“The things that fascinate me the most about mathematics are logical 
thought and the great importance attached to the correctness of 
propositions. Every step made during calculations is conclusive and 
mathematicians don’t like to make false statements. This is the reason why 
people from this particular domain contemplate longer before they respond 
to questions. Recently I read a sentence in a book which summarizes all 
this fascinating stuff to me succinctly: ‘Mathematics is the purest form of 
thought.’” —  

Barbara Meier (via dauphinexvx <http://dauphinexvx.tumblr.com/>)

This is an interesting observation, and I don’t disagree that mathematics 
is the purest form of thought, but what is thought? While we are at it, 
what is a form?

In the first case, I have proposed that thought is meta-feeling. It is a 
kind of trick within the interplay of intention and feeling to establish a 
generalized neutral feeling which can be used like a variable in algebra. A 
feeling like “I am angry and sad because a tiger ate my kids, but relieved 
that it was only a dream” can sort of look at itself from a distance and 
strike all kinds of other thought-like sparks. We can feel fear that dream 
was a premonition. We can feel motivated to hunt tigers. These need not be 
thoughts, but emotive dispositions. They don’t entail any awareness about 
our state or our actions, only a desire for this or that response to a felt 
condition. 

The feeling need not be connected to a real event or a particular event, 
but as we go up the ladder of meta-abstraction, the absence of immersive 
personal feeling is replaced by formality and clarity. It is an echo of 
decoherence, as the living wave of direct feeling ‘collapses’ into a 
thermodynamically unambiguous state, the flow of participation is deferred 
into analytical hindsight and strategic foresight.

On some level, it as if we are picking up the stylus from the universal 
record and holding onto it while we deliberate our options. Thought is 
born, in my view, as this kind of deferred meta entanglement…a feeling that 
is whipped up into a frothy foam where it can be used to the sculpt air - 
turning absence into a virtual presence through surface tension alone. The 
thought bubble is hypothesis, and the ultimate thought bubble is 
Mathematics because it seeks only to distill itself into its own purest 
form. It is, however, still a form. There is still a thinker thinking the 
thoughts, and the thoughts are still feelings of a living person, but these 
facts are hidden from view within the mathematical context. The pretense is 
toward a universal objectivity.

Indeed, it is not incorrect to say that ‘mathematics is the language of the 
universe’, iff you define the universe to begin with as those forms which 
can be publicly observed. In my view then, it is really tautological to say 
that mathematics is the purest form of thought, since mathematics is only 
the thought of purest forms. What then, are forms?

There are many ways to approach such a general term as form, but I prefer 
the underlying sense which is shared with formality. A presented shape, 
yes, but more like the logical essence of a presented shape. It is a 
presentation of coherent qualities; stability and regularity, reducibility 
to simpler, universal sub-forms, etc. Mathematics explores this aspect of 
the universe while eschewing and denying all phenomena which seems exempt 
from form. All things spontaneous and erratic, non-reducible and 
proprietary are treated poorly. Emotions, free will, and the “I” to whom 
they belong are not merely pushed to the back of the bus, but they are 
pushed out the back door of the bus, to be paved over by the steam roller 
in hot pursuit.

I sympathize with people who are unable to conceive of a concretely real 
phenomenon which generates form intentionally rather than is defined by it, 
but it is harder to be sympathetic when this disability is compounded by 
the unwillingness to allow that it can be conceived. In my thousands of 
hours arguing with STEM-minded people online I have found an overwhelming 
bias against certain kinds of ideas and laughable acceptance of others. 
Ridiculously grand abstractions like MWI, or replacing every atom in a 
human brain roll off of the tongue easily, while ordinary terms like free 
will are brought under Torquemadan hyper-scrutiny. The double standard is 
tremendous, yet invisible to those who subscribe to it. Physics can be as 
counter-intuitive and unexplainable as it wants to be, but if you bring up 
intuition itself, then be prepared to hear a lot of ‘simply’ this and 
‘merely’ that.

The good news though, is that through mathematical principles like 
symmetry, we can move beyond these blind alleys. By applying all of what we 
know about the public world, its forms and formulations in reverse we can 
find where the private world of physics begins - not with numbers, but with 
names; not with abstract thoughts but with sensory experience. To be a 
living participant in a meaningful universe is to eventually put the stylus 
down somewhere and let the music play.


The second post is shorter but it has pictures, so probably better to just 
link it: http://s33light.org/post/46154550763  It's about Tupper's 
Self-Referential Formula

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