Communion Of Dreams

How do you solve a problem like infinity?*
October 6, 2010, 10:11 am
Filed under: Astronomy, Music, Science, Science Fiction, Sixty Symbols, YouTube

“Now it’s complete because it’s ended here.”

That’s from Dune, of course. The context is that it sums up the practical attitude of the Fremen – no dithering, no misgivings, just figuratively take a knife and cut the thing off, so you have a conclusion.

But that is also the attitude of scientists, when it comes to  Infinity, at least according to the Sixty Symbols video about infinity.

It’s a good vid, and I recommend it. No, nothing terribly impressive about the images or production values. But it has a clarity that conveys how scientists think: they may be theoretical, but they’re also practical. They don’t like the concept of infinity, at least not when it is applied to understanding the physical universe. They’d rather leave that to the mathematicians. As a number of the scientists say, when infinity shows up in one of their equations/models, then there’s something wrong with the equation/model.

Jim Downey

*Yeah, OK.

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[…] did just put up a post about the infinity symbol video at Sixty Symbols. But I am rethinking whether I want to continue the project of writing about […]

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