Mathematical Faith – 7/2/12

So, I’m on vacation, reading about the history of information – moving from oral tradition to writing, from messages sent by messengers to the telegraph and then telephone, and on into information theory changing things from math, to physics and on into biology.

I’m fascinated especially about the transition times when our familiar understandings need to shift, and how we did or did not easily accomplish these shifts. The famous scientists seemed to us to have walked with vision towards things we now take for granted. But there were smart people, who were sometimes wrong or misguided, and who stumbled around looking until they happened on a formulation that seemed to fit. Most often the changes took a lot of getting used to by a population reluctant to let go of their current ways of thinking, speaking and doing things.

searching
exploring
looking for
questions
with mathematical answers
stumbling forward
like all the rest of us
at times unseeing
with only
faith
in a close familiarity
with the tools and approaches
that may have worked before

faith
not sight

faith stepping along this road
will bear the fruit
of a deeper understanding
when the pieces fit
gloriously
together

and sometimes
when our own favorites
are displaced
our faith and understandings
must change
to match a reality
bigger and more different
than we’d imagined

[see: James Gleick – “The Information – a history, a theory, a flood” – 2011]

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About Clark W Johnson

I am a poet, interested in using poetry to explore my interactions with the spiritual. I find poetry captures tension, paradox and flow well enough so I can hold experiences at arms length and reflect on them from multiple vantage points. As I walk deeper with my God, I'm finding such a record invaluable for myself, and I find that pieces and parts touch others as well. I love and long for more points of contact along those lines.
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