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Paz & Gorm & Oliver & some other friends are all perplexed about mathematics. They think it is huge, and so important that all philosophy should just conform itself to Maths. The problem is, while they know that any data or knowledge can at best be an approximation and a simplification and a relative truth, they mysteriously miss the relativeness of Maths. And it is a shame, too, that they are perplexed, because Maths is such a simple, solved issue.

But what they feel as the startling power of Maths, or (as someone i’ve been meaning to read for ever {but never got around to} calls it) the unreasonable efficacy of Mathematics, this does not need to be so perplexing, if we put it in the right light.

If you start juggling with wooden staves, you can eventually do it with knives, or torches. What is so different about practicing with numbers?

We can build a model with balsa wood, and with it test if the building works. This does not prove that the essence of the building is balsa wood. If an engineer makes a model with numbers, numbers do not need to be the essence of the building either — much less the essence of reality.

Mathematics is a powerful tool, granted, but not the only one. It is not the only one that seems to reveal another world behind the world, not is it the only one that is abstract.

We can mathematize the world, sure, but from there to saying the world itself is made of Mathematics is a big, huge leap of faith.

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