Let’s have a Math-Theology Bookclub!

naming infinity

Guys, my life is really really wonderful right now.  I just found out about the existence of Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity, and my cup runneth over.  Here's an excerpt from the review in The New Republic. The Name Worshippers of Mount Athos had been shut down. What mattered most were the defiant interruptions to the angry sermon of Archbishop Nikon of Vologda, who had marched into the monastery courtyard behind the troops. “You mistakenly believ … [Read more...]

Today’s Big Controversy

All week, I've been looking forward to today, but I was mindful that it might be contentious and provoke rancor among my friends.  But, ultimately, truth is more important than partisanship, so, come what may, I want to wish you all a very happy Tau Day!As you may remember from math class, pi is approximately 3.14159 and, every year, on March 14th, math geeks tend to celebrate.  Pi is what you get when you divide a circle's circumference (the length around the outside) by the diameter ( … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Mr. Turing

1 It's Alan Turing's birthday!  Google has a nice outline of his life and work for you to check out, and a ribbon-style Turing machine on the Google.com homepage that lets you get an idea for how to do read/write instructions.  (I got sloppy (I've only got so much time in theis Starbucks) and accidentally programmed an infinite loop, but luckily Google made sure to include a break).  10 The definite highlight of my first CS class at college was finding out we would write a r … [Read more...]

Is it Maps All the Way Down?

Yesterday, I went to the Dominican House of Studies for a symposium on Creation and Modern Science, and one of the speakers was Edward Feser, author of The Last Superstition (the book that got me started exploring Aquinas and hanging out with the DC Dominicans).  His lecture was on the immaterial nature of thought, and there's one facet of it I'd like to highlight here.Feser was talking about the distinction between concepts and phantasms.  As briefly as possible (i.e. blame me, not Feser, if … [Read more...]

Infinite Inaccuracy

From Dresden Codak's excellent Dungeons and Discourse

I spent the weekend at an alumni event for my college debating group.  In the wee hours of the morning, a fellow transhumanist and I were arguing with a rather tipsy post-modernist.  PoMo guy was arguing we couldn't justifiably wish to live forever or even to live too long, since, without death, there could be no need to leave a legacy after us, and, thus, the drive to create would be annihilated.  (If people are interested, I can write up my counterargument in a different post).As part o … [Read more...]

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Ms. Frizzle

Man, did I pick an auspicious time to transition to Patheos; it’s Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.Ada Lovelace is widely held to have been the first c … [Read more...]