The causal, historical, linear thinking which
shapes occidental culture is linked to the alphanumeric
code of writing. Abstract mathematical
thinking, however, which has no time or space dimension,
is based on the number system which
emigrated from the alphanumeric code, eventually
leading to the crisis of linearity and the occidental
culture. The number system comprises
not only the natural numbers used in linear
counting, but also rational, irrational, imaginary,
complex, and transcendental numbers, as well
as the rules to manipulate them, which in turn
require the introduction of new symbols.
Mathematical thinking is point-like, network-like, abstract, and zero-dimensional. The formula F = ma is like a point, because it is valid for innitely many individual, distinct triplets (F, m, a) and can thus be referred to infinitely many instantaneous events in the world; that is, events in which the motion of a mass m suffers an acceleration a by a force F. However, the formula connects F, m, and a in a multidimensional network in which each element determines the others, and thus the formula can work as a law behind the events. The law is also a differential equation recording the development in time and space of the elements of the network and connecting them in paths. At the same time, only the random initial conditions determine which path is actually realized in the world. Thus, the law is abstract and zero-dimensional, located outside of space and time. It is a myth, just like a perfect triangle. In the myth, force can cause acceleration, acceleration can define force and mass, or the law itself can come to be regarded as a creative power behind the events which are randomly realized in the world.
Original article by Konstantin Daniel Haensch