kenneth.mackendrick at utoronto.ca kenneth.mackendrick at utoronto.ca
Fri Nov 5 05:38:30 PST 1999

On Thu, 04 Nov 1999 09:33:22 -0800 (PST) Chuck Grimes <cgrimes at tsoft.com> wrote:

> I was serious about Piaget. If your interested in how mathematical
ideas find their way into theories about the formation of the mind, Piaget has something to say.

Cassier, Piaget... I think I'll go back to Cassier first.

> In any event, I haven't read any Lacan. It was just that
I recognized a certain impulse in your quotes.

I'll settle with an unhappy consciousness about the whole thing. I've always tended toward the notion that graphs and numbers are simply a means of expression for people who don't want to think. Of course I'm wrong about this, math is an antiphony after all (call and response). So my interest in Lacan, for one, leans toward appropriating his work as a critique of Habermas. Habermas's discourse ethics, it appears to me, can be formulated in mathemes (or something like that). And my response has been that this in itself relies on an imaginary figuring of the figures. In short: Habermas's discourse ethics relies on a moral imaginary. This might seem like an obvious criticism but I'd like to determine exactly where he made the mistake, instead of just pointing the mistake out. Such is the life of thesis work.

> In other words, I'll bet that Lacan had some insight,
some hint of ordering and went nuts trying to figure it out. That is very easy to imagine.


> Math is a little like religion. It is easy to fixate
and invent arbitrary systems, announce the second coming, etc.--and pretty soon its time for the heavy meds and few years in the day room.

Liberative mathematics, eh? I wrote an essay on the Book of Revelation once. You should see some of the numerology around that. Not just in the text, but the fanatics who have calculated systems around it. The number of the beast is 666, as everyone knowns, but if you look at it right (heh), the number of the savior is 888. 888!? and this somehow relates to 7 (you have to round down) which is perfect. Oddly enough, superstring theory also relies on 7 dimensions. 7. Superstring must be true because it is beautiful! Perfect (seven deadly sins!). Ever seen the movie Pi? You'd probably get a kick out of it.


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