Bible, Euclid, and interpretation

One of my favorite quotations is “Alone at night, I read my Bible more and Euclid less.”  Not that it is true for me.  I tend towards Euclid.  I don’t really know why the quotation has stuck inside my head, for I read it in H. S. M. Coxeter’s splendid and classic Introduction to Geometry.  Why he used it for one of his section heads I do not know.

I like the implication though.  I have a sentence that seems as though it means something, yet have no idea what the meaning is or why an author and mathematician used it in one of his books.

Interpretation is much more mysterious and elusive than we might think if we care to think of it at all.  It’s like a spell–when broken, ruins everything.

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Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 1:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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