The general impression among philosophers of science and physicists alike is that maths is simple.
According to this viewpoint, maths may be—nay, even must be—beautiful. But for all its complexity, speaking in the cultured tones, it is condemned to stay simple. The subtle shades of the evanescent feelings and emotions, say as captured by a piece of poetry or a work of fine art, they say, is not accessible to the hard, cold, “objective,” world of even of science in general, let alone the “world” of mathematics.
And, yes, as a matter of a plain truth, blogs must still be written, for the most part, using plain languages, for instance, in English! Not in mathematics.
Now, as far as I am concerned, I do seem to have sometime in the past much appreciated what folks such as these mean by those words.
But a subtle change took a root in my mind over the course of the last, ummmm…, 6–7 days, whose final culmination is what this post is all going to be about.
I mean to say, over the course of the past week or so, I seemed to be steadily recovering from my RSI (duly reported earlier on this very blog; see my last post).
Yesterday, the situation was that I seemed to have “fully” recovered from it.
And yet, as I was at it—I mean: at my poor keyboard—once again, I developed, you know, … a feeling. A feeling, now, near the base of my right-hand thumb. A feeling of a bit of a pain.
Now, given the really, really smart person that I am, I exactly knew what to do next: I stopped doing work, and ordered for me, through official channels [if you must be ever so curious], a new, more ergonomic, and < Rs. 500 keyboard. And then, I rested upon my newfound hint of an oncoming pain. [“Prevention is better than cure.”]
Then, sometime this late afternoon, as I was toying with the idea of slipping myself out of this sense of a highly diluted but nevertheless all-pervading boredom, I noticed that I cannot express myself at all. I mean to say: in plain English.
The “real truth” of the matter is this:
I think I have recovered—at least with all of today’s (and past few days’) boredom.
The thing also is: I think I have not recovered—not at least with that slight-ish pain, now appearing at the basal region of my right thumb.
Now, see, this is a situation that is so well-captured by maths in the following manner [but before going over that, may I remind you, for the th time, that the proper spelling of the proper short-form of “mathematics” does naturally carry an ‘s’ at its end]:
Let be defined as the wellness index. Then, states of well-/ill-ness can be easily expressed according to the following scheme:
Simple enough a scheme, right?
So, now, the only question is: what English phrase do you use for the case which is captured by the expression: ? especially if it also includes a time-evolution? a progress with the passage of time?
If you try to put it in English, referring to the above-mentioned points, there is no word in the English language (or any other “natural” language) to express this thought, this aspect of the actual reality (i.e. the condition of my typing hands). After all, “Recovered” does mean but this number is not acceptable because of the use of the strong “” sign.
As to “Recovering,” the range, in this case, turns out to be of a rather Very Large Scale. In fact, as compared to the expression: ““, it actually refers to an infinitely large Scale.
So, how do you express yourself in English, as far as that quoted expression, viz., “,” goes?
After taking into account the time-evolution part of it, you would very naturally say something like: “recovering-ed” or “recovered-ing”. … You choose between the two.
Precisely both precisely are kind of usages that the Wren and Martin of my childhood times wouldn’t permit me, or any other child. (It’s not that I took the pair very seriously even back then, but the point is: I’ve come to know what painful book to quote when.)
And yet, the title usage is amply justified. As so well illustrated by the already established correspondence of maths and English.
And so, as I once again get back to typing [a lot]—but not on this (or any other) blog—what do you do in the meanwhile?
You listen to this song which I like…
A Song I Like:
(Marathi) “naval vartale ge maaye, ujaLalaa prakaashu…”
Lyrics: G. D. Madgulkar [Yes, that’s right, the words didn’t come to you from “sant dnyaaneshwara.” [Yes, you further are wrong, “dnyaaneshwara” is never pronounced as “dnyaaneshwaraa,” let alone a “dnyaaneshwaraaaaaa.”]]
Singer: Asha Bhosale
Music: C. Ramchandra
[PS: May be I will streamline this post just a bit later tomorrow or the day after or so… .]