16 notes October 16, 2012 Living (12): Maths Me:One thousand five hundred and eight pounds and three pence. Muse:Nope. Me:Hang on... I’ve dropped a two. Muse:Yes. Somewhere back there. Me:... One thousand three hundred and... Muse:No. The other two. Me:One thousand seven hundred and... Muse:On the whole, it’s probably best that you not try to do this alone. Me:I hate maths. Muse:You don’t. Me:I do. This is me hating maths. Right here, right now. Agagagagagagaga! HATE! Muse:Calculation. Me:What? Muse:Maths is not calculation. That’s like saying you hate language because you find it hard to spell “minuscule”. Me:And yet, despite that salutary reminder, I still hate maths. Muse:I don’t. Me:You don’t? Muse:No. I love maths. From a distance. Me:Right. Muse:I sort of feel maths is the life I could have had. Me:I really don’t know in what universe. Muse:Ah hah! Exactly. That’s maths. In what universe could I have become a maths genius instead of the greatest imaginative prose stylist of the twenty first century? Me:I’m not entirely sure that you are the... Muse:“Could”. We’re trading in hypotheticals here. Me:Okay. Muse:It’s good to have a goal. Me:Right. Muse:Look... maths is a language. A conceptual lexicon of boundless possibility. The use of maths to find new truths and the extension of it to reveal concepts for which expressions do not yet exist is perhaps the most striking creative endeavour of which a human individual is capable. It possesses a purity and a uniqueness which is breathtaking. Maths is about talking the language of galaxies, reaching for words which can encompass time and unravel the nature of being and unbeing. Poets? Poets talk about love and pain and life and death and they think that is the highest truth there is, and that’s true in one way, but in another there has never been and could never be a poem which possess the staggering reach and elegance of mathematics. And I... do not speak that language. Me:No. Muse:So sometimes I wonder what it would take to grant me access. How long would I have to study? Where could I begin? And what would it cost me? Me:Years. A life. Muse:Yes. Me:Do you want me to get started? Muse:No. But if ever we lose the capacity for words - if we’re injured in a car accident or something - Me:Maths and music. Muse:Yes. Me:Okay. Muse:Because real maths is beautiful. Me:Okay. Muse:But... Me:What? Muse:Don’t get me wrong. Language expresses things maths cannot: human things which are infinitely complex and vital to what we are, and without consciousness to apprehend it there is no maths, there’s just the universe. I’m just... Me:You don’t like it when people are mean about maths. Muse:It’s ignorant. And it’s a life I never had. Me:Yeah. Hey, Muse? Muse:What? Me:Happy Ada Lovelace Day. Muse:Heh. Yeah. You too.