Jul 31, 2008

The Colors Of My Digits

For as long as I can remember, I perceive digits as having their own colors:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Zero is glassy-transparent, like acrylic, so actually it's more like digits having textures. When I see digits written down somewhere, they do not appear to be vividly colored, just subtly shaded. But when visualizing numbers, I find it hard not to perceive the individual digits being colored in the above way.

I doubt that this rudimentary form of synesthesia is beneficial to my ability to deal with numbers. Many of the colors are quite similiar to each other, so I tend to misremember phonenumbers, sums or dates in a specific way.

Jul 10, 2008

Disclaimer: Universe is NOT simple

"Why is the Universe so simple ?" asks the mathematician, or more generally, why is simple mathematics (school mathematics) so successful at describing the Universe ?

The Universe, however, is generally not simple to begin with. Rather there are some aspects of the Universe (which we happen to be interested in) that can be computed easily. Put one sheep next to one sheep and you get two sheep (in the short term); so "putting next to each other" is isomorphic to a simple "+" operator. But what about the eddies and whorls in a ravine ? Cloud patterns ? And I haven't even begun to ask *creative* questions here.

An arbitrary, low-Kolmogorov-complexity aspect of the Universe is very difficult to compute. We as a species, shaped by evolution, happen to be interested in many simple-to-compute aspects.

The question should rather be phrased: Why does the Universe have any simple-to-compute aspects at all ?