RE: [-empyre-] Re:oh my god
> for that matter, outside
> offormal languages, I don't think mathematics ad language are that
> inextricably related -
godel's work, for instance, is about formal language systems, and the
results apply across the field of math and also, as we see via Turing's
related work, to computing problems and what is possible (and impossible) in
computing. The study of formal language systems, at least in math, used to
be called meta-mathematics. Though there are applied areas of it, it is
primarily part of pure mathematics (as opposed to 'applied').
also, the philosophical implications of the work of godel have been deeply
felt concerning the nature of human knowledge.
it used to be that physics was the exemplar of the application of
mathematics in the world. but now, in our age where computers are so
prevalent and important in so many areas of endevor, the mathematics of
computer science is at least as prominent. and the mathematics of computer
science is, at its base, concerned with the properties of languages, given
that computing is, in a certain sense, all about processing strings of
characters, processing language, whether the characters encode text or other
media, whether the characters are numbers or letters or whatever.
mathematics has been formulated that helps us understand the limits of
language, the edges of the knowable. The Incompleteness theorems of Godel,
for instance, are how we know that we will never know all that is knowable
although we sort of already knew that, or intuited it from the obvious
vastness of the unknown. There are of course other less intuitive results,
like undecidable propositions, which are neither independent axioms nor
the results of mathematics have always had their influence on the philosophy
and art--and weaponry and other skull-duggery--of the day, but the profound
work that has been done in a synthesis of the study of language and
mathematics paved the way for the invention of computers and information
theory, etc. Computers were invented by mathematicians, fundamentally, and
their studies of the properties of formal languages.
It used to be that the study of language and mathematics were quite
separate, it's true. Tamara writes of the work of synthesis of arts and
media she is doing in her life and passages of perception. it is fitting
that a synthesis of the study of language and mathematics had so much to do
to make the current situation possible where, in digital art, we work with
technologies that allow us to test the boundaries between arts and media.
and even between each other, alan.
i was a bit surprised to read you say that "I find the world meaningless,
human life, culture, etc. ultimately
meaningless, except what we assign to it. There's no rationality to the
world, no ultimate logic. There is jostling, juggling, from the levels of
strings, virtual particles, on up to political parties. "
No principle of peace? Or whatever you want to call it. Or Karma. Tamara
speaks of finding "harmony". Or 'love' or 'cooperation'?
When I was young, I read literature with passion, seeking many things, to be
a writer, understanding, meaning. I remember feeling that MacBeth and Lao
Tse came to the same realization, that, as you say, the world is meaningless
except what we assign to it. For MacBeth, all that was left, then, were
beasts and best to be king of the beasts. For Lao Tse, the freedom afforded
by the same realization was to be explored more fully. For me, much of the
'meaning of life' is in making things with and/or for others, though I am
rarely very good at collaboration in art.
This archive was generated by a fusion of
Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and