The remainder

Just in case you want to continue the discussion of E & M, here are some things that I’d be super interested to discuss:

1) Math as a parallel to life (Tom, I think it was you who ended the conversation on this note, which I think is brilliant!). Wallace’s E & M certainly draws out parallels between math and life. For example, the lack of solutions and finality. Another example, that not everything can be proven. And another–there are real numbers, irrational numbers, rational number, imaginary numbers–do these types of numbers perhaps mirror a few general categories of people?

Precisely what is the relationship between the math world and the human world? Can this relationship be pinpointed, or is the solution / answer to this question indefinite like infinity? Is there a map / function / correspondence between these two worlds? Are there common elements that both care about? For instance, existence seems to play a huge role in E & M as it does in The Broom. But in what ways is the issue or urgency of existence different in these two (con)texts?

2) I also wanted to ask, “What did you guys learn about math from E & M?”

3) Also, Wallace definitely dramatizes the history of math in E & M, I think. But it’s interesting how he does it–he seems to portray the history of math as a battle–the battle between Intuitionists and Platonists, the battle between the everpresent existence vs. the created existence of math, etc.

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