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Monday, July 20, 2015

Weird power of the individual

Years ago I realized I needed to get comfortable with drawing attention from, well, from possibly every country on Earth. It is an odd thing as an individual to step through a door knowing there is no return, but that is the potential of mathematics.

One of my favorite results highlights an oddity to knowledge which I guess is inescapable:

It turns out that if you have:

u2 + Dv2 = F

then it must be true that

(u-Dv)2 + D(u+v)2 = F(D+1)

Rather simple algebra, and I found it, but why wasn't that found thousands of years ago? Why was it there for me to discover?

We don't know what we don't yet know! It is inescapable.

Yet the information has always been there. It just took someone to find it. But why me?

But it is just one of so many now I find it hard to keep count. For some reason discovery in mathematics doesn't stop you at one but seems to require an individual have many huge results. I do wonder why.

While it is a derived result it's verifiable by just simplifying the second expression by expanding out and using the first. I've stared at it so many times through the years wondering why it was for me to find. That can mess with your sense of sanity.

Recently I was jarred yet again when I found it even allowed me to explain things that had been considered by Ramanujan and Euler. And that was just one thing. If either were alive today, he'd probably chuckle in appreciation at finally learning the 'why'. I've been using it since 2008, here and there to figure things out.

Information travels fast in our world, and did before, while now the web means it moves faster. For years I've watched bursts of attention with fascination, knowing I have the best seat in the world. Others can just guess.

Mathematical discoveries are like perfect engines of attention: incorruptible, indestructible with no emotion, nor any care about human things like race, sex, nationality or anything else human. They don't care if people wish them to be true. And useful ones roar across the planet, whether you see that happen or not.

It really does feel like being pulled by something that is inhuman. It will not stop either.

And I get to be at the center of it all, contemplating the oddity of knowledge, how it does not seem to care about human social needs or structures and does not fit into the plans of man.

The world starts changing you immediately. It's like being pulled into an intense school like no other as yes, I can accidentally impact all kinds of things, if I'm not careful. You learn rules of politicians, consider economic impact, and worry about destabilizing things.

The attention gives you the influence. These words will be read in many countries. That gives them an impact just from that reality by itself.

But the best thing for me is to realize the weird power in the potential of the individual human, beyond what we can explain or predict. And I know what so many people around the planet may not realize: how much potential they have.

My focus is not just on world systems, but also on the individuals that make up our many human societies. God only knows what they will discover. We get to wait in anxious anticipation as the discovery engine continues to roar around our world. It's so exciting to contemplate.

The additional attention starts immediately. Information moves fast in our modern world. Very fast.


James Harris
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