There is an increasingly popular notion, especially in the country, that numbers are useless, that mathematics is a subject not worthy of being taught. It is high time that this notion is dispelled.
Mathematics is — to simplify it to the point of crudity — the study of numbers. These numbers are then used to create all electronic devices and algorithms that define the modern world; from finance and banks to security and passwords. The use of numbers defines the world we live in. However, it is not only the way numbers are used today that awes a person, but the way that they may be one day.
All matter is made up of quarks and mesons, the smallest particles known to man. Quarks are the building blocks of electrons, protons and neutrons. Quarks make nucleons and nucleons make atoms and atoms make up all matter that exists.
All of these objects are defined by numbers, whether they be their electric charge, their lepton number or their rotational value. In fact, science is yet to find a non-mathematic object or characteristic. Every object that exists or will ever exist is a number, every human that exists or will ever exist is a number; you and I, are just numbers. All the emotions you feel — love, hatred, jealousy, fear and anger to name a few — no matter how primal they may be, can be defined by a mere number. Hence, for example, a cat is cute because of a number, a flower is beautiful because of another one.
Therefore, since numbers are logical, everything that you, a number, do may be determined by an algorithm, at least in theory. You make your decisions based upon a pattern; a pattern that is perhaps unique to you because you are a unique number or maybe a pattern that is extremely common because you are not a unique number at all.
We can then take a look at pi; a nonrepeating infinite decimal, meaning that it never repeats itself and contains every single number pattern imaginable, and then an infinite more. Hence, converting pi to ASCII text reveals everything in the universe; your hopes, your dreams, everything you have done, everything you will ever do, what has happened and what will be, and even all that will never be. It contains the answer to all the questions in the world, the secret to immortality and eternal happiness, the meaning of life; it contains within itself, the entire universe.
Therefore, if we are able to harness the power of numbers, then we will be able to tap into infinity itself. Do you still think the study of numbers is useless?
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2014.
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