There are two fundamental ways that people use to approach the reality: the analytical method and the synthetic method. The analytical method is the preferable tool of most scientists, while the synthetic method is the tool used by most artists.  One breaks the reality in pieces in order to analyze each component of a given system to understand its functioning, while the other tries to synthesize the different components into a coherent vision. Analytical people know everything of one thing, and almost nothing of the rest. Synthetical people like to know a little bit of everything, and are often accused of knowing nothing of anything.

Your average Cryptomathician understands mathematics at the level of a high school science nerd. He plays a little around with hypercubes, Fourier’s Theorem, Thom´s Catastrophe Theory, the Fibonacci sequence … but rarely contributes anything substantial to the development of mathematics as a discipline. A mathematician is no more and no less than a creator of proofs; one only earns the accolade by architecting previously undiscovered proofs. I look back with wonder at Ramanujan, the man who knew infinity, and so much more. Ramanujan was a creator of mathematics like no other, deriving and extending the knowledge of his day with a primitive textbook his only aid.

For many people, mathematics is as incomprehensible as Latin for most Catholics. Here enters the cryptomathician into the equation. By transubstantiating the mathematics to a different format they give the source code of the reality a comprehensive and esthetically pleasing user interface.

PS 1: The Featured image of this post is called: Two contemporary cryptomathicians: Borges and Dali.

Jorge Luis Borges´ (1899-1986) work contains several modern mathematical concepts that can be found in certain essays and short stories of the Argentinian author , including concepts such as set theory, recursion, chaos theory, and infinite sequences. Borges’ strongest links to mathematics are through Georg Cantor’s theory of infinite sets, outlined in “The Doctrine of Cycles” (La doctrina de los ciclos). Some of Borges’ most popular works such as “The Library of Babel” (La Biblioteca de Babel), “The Garden of Forking Paths” (El Jardín de Senderos que se Bifurcan), “The Aleph” (El Aleph), an allusion to Cantor’s use of the Hebrew letter aleph  (\aleph ) to denote cardinality of transfinite sets, and “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim” (El acercamiento a Almotásim) illustrate his use of mathematics. According to Argentinian mathematician Guillermo Martínez, Borges at least had a knowledge of mathematics at the level of first courses in algebra and analysis at a university – covering logic, paradoxes, infinity, topology and probability theory. He was also aware of the contemporary debates on the foundations of mathematics. (excerpt from Wikipedia)

Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (1904 — 1989) His obsession with mathematics and science began in early adolescence, and he relied on both disciplines to produce most of his work throughout his life. Like the masters of the Renaissance, such as da Vinci, Dali believed that a great artist could not ignore the intersection of these studies with art. The deeply intellectual relationship between mathematician and artist is unsurprising, but one may not instinctively associate it with Dalí. Looking to his own words, however, the man whose eccentric outward appearance was a defining aspect of his art, appears to have thought of his innermost being in a mathematical context: “Someone like myself, who claimed to be a real madman, living and organized with a Pythagorean precision.” (excerpt from The Calculated Madness of Salvador Dali’s Mathematical Life: An analysis by Lilian Paterson, Dec 2, 2020, Art Publica Magazine)

PS 2: I’ve just published my latest catalog and made the online (Kindl) version freely available till midnight of August 18th. All you have to do is to click on the cover picture and a link will automatically direct you to the Amazon page where you can download it for free (till midnight August 18th !!!).

3 thoughts on “Contemporary Cryptomathicians.

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