Twice this week already different people wanted to praise me for my thoughts about math and magic. I don't think I deserve any praise as I don't think that having math thoughts or magical thoughts is so special. Culturally speaking, sure, the two clearly belong to two distinct fields. One is science the other woo. But that is only if we're speaking culture and hierarchies and good name versus bad name.

I never think of math, or when I literally dream about solving Riemann's hypothesis or that Cantor comes to see me, as something weird. Just as I never think that divining for a math solution with cards is weird. It wouldn't be the first time the cards have helped real mathematicians formalize their proofs.

I have math thoughts simply because I find math beautiful. And I have magic thoughts simply because I find magic useful. The fact that people have informed opinions about each is not something that interests me, especially when these informed opinions are the result of ignorance. Not everyone has heard of real numbers and complex analysis and not everyone has any clue about divination with cards. Which is fine. I also happen to be ignorant of many things.

But I wonder what the world would look like, if we simply stopped thinking that disciplines are separate, and that if I'm interested in one thing, I cannot possibly also be interested in the other thing. What if my reputation will be busted if people knew I flirted with the woo? Now there's a real concern. I wonder what Cantor would make of that. He was ever so afraid of that imbecile algebraist, Kronecker, who kept putting sticks into his wheels.

As a general rule, I believe in nothing. I keep saying this but people don't believe me. And I think of separateness as being a question of perception, not a question about the thing itself.

I live. And as I live I put my aliveness in the service of my curiosity. And that's all.

Image: 'Bestiary' by Hugo of Fouilloy, 1270 
Public Domain, Digital images part of the Getty’s Open Content Program


Unknown said…
"If you wanna make sense, what you looking at me for - I'm no good at math" as Fiona says.

I stand at the intersection of magic & music. I am a devotee of yes/and. The beauty of the 'disciplines' shows best in their progeny, the lovely children of math & magic, of song & shadow, creatures of light & darkness.

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