for the finitude person, as the parallel one will keep on going in a parallel also to all things that have a beginning, middle, and end.” The moral of this story? Don’t let yourself be coerced into listening to gobbledygook, if you’re not ready to go with gobbledygook which by virtue of its nature will at any time go parallel with any reason. (Just think of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, Smullyan’s Scheherazade, Satan, and Cantor, or else just visualize that beautiful mathematical symbol for ‘congruence by definition’, the sign of equivalence plus one.) A logical puzzle for you, lovers of games who may want to solve the puzzle of the “unfortunate situation” with the element of “us” in focus as the two questions above invite us to consider. Here is a scenario in true Smullyan’esque fashion: 1. premise: there is no us 2. premise: and yet ----- 3. what is the conclusion? (For those logicians who will object to having two premises stem from two different categories (the ‘finitude’ vs. the ‘parallel’), I want to refer them back to the idea exposed above that the parallel dimension is superior to and encompassing of finitude. Hence the possibility to accept the two premises as if formulated by the same higher authority. Cantor is on my side here). A bottle of champagne to the one that solves the mystery. Enjoy your Sundays and your parallels.


Anonymous said…
The conclusion is that there is hope!

(No Cantor, no cry... :)
Camelia said…
Hr. Lektor with fine qualifications in spectral theory, scattering theory, eigenfunktion decay, tight-binding limit, inverse boundary value problems, quantum transport in mesoscopic systems, AND Cantor, we, US, that is, accept the answer. How can we not, look at that list, those key words? You’re the second one to name the word. The first one sent me to read the Bible, especially the New Testament, so yes, hope comes in strings and parallels. “Hope is the thing with feathers,” Emily Dickinson wrote, before the age of thermodynamic behaviour of large quantum systems subjected to external electromagnetic fields. We’re on a frequency. Champagne bottles are being stacked. Meanwhile, until we materialize in flesh to drink to our fields, magnetic cheers to you.
Anonymous said…
Dearest and utmost delightful Lady,

I am rejoicing at the thought that my humble solution sparked such a vigorous resurrection of your positive state of mind. Just what could be more full of bursting hope than a bottle of moet-chandon? Maybe one of veuve cliquot or taittinger, of course.

I am already making glorious plans for a highly intense magnetic encounter with that pure energy you're stacking. In bottles that is.

Thousands of gracious classical bows before you, Milady! (Quantum bows tend to be infinitely long and boring, alas).
Camelia said…
Je vous en pris mon Chevalier. Quand vous voudrez je vous ferai savoir mes talents. Choisir qui ou qua, ou quel ? Pol Roger ou Taittinger ? Your Lordship may rise. À bientôt. Je vous embrasse.

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