Tuesday, May 28, 2002

One day Mr. C (C for Christian his first name for Citerella his last, and most of all for Calculus) took our class to watch a video of an applied mathematician. The unevenly dressed and heavily bearded man demonstrated an algorhythme of his design that would produce the branching patterns of various trees. I witnessed these algorhythmic trees branch, and was sure, yes, I saw it, there was a tree in this pattern, there was a tree--almost. There was something FUNDAMENTALLY not a tree about this algorhythmetree... this algorhythme somehow described the tree, produced some compelling resemblence, yet I looked at it and knew that a tree would never branch quite like that. We could fit prose and verse, and code and equations, together and together, and come closer and closer to the tree, but we'll never make it.
Yet trees pull constantly at my eyes, compelling and compelling me to trace their branches with my eyes. One branch, up and down until my gets lost and sent down another branch up again and back out to a group of branches down to the trunk and back up again and out, and I can see the algorhythme and know it's not there. I can tell the patterns upon patterns upon patterns and layer into each other, and try as I might I still know it's not there, but I somehow have reached my arm out farther into the infinite distance between me and the tree.
Euclid could know the perfect circle
and Euclid could know "nature" never produced a perfect circle
So where did Euclid's perfect circle" come from? How did Euclid conjure it?
Euclid's perfect circle and the circles in nature are the two prongs of Hume's fork
the tree
and the algorhythme
matters of fact--all our truths of the natural world, impossible to prove or disprove with any certainty
and relations of ideas--what Hume considers the child of thought making love to itself, provable with certainty, but not applicable to the natural world
But Hume does not construct a working utensil--he fails to provide a handle
where these two prongs meet.
Where do they meet?
Where do they meet?
Where do they meet?