Matthew used to think love was as easy as 3.14159, but Linda was rapidly proving him wrong. He loved Linda, sure, just like he loved his dog Einstein, but he loved mathematics the most. Linda was a woman he met through his parents, and as of three(3) months ago, his wife. Einstein was a mutt he found at the animal shelter four(4) years ago, and also his best friend.
But math, math was something inherently part of him from the day he was born (5/6/78), math was found in his name and etched in the lines on his palms. Math was in the shapes around him, in the vectors he travelled from point A to point B. Math was even in Linda’s face, for it was near perfect according to the Golden Ratio (1.61803), and the moment his mother, desperate to find him a wife, introduced to him a woman with a completely symmetrical face, he knew she was The One(1).
Einstein had learned to respect his love for math, and even stayed by his side as a steadfast companion through long nights filled with tedious derivations. Linda was different though, because she was a woman and he soon realized, after countless failed math pickup lines and proposals in binary code, that math and science, while they were vital in understanding how the world worked, were absolutely useless when it came to the Study of a Woman's Heart.
Linda's heart, he knew, was just like his own in that it was composed of four(4) chambers, two(2) ventricles and two(2) atria, and it pumped blood to the rest of the body in a periodic cycle of contractions. On average, Linda’s heart beat at a rate of seventy(70) bpm, which meant that in one(1) hour, it beat forty-two hundred(4200) times. If asked, Matthew could easily model the in- and out- flow of blood from Linda's heart, or make predictions about her heart rate in five(5) hours given her blood pressure reading now. But love wasn't as easy as understanding just the mathematics behind a woman's heart, because there was this unknown variable called "feelings," and math failed to tell him how to interpret those.
"You've broken my heart," said Linda to him one(1) day, black mascara tears streaking down her cheeks. He blinked at her – the heart couldn’t break, could it? He was in the middle of constructing a new lemma, to help him form a proof for the Riemann Hypothesis, and he wanted to tell her to keep quiet and let him concentrate but he saw from the look on her face that this wasn't the time.
"I'm sorry," he said, pencil stilling in his hands.
"No, you're not," said Linda, and in all honesty, she was correct. "I didn't think when I married you that you'd devote more time to a field of study than to your own wife, but you've proven me wrong."
"I've proven many things wrong," he said, adjusting his glasses. She gawked at him.
"This is exactly the problem," she said, waving her hands about chaotically in a way he found positively(>0) infuriating. "You spend so much time thinking, dreaming, breathing math that you don't know how to do anything else. It's like you're on another plane, you don't understand me."
"Planes can intersect to form a line," he said.
"Ours are parallel."
Touché, he thought. "I need you, Linda." He was lying through his teeth and she knew it.
"You don't need me," she said. "You just need a pencil and paper and a new idea. I'm tired of you and your long nights of research and dissociation from humankind."
Matthew sighed. "So what are we going to do?"
"'We' aren't going to do anything, Matt. There is no 'we.' There's just u+i = u+i, and I'm cancelling myself out of that equation."
It was an impressive last line, he had to admit, and before he could form a reply she had one(1) foot out the door. Einstein gave a soft whine when the door slammed shut. Matthew shrugged in response. "Q.E.D."
Q.E.D. = "quod erat demonstrandum," which means "what was to be demonstrated." traditionally put at the end of mathematical (and philosophical) proofs when the original statement has been proven. in this case, the original statement is "love is not easy."
slightly condensed/edited version: http://hitrecord.org/records/326750
let's play pretend
until the end,
whenever that will be.
we'll dress in gowns
and dance around
and jump into the sea.
we'll float and fly
straight through the sky
in our hot air balloon,
and then we'll race
to outer space
and steal ourselves the moon.
let's make believe
and never leave
our own fantasy land.
we'll sing love songs
now wouldn't that be grand?
and even though
inside we'll know
nothing is as it seems,
as long as we're
who needs reality?
sang my lyrics over wirrow/gwen's amazing song. um... i hope this isn't terrible. <3 be sure to check out metaphorest's song for these lyrics (resourced) - it's the cheerful version. this is the melancholy version...
my most ambitious REmix to date, to illustrate the breakup scene from A Mathematician's Approach to Love (http://hitrecord.org/records/185877 if the link doesn't work)... my goal was to make a realistic 3D composite image using 30+ image REsources. did i succeed?
for background info, please check out the story! (link above and in resources)
some of the stock photos i used were self-taken; if you can't find them in the REsources and would like me to upload them for further REmixes (i.e. the desk, the light, the math books), please let me know.
many thanks to all of the incredible artists/photographers whose work i used!
