Euclid, Hilbert, and Alone

I have Euclid’s Elements on one side of me and Hilbert’s Foundations of Geometry on the other side.  I’m trying to build a bridge in my mind between the two.  I find it desperately lonely and hard work.  I labor on it for at least 12 hours each day.

The thing that makes it even harder than it should be is that I have no one to talk to about it.  The major parts of my thoughts are locked in solitary confinement.

That’s the nature of desire though.  It’s the thing most personally felt even though the least most noticed by others.

Let’s call the situation a secret romance.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tarski and Godel

You are reading a biography of Alfred Tarski. In it there
is a photo of Tarski and Godel laughing together in Vienna in the
early 1930’s. Apparently, even the gods of logic enjoy a good

Published in: on January 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cobalt night

At sunset, the sky shined perfect dusky cloudless cobalt.

Now, I’m sitting in the local bar way too late–alone, yet not lonely. The perfect woman to go home with sits at the table next to me, but she’s with friends, one of whom seems to be a sort of leach boyfriend. (Trust me, I’m perceptive about leach boyfriends.)

Two things I know. Winter is coming; and another hopeless love this way comes.

All you can do is hang on and enjoy the ride while it lasts, for some day the ride will be surely be over.

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

A nice treaty

When we have sex, we both agree that is all we are having at the time.  We have yet to have a spat or falling out.

Peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 9:31 am  Leave a Comment  

The joys of insomnia

You are an hopeless insomniac.  You wake at 3 or 4 in the morning and can’t go back to sleep.  You get out of bed, smoke a cigarette, drink some coffee, read one of Borges’ fictions, and watch the sky lighten.  Being an insomniac doesn’t seem, of a sudden, so bad.

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 1:38 am  Comments (1)  

A long long time

During the past two weeks I watched the whole of Battlestar Galactica again.  It aroused deep emotions.  For reasons lacking explanation, each episode reminded me what it is like to spend an eternity without V.

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Frustrated by opacity

Sunday morning and no noise out of doors, but a lot of non-Euclidean geometry clanks inside my head.  I finally see how to map an infinite non-Euclidean plane into a disk without boundary to get the Beltrami-Klein model.  What shall I sacrifice to the gods on this holy day for granting me this vision?

I wish it did not take me so long to see things that are easily visible to others.

Be that as it may, now that I see the mapping, I can think more clearly about the Riemann Hypothesis in the Beltrami-Klein model.  In fact, I don’t know doodly about number theory in that kind of model, so meditating on Riemann is a little premature.

No matter.  This shit is fun.

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  

More dawdling

My current walking around the street book is William Dunham’s Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics.  I read it shortly after it came out in 1990 and was impressed.  Working my way through it again, I am even more impressed.

Dunham takes a tour of some splendid mathematical theorems proved by the giants of mathematics from ancient times onwards.  Assuming the reader has a high school understanding of algebra and geometry, he gives detailed proofs of the theorems and presents the interesting mathematics, history, and biographies required to appreciate them.  The book is charming, a perfect book over which to dawdle.  (And don’t we all like dawdling over something pretty on occasion?)

Just as one goes to the museum to view one’s favorites works of art and returns with renewed appreciation, one can do the same thing with math theorems, for they are works of art too.

Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

I think you’re pretty

No sense in saying more than what can be said.  I’m studying some math theorems again just because I think they’re pretty.  They are like a beloved who steals your heart.  When someone asks you why you are with the beloved all you can think to say is your heart is filled as you contemplate her and feel her splendor.

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Romance and imagination

While working on the lastest draft of my novel this morning, I realized it is a romance novel. All my novels turn out that way. I wonder if this is some kind of failure of imagination.

Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

You can mess up a Stray Dog thing too

I’ll admit it.   I wonder what life would have been like with A. if I had not been untrue.  After all, she is the woman I left my wife for.

I know you don’t like me writing about personal things, but sometimes, that’s all there is on these sultry summer Chicago nights.

The question haunts me still.  Were we just Stray Dogs to each other when a Stray Dog seemed as though it was our destiny?  Or were those sultry Sunday summer afternoons lying in bed next to each other, after making good love, something that should have been forever if I had not fucked it up?

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Romance–when no holds were barred

One sure way to to burn daylight early in the morning is by studying historical baseball numbers.  Take the Chicago Cubs for instance.  From 1906 through 1910 they won 99 or more games each season, they won 4 NL titles, finished second once, and they won two World Series.  Their 1906 record of 116 wins and only 36 losses stands as the best winning percentage of all time.  Too bad they lost to the Chicago White Sox “Hitless Wonders” four games to one in the World Series that year.  After those five years, they did not tail off much as they finished second twice, third once, and fourth once in the NL.

Back then, they were not known as the lovable Cubbies as they are today.  They played as mean and hard as any team.  They retaliated in kind no matter how roughly they were treated.  Their player/manager Frank Chance was once called the best amateur barroom brawler in America.  That must have been a sight to behold given the belligerent no-holds barred era he played in.

The Cubs return home to Wrigley to play the Reds at 1:20 this afternoon.  On July 24, 2008, the Cubs beat beat Brooklyn 2-1 in Brooklyn.  Jack Pfiester got the win.  The Cubs and Giants were one game back of the Pirates in the standings at the end of the day.  The Cubs won the pennant that year over the Giants and Pirates.  The regular season ended with the Cubs playing the Giants in the last regular season game to make up the Merkle Boner game.  The Cubs beat Detroit in the World Series four games to one.

All manner of romances populate our imaginations.  We love souls, places, and times to name a few.  One needn’t find another soul when a beloved has forsaken us.  Substitutes abound.  If we want romance, we should get ourselves to places where desire, fantasy, and reality can scarcely be teased apart.  Wander.

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment