Optimism

I began a post in 2013 by recognizing something that David Deutsch said in a TED talk in 2005. I have referred back to it many times since, and here I will do it again. But this time I would like to present it more completely. It’s a beautiful articulation of something that’s just […]

Standing by for a correction to our view of the physical

I’ve spent a number of years using this blog to highlight the way that mathematical things seem to operate in very natural occurrences like the way our brains work, the way ants navigate, the way plants calculate an efficient consumption rate of their stored starch, the collective behavior of insect colonies, flocks, schools, and […]

Ideals in the body politic

I have spent quite a bit of time, using much of the information provided in these posts, to argue that mathematics is in a unique position to show us that our thoughts (the silent language in our heads) that appear to be produced in the privacy of our imagination, have some independent reality. By […]

Individuals, Information, and the lenses of mathematics

First, I would like to apologize for neglecting Mathematics Rising in recent months. Changes to the classes I’ve been teaching at UT Dallas, (that were necessitated by Covid-19) consumed so much of my time that it became difficult for me to do much more than teach my classes and take care of my family. […]

New strategies, new circuitries, new mathematics

I came upon an MIT News article about the work of Ila Fiete who studies brain functions, like the neurological processes that govern navigational reasoning about our surroundings. Fiete uses computational and mathematical tools. Her interest in biology, and her respect for the “aesthetic to thinking mathematically,” (as she put it) led her to […]

Information, mathematics,and the consciousness of the universe

A New Scientist article began with a now familiar refrain:

They call it the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.” Physicist Eugene Wigner coined the phrase in the 1960s to encapsulate the curious fact that merely by manipulating numbers we can describe and predict all manner of natural phenomena with astonishing clarity…

The article by Michael […]

Mathematics says, “here is a point of view.”

Category theory in mathematics is a relatively new and provocative branch of mathematics that has found many faithful followers and some critics. By relatively new I mean that category theory notions were first introduced only as far back as 1945. Criticism of the theory is often related to the level of abstraction it requires. […]

From coin flipping to branching universes

A recent column in Quanta Magazine, by theorist Seam Carroll, highlights the far reaching implications of the role played by probability theory in quantum mechanics. Carroll’s intention is to bring into focus the need, which does seem to exist, for us to understand what, exactly, those probabilities are telling us. In quantum mechanics, the […]

The monad, autopoiesis and Christmas

If you were listening, the season brought the usual surge of Christmas music through all manner of electromagnetic transmission, wired and wireless, causing me to remember again my mild preoccupation with one tune in particular, namely – Do You Hear What I Hear? For the past few years I found myself listening more closely […]

Timeless geometry and what we say time is

Another article about physics and mathematics by Natalie Wolchover, published in both Wired and Quanta Magazine, got my attention because it began like this:

In late August, paleontologists reported finding the fossil of a flattened turtle shell that “was possibly trodden on” by a dinosaur, whose footprints spanned the rock layer directly above. The […]