Words and Decimal Places

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“But words do not have decimal places. Neither do flowers and volcanoes. The eye can see but cannot do logarithms. A toddler can catch a ball but cannot do the math necessary to enable him to do so. Symbols or numbers in a mathematical formula have a denotation but no connotation to speak of. The number 28 does not have the same aroma as, say, the word tepid, which is what ice cubes become when they decide to become a dull and uninteresting glass of water. This means that the information about the word conveyed through such symbols is skeletal at best. The problem we face is that we have come to assume that our abstractions of reality’s skeleton are, in fact, reality itself. And this is why our precisionist minds are so confused. All around us this extra stuff is flying by” (Angels in the Architecture, p. 191).

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