Friday, March 23, 2007

It's a disaster

It's an incredible mess.

Late posting, too much work and not enough inclination to do so, too much outside distraction (birds! flowers! puppies! comment moderation! shiny things!), not enough self-motivation, kids to wrangle, cable to get, routers to buy, bills to pay, people to call, etc etc etc.

Things are kind of almost on the verge of being out of control at Casa Tiff.

That being the case, there's no better time to write a blog post! Because as we all know, when the going gets confusing, the confused get blogging.

In the spirit of confusion, therefore, I offer up this bit of existentialism/mind farting what as has been roiling away in my head the past 4 or 5 minutes and needs to get out, otherwise how am I going to concentrate briefly on puppies again?

Look! A chicken!

That wasn't the the rolling-around thing, BTW.

This, however, is: who makes the widgets from which the widget-makers make theirs? Is there some terminallly tiny widget from which no further widgets can be extracted, thus identifying it as the basest widget of them all? Are widgets like atomic particles? Corollary - when is someone too insignificant to quality as being even the SMALLEST cog in the wheel of life? We all say we are, but what if we're not really even big enough to make it to the Cog List? A rather sad thought for a Friday, but there it is.

All this is a fractalisic approach to trying to characterize units of measure and thereby life, I know, but fractals are interesting things and can make very pretty pictures if you let the computer run for long enough. Math made into art, some of the most ponderable units in creation have basic mathematical equations as their basis of beauty.

Stare long enough at a honeybee's comb, and you'll undoubtedly come to grips with parts of the universe you didn't know needed your attention - the perfection and repetitive uniformity are things of awesome wonder indeed.

Think about the spiral of a nautilus' chambers, and know that life, no matter how we believe it came about, is precise and gorgeous, satisfying in its regular increases in shape and size.

Anything not chaotic can be described mathematically, and even chaos can be set out in a long series of numbers and symbols that mean nothing at all to most of us. A set of instructions to swing a series of dots along a prescribed line when plotting using polar trigonometry will result in some very pleasing pictures, and it's all math. You can use geometry to ascertain the swirling of the seeds in a sunflower. The relationship of walls to ceiling to floor or angle of inflection and deflection or skip of a dust mote in a sunbeam can, if all parameters are accounted for, be explained using numbers.


It's all math.

And even though I kind of suck at most maths (to use the Brits' term), this still amazes me.

When I see some Einstein or another (to me, most smart people MUST have Einstein as part of their name) scrawling out complicated equations to explain bits and pieces of the universe, I get excited, as though the symbols and integers must hold great secrets in their relationships. The mystery of mathematics is vast, the minds that work the maths with ease are unlike mine, so very far unlike mine that it seems incomprehensible that they're still humans at all. Math-smart people are like aliens to me, who hold the keys to the explanation of the whole universe in their mega-minds.

Of course, I kinda feel that way about carpenters too - framers who can figure out angle cuts in a vaulted ceiling or finish carpenters who know how to use a miter saw to make a perfect cut in the baseboard so that no caulk at all will be needed to seal the join once the piece is in place are also works of wonder. How do they DO that? One does wonder.

All that math. For someone else's brain to do. Me, I'll just sit back and admire those folks who do the math, and wait for the next puppy to come ambling by.

The world needs puppy-watchers too, right?

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