Week II/Zero and Infinity/Nathan Reynolds

*NOTE* I was not enrolled in this class for the first three weeks of winter quarter.  I am simply doing these assignments to say that I completed everything.  I do not expect a grade for them as they are horrendously late otherwise.

            When reading over the lecture for this week I began to ponder over things that are seemingly incomprehensible.  For reasons unbeknownst to me, I enjoy thinking about such subjects.  Whenever I want to push the limits of my capacities for critical thought, I meditate upon these.  The thought of eternity in the fourth dimension, time, can blow me away, and I have always wondered what the end of a bottomless pit conceals.  When I read over the notes of week II, I came across some mathematical figures that also intrigued me.  There are two entities which are seemingly incomprehensible: the number zero and the concept of infinity.

            When applied to mathematics, infinity, or ∞ is a limitless number, if one would call it that.  It does not end, and as the mind attempts to comprehend its size, that size grows ever larger.  Indeed, it is a number that is greater than the collective knowledge of all of humanity can comprehend.  One can, with some difficulty, count a googolplex, and a super being may be able to understand Graham’s number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham%27s_number).  However, infinity is unconstrained by the human mind.

            Does such a number have a purpose in our society or our universe even?  If anyone possessed an infinite quantity of anything with even a minute value to it, he would be infinitely rich, since anything multiplied by infinity is infinity still.  Anything divided by infinity is zero.  When you add or subtract infinity from a given entity, that entity also becomes positive or negative infinity.  Say that you are selling manure for $.10/lb.  If you have an infinite amount, and a constant demand, you will become infinitely rich.  Anything multiplied by infinity is infinity.  Unfortunately for you misers out there, infinity is intangible.  Theology hints at infinity through things like the mention of eternity, however, in which time spans an infinite length.

            When applied to mathematics, zero is the infinitely limiting number.  Anything multiplied by zero is zero.  Anything divided by zero is infinity.  When you add or subtract zero from an entity, that entity remains unchanged.  Zero is nothing.

            Like infinity, zero is intangible and incomprehensible in its purest and most fundamental form.  It cannot be described, because describing zero gives it characteristics, and nothing does not have characteristics.  It is nothing!  We can apply zero to a specific entity, however.

            How many Week 11 DESMA blogs are there?  How many orange trees exist in Antarctica?  How many Trojans can survive the UCLA curriculum (yes, Trojans; deal with it, Bruins are better than you)?  Zero can be used to describe things, but nothing can describe zero itself.  At least nothing we can readily comprehend.

            Any entity divided by infinity is zero, and anything divided by zero is infinity.  Thus, it is possible to accurately describe zero and infinity by comparing them to each other.  They are inverses of each other.

            Seemingly we have made a large leap in attempting to comprehend these two numbers, but in the end, we simply used and indescribable term to describe another term.

            Why do such entities exist?  We cannot describe them with anything comprehensible, nor can we make them tangible.  Their only purpose is to describe, but they cannot be described.  What does infinity describe?  Some consider infinity to contain all the possible ends that our universe can reach from a given start.  In short, that means everything that we are and are not aware of.

            Honestly, I have no answer as to how to describe zero or infinity other than nothing and everything respectively.  However, it is the attempt at rationalizing such concepts that intrigues my mind.  In the end, chances are we will never know how to describe these two numbers with understandable, comprehensible terms.

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