Monday, October 25, 2004

The incomprehensible language of math

If the status of world mathematics depended on me, we'd still be doing Aristotelian physics in the geocentric spheres model. Granted, no one person ever shattered the old view--it took a good 400 years to get to the understanding of math we've got today, so if I lived back then nobody would expect me to shatter anything--but good grief.

Physics is so frustrating! Theoretically, numbers are the language of the natural world. This means that if you do an experiment in real life and it works, and you have the right equations, the numbers should work out. Theoretically, this is all very cool.

WHY then, when I start doing calculations, do things which ought to equal one another NOT?

I think perhaps I need to go consult a physics grammar book to make sure I'm speaking the language properly.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The nature of happy virtue

It is not, perhaps, especially profound to say that goodness is good. But it is true to say it. And it is happy to be in synch with truth--to be part of the right ordering of the universe--and that is what virtue is.

I read somewhere that George MacDonald was a rare writer, in that his virtuous characters were his most realistic and his villains most like cardboard. Not to approve cardboard characters, but the idea of goodness being portrayed realistically can stand emulation. If with this blog I reflect happy virtue, I shall have accomplished my purpose.