Archive for January 5th, 2016

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models.  By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena.  The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.
    —    John von Neumann
The mathematician is dependent on what is quantitative, on everything that can be determined by number and measurement, and so, in a certain sense, on the universe in its outwardly recognizable form.  If, however, we contemplate this, in so far as we are endowed with this capacity, with all our intellect and all our powers, we realize that quantity and quality must be looked upon as the two poles of visible being;  which is also why the mathematician raises the language of his formulas high enough, in so far as this is possible, to include the immeasurable world together with the measurable and calculable world.  And now everything appears tangible, within reach and mechanical, and he comes to be suspected of secret atheism, in that he, as it seems, believes he can also grasp what is most incomprehensible of all, what we call God, and therefore seems to be relinquishing the idea of God’s special or pre-eminent being.
    —    Goethe
On This Day In:
2015 Non Sequitur
2014 No Flags League
I Ain’t Who Am
2013 Spoiling For Fame?
2012 How Many?
2011 Too Tired To Chat Much
2010 I Must Be Crazy!!

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