Sunday, January 29, 2017


Hi folks, Jemma here. I got to know about this infinity thing. The sooner we grasp it, the better, I guess. In schoolspeak, there is the minus or plus infinity.

This what it shows in symbols.
- ∞ +

On the minus side, things can go infinitely smaller. On the plus side, things can go infinitely bigger.

Nice to think about strawberries going, let us say, much bigger.

Some would say it is about the number of strawberries that you go minus or plus infinity. But then, there were the Founding Fathers and they said you couldn't owe for strawberries that never existed, so to speak.

Infinity can be quite tricky, when you do math. We won't get to have two heads for language and other matters anyway, so let us see the thing here.

-2 and -2 is -4
-2 (+) -2 = -4

This is how we usually write this.
-2 -2 = -4

Think you have a basket of strawberries. You gave away 2 strawberries and then you gave 2 more. Altogether, you have given 4 strawberries.

Think Bob takes 2 strawberries from the basket and then he puts 2 strawberries in. There is no change in the quantity, -2 and +2 is zero change.
-2 + 2 = 0

It is not zero strawberries: we still have the basket and two strawberries back in again.

Now think Bob takes two strawberries from the basket and puts the same strawberries back in. There's no change in quality, unless there would be some end of the world, but this not the point with our infinity.
-2 (-) -2 = 0

This is how we can write this. Math generalizes on quality.
-2 +2 = 0

In math, two minuses add up to a plus, and a plus and a minus make a minus.
Two minuses add up to a plus.
-2 (-) -2 = 0
-2 +2 = 0

A plus and a minus make a minus.
-2 (+) - 2 = -4
-2 -2 = -4

Some people would say that zero is the same as nothing. If you have nothing, it is the same as when you have zero of something. But then, if zero could stand for nothings only, we'd be counting strawberries we don't have, or we could not make out our baskets.

Honestly, only real strawberries count.

Zero can be nothing, but it also can be a starting value for something, as reckoning. We can have a look at the stopwatch thing.

For reckoning on the amount of time, the stopwatch might go to plus infinity on the left hand side. It is on the left we get bigger and bigger values. For reckoning on the time interval, the stopwatch might go into the minus infinity on the right hand side. It shows smaller and smaller intervals of time on the right.

Aunt Chantelle said the minus infinity was a very good idea to cope with the jet lag. She was going to think she maybe hadn't had much sleep, but those were — however quite a number — just very tiny intervals of time to spend on the plane.

She comes from France every Thanksgiving. She takes evening flights and is at our place the first thing Thursday. Naturally, we have snacks and she has a nap after.

Conventionally, we note the infinity as
- ∞ +
For the stopwatch, we would write
+ ∞ -
We can associate the infinity with pi, the indefinite, and the wheel. Wheels are not endless, and infinity does not have to mean eternity, or anything that never ends. We just cannot or would not strictly decide on a number or quality.

To have an infinity, we always have to set the zero point. The point does not have to mean some absolutely nothing.

In language, we can use the infinity for the Simple pattern: even if we counted all verbs, we would have new verbs soon, and memorizing them by the number could not make sense, anyway.
This is why I want to encourage you:
Begin with the infinity.