& if you are curious about the process, or where certain REsources appear in the image (it's hard to find some of them), feel free to ask away! : D
Fact: Two rational numbers can never be adjacent, as you will always find an irrational number between them.
Proposition: Two rational people can never be together, as you will always find something irrational separating them.
(So let's be completely irrational together, you and I.)
People are put into the ground when they die.
Seeds are put into the ground to be born again.
^ the tiny story I wrote earlier
I had this idea that when the heart stops beating, it is planted into the ground like a seed to bring forth more life even after death. Let's keep our loved ones alive, again by heart -- RECord, RECord, RECord. <3
"Don't be irrational," said i.
"Come on guys, be positive!" said 22/7.
"Oh look," said i grumpily, "the voice of reason."
"I can't help that I'm rational," said 22/7.
"And i only wishes he could be positive," said Pi.
"Excuse me?" said i.
"You'd have to square yourself to be truly positive."
"Well look who's being a Negative Nancy," said -12, amused.
"You're one to talk," said 1 and Pi simultaneously.
"I feel like I'm looking in the mirror," said Pi, staring at 1.
"So what's the problem?" said 1.
"Pi wants to break up with me," said i.
"Why?" said 1.
"He says it's my personality," said i, "but I'm pretty sure he's got his eye on infinity."
"Don't we all," said 22/7 with a sigh.
"Pi's being ridiculous," said i, "Why would he want to end things with me?"
"Well, you can't blame him," said e. "You aren't real, after all."
"Oh my, look who's finally awake!" said i with a snort. "e, you've been sleeping like a log all day."
"Shut up," said e. "I need my beauty sleep."
"So do I," said Phi, yawning from the corner.
"No you don't!" said e. "You look positively golden today, darling."
"What about me?" said Zero.
"Did you hear that?" said i. "It sounded like the wind."
"You probably imagined it like you do everything else," said Pi. "I'm pretty sure it was nothing."
-- it rolls. Down, down, down, crushing the dead earth in its path until it finally settles at the bottom of the steep mountain.
He feels defeated, crushed. Somewhere, the gods are mocking him and he knows it. His life has really come down to this. But what is this, but a duty assigned specifically to him? Perhaps it is of some cosmic importance, or at least he tries to think it is.
He trudges down the side of the mountain, stopping when he reaches the boulder at the bottom. It is a large sphere of solid rock, nearly six times his size. As he puts his palms against its cold surface, he wonders idly if this time will be the last.
With a deep breath, he begins to roll it, up, up, up the mountainside, over the flattened, lifeless grass and the sticks and the stones. Halfway up the slope, he stops, his muscles screaming in pain from over-exertion. He wants to give up. He wants to rest.
But this is his responsibility. This is his calling. Some would call it his burden, but no-- it isn't a burden, it can't be. Despite the pain and suffering, he knows this is his rock. This is his fate, and his only, to create. He chooses to push this heavy weight up the mountain because he wants to, because it is what he was meant to do. He tells himself these things as he keeps rolling it up, past the rough patches of land until he gets to the very top.
It is done. Finally, he has brought it to the mountain's peak. He leaves it there and brushes the sweat from his forehead. His legs give out and he falls to the ground, panting. His entire body aches, but he smiles all the same. He has succeeded.
But just then, the earth quakes under him. The boulder moves, ever so slightly. Deep down inside, he knows what is coming. There is a rumble as the rock falls out of place. Perhaps it is his own madness, but he imagines he can hear the gods laughing somewhere far above.
Exhausted, he can only sit still and watch helplessly as--
(hint: go back to the very beginning and read it over... and over... and over again)
The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus, is my favorite philosophical essay. You can read it here: http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/hell/camus.html The basic idea is this: Sisyphus has been condemned by the gods to roll a rock up a mountain and watch it roll down again, then repeating the process for all of eternity. It is probably the worst existence imaginable. But the remarkable thing about it is that he tells himself he is in CONTROL of this fate, that he is doing this because he WANTS to, and that is the key thing that leads to his happiness -- absurdly enough, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy," because despite this terrible life he lives, he makes it his own.
I find this story incredibly inspiring. I am also fascinated by infinite loops. That's why I wrote this little story about Sisyphus, which I hope you will read again and again so that you can share Sisyphus' pain and joy and everything in between. :)
i wish you all a very happy, safe, and healthy new year. may twenty ELEVEN bring you nothing but genuine smiles and happiness. <3
thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this community. i'm proud to say it has made me a significantly happier and more confident person. it is magical. WE are magical. i cannot say thank you enough, but here goes: THANK YOU, again, by heart.
p.s. apologies to the city of chicago for butchering your skyline...