I shan’t bullshit you my friends, I suck at math. If you forced me to do algebra with a gun to my head, the event could only end with my landlord having PTSD. I really wish that wasn’t the case, because numbers truly do fascinate me.Somehow, we can manipulate these immutable, immortal concepts in such a way that we’re able to extrude complicated objects into this world. Just take a look at all the amazing feats of engineering and architecture around you at this very moment that you’re taking for granted. It’s truly amazing, almost magical stuff. And it’s all there, at least in part, because of what we do with numbers.
Now that we’ve established that my mind is a burrito of mathematical ineptness and ignorant awe, perhaps I’m extra susceptible to being manipulated into being mesmerized by witnessing simple patterns, or mathematical slight of hand (we’ll get to that later). But, I’ll say it anyway- I think numbers might be more than hard fast units of measurement.
But please, dear god, don’t take it from me.
A visual representation of pi to 10,000 digits.
Pythagoras and his legendary school (which went on long after his death in various (A visuforms) were utterly obsessed with numbers to the point of near worship. Pythagoras himself (supposedly) famously said “all is number,” whatever that means. The great eccentric scientist Nikola Tesla was straight bonkers over the number “3.” He’d do crazy shit like walk around the block three times before entering a building and ask that his napkin be folded three times before being served. He also said, “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe.” Sir Isaac Newton spent more time studying a secret code within the bible than he did the laws of physics.
If these were your run-of-the-mill underpass-dwelling schizoids, that’d be one thing. But, these are men we’re taught to revere as pillars of intellectual and scientific prowess. Is it possible that they were on to something?
Clearly this is a subject that’s very controversial, but if you open your mind, just to the possibility of numbers being a living breathing creative language, beyond just a rigid tool we use to express the hard fast concepts of the world, at the very least becomes a much more interesting place.
My guest, Marty Leeds is an author and researcher who’s deeply entrenched in just this kind of thinking. He makes insane videos showing correlations between words, numbers and esoteric concepts in a way that’s pretty goddamn intriguing. So much so, that they’ve been the cause of at least one confirmed case of spontaneous head explosion.