02 July 2007

1, 2, 3, \infty

Since the time of Greek philosophy, scholars have prided themselves on their ability to understand something about infinity; and it has become traditional in some circles to regard finite things as essentially trivial, too limited to be of any interest. It is hard to debunk such a notion, since there are no accepted standards for demonstrating that something is interesting, especially when something finite is compared with something transcendent. Yet I believe that the climate of thought is changing, since finite objects are proving to be such fascinating objects of study.
Donald E. Knuth, Mathematics and Computer Science: Coping with Finiteness, 1976

1 comment:

Ezra Cooper said...

[this is good]

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