Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Pentameter of Questions About Infinity

I wrote this after hearing a programme on radio 4 about Georg Cantor, and looking up his Wikipedia entry.

An infinity of infinities,
How can we best describe uncertain kinds?
Transcendental numbers uncountable,
Unimaginable to human minds.
Can logicians, too, feel the numinous?
Does mathematics mix with divinity,
For God is absolute infinity?
Infinite sets, nondenumerable,
Infinity nonequinumerous.
There are more decimal numbers than whole,
And so they are both innumerable,
But not equally so?  Might we know the rôle
That infinity plays in consciousness,
One day?  And will anyone find a simple way
To tell us? Why was it unorthodox
To accept 'actual infinity'
Is the set of infinite entities?
Did it open the door to paradox,
Or infinite sets of paradoxes?
Would you open the door to paradoxes?
How would you know their true identities,
If they were sealed up in cardboard boxes?

Wikipedia - Georg Cantor

BBC - A Brief History of Mathematics

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