This article is part of a series on Intuitive Math Epistemology. See also:
1. Is Math Discovered or Created? 2. Does Math Have An End? 3. Tchaikovsky and Debussy
Is there a limit to the number of “true facts” contained in the discipline of mathematics? If (for the sake of argument) humans were around indefinitely, would the discipline ever end? Would we, one day, proclaim that we’d “reached the bottom”? Or does the field continue indefinitely into the depth, reaching arbitrary levels of complexity? If this is the case, where do these true facts come from, and why do they exist?
What will be the math of the future? What will math look like, a hundred years from now, or five thousand, or (again hypothesizing that we’ll be around indefinitely) even a hundred thousand?
These questions make math seem like a strange, magical and universal discipline. The pursuit of their answers has long eluded me. Here, I finally make some attempts.
This article is part of a series on Dostoevsky’s Great Works. See also:
- The Brothers Karamazov: The Other Brothers
- Crime and Punishment: Flesh and Bronze
- The Idiot: The Moral Idiot
Dostoevsky’s works so far have taught us that sin is inevitably punished. Tortured intellectual Raskolnikov’s misguided personal philosophy ultimately drives him towards murder; he’s punished by his conscience long before he’s punished by the law. Dimitri, a rash and impetuous character, doesn’t commit murder. However, he leads a life of sin and debauchery, once dragging a drunken rival out of the bar and beating him publicly. And Dmitri ultimately accepts the punishment for a murder he didn’t even commit.
Sin is punished. The Idiot, now, asks the opposite question: is goodness rewarded?
Holbein’s The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb
This article is part of a series entitled Russian Caravan Tea. See also:
1. Only in Russia; 2. The Lonely and Forgotten Nation; 3. The Eternal City
Moscow’s elaborate subway system has stations dotting the entire city. Riding for five minutes in the fluorescent glow of a train car, only to emerge forth through the station’s doors, I find myself transported to a new, fantastic, and completely arbitrary world. Thus exploring, I “collect universes”. On foot, I travel through them; underground, I travel between them.
In my mind, another world is explored: the abstract landscapes of mathematics itself. These universes are expanses of terrain; they’re built and connected, however, out of pure ideas. They’re abysses of blackness, filled only by the shifting machinery of logical structures. They’re universes of mechanical ideas. I explore them too.
A view from Moscow’s “Taganskaya” station.
This article is part of a series on Health Policy. See also:
- Ground Control to Major Reform
- Hospital Salaries Could Cut Care Costs
- The Appropriate Practice Scope of Chiropractic May Be a Political Question, Not a Scientific One
When doctors are rewarded for throughput, the result is hasty care, and we all pay the price. Let’s reward our doctors for performance instead.
CT scanner overuse can tell us a lot about what’s wrong with the healthcare industry.
TIME article Bitter Pill tells of a 64-year-old woman named Janice S., who, upon feeling chest pains, was rushed to the hospital for diagnosis. After a few tests, she was told that she had indigestion; her pains resulted from mere heartburn. But her local Stamford Hospital in Connecticut slapped her with $21,000 worth of bills.
Janice’s case is just one example of an all too common phenomenon: Americans paying far too much for simple procedures. The ACA makes headway by requiring insurance for everyone, but even after its passing, inefficiencies still abound. Let’s take a look at what’s really driving up costs in American healthcare.
This article is part of a series on the Philosophy of Emotion. See also:
1. Guilt; 2. Love; 3. Emotion
There seem to be two primary, perhaps opposing, forces which create attraction. Excitement: the fluttering glory of someone dazzling, elitely perfect, and, most of all, utterly inaccessible. Companionship: the warmth and recognition of deep, mutually shared understanding and sympathy. Which of these is a stronger force? Which is more meaningful? Can one get in the way of the other? Most importantly: how can an understanding of these forces lead us to love?