A theroy by Georg Cantor might have ruined my life.


Postby Tailspin » Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:57 pm

For your information I am already quite knowlegable. And I don't see how reading random books from unrelated feilds can help.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:04 pm

Well, apparently you are not knowledgeable enough to see things as other than black/white and you are not knowledgeable enough not to fear reading a book and you are not knowledgeable enough to understand how reading unrelated books can help and you are not knowledgeable enough to recognize throwing a tantrum in a forum will not solve your issue. Sooo, while you can post in here about how knowledgeable you are, your actions tell a different story.
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Postby krentz » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:24 am

I understand the distress you're going through, as I've been given to somewhat unconventional thoughts myself, even if I will never quite be able to understand quite why this theory is causing you such psychic distress. I'll also admit to not having read every post on this board. But to me, the problem appeared quite simple. It's a mathematical problem.

Let me use an analogy. One might say that "life is meaningless". Viewed objectively, this is quite true. You can say that the biological imperative of all life is to survive and reproduce, but that doesn't constitute 'meaning'. (In fact, what does? It's quite the nebulous concept. But the answer to what you perceive 'meaning' to be may also go some way to helping you see through this). However, I am more of a subjective than an objective person. Despite the depression I continue to struggle with, I don't subjectively perceive my own life as meaningless, regardless of what "the universe" thinks.

This theory really depends on how you would define 'infinity'. Can infinity exist in the physical world? I'm no mathematician, hell logic isn't even my forte being a more linguistic/creative type myself, but to me infinity represents an ideal, a concept. We can infinitely approach infinity (lol) but never reach it. And so it is with this book conundrum, no? You can write an infinite number of books with an infinite number of pages and an infinite number of letters on each page (though one would assume large enough to still be readable!) and each letter arranged in an infinite number of sequences (though presuming we are not in the habit of creating new languages, and assuming we wish to maintain grammatical structures, the number of possible combinations of words would be significantly less than infinite, though still astronomically large - but altogether inconsequential considering you can write any number of pages).

I'm not going to lift you out of a seven year slump, and you truly have my deepest sympathies if you have been plunged into the hell I presume by this. It is not quite so relevant for me. The planet would die several millions of times before we exhausted all the possibilities of linguistic expression, and presuming we want to write them, we would run out of natural resources allowing us to do so far earlier than that. I don't allow the scope of possibility to dictate what is and isn't possible. It's a bit like free will. It may be an illusion, but there is also evidence to suggest that believing in one's autonomy does measurably improve one's performance in many areas of life compared to more deterministic control groups. So the illusion insists on its own reality, and in so doing, becomes real, n'est-ce pas?

If I start playing a musical instrument, I'm probably going to hit a plateau of skill at some point. I won't be able to improve. But I will never reach that point unless I do not arbitrarily limit myself by believing in my own limits. And so it is with language; there are as many styles of writing as there are people alive. To seek to surpass the scope of existence itself is logically impossible but it is of no concern to me. I write as a form of creative self-expression, or to forge human connections. What other reasons can there be - and does all else not pale in comparison to this purpose?
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Postby Readysetindigo » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:10 am

Hello, I am sorry to comment on a post from 6 years ago but Google brought me here.

Your dad’s theory is false. There is not a finite amount of books that can be written and I will prove it.

Your dad’s theory assumes that there is a limit to how long a book can be. For example, if a book was one letter long there could only be 26 books. But there is no limit to how many books can be written because you can always add another word to the end and it will be a different book. There is no character limit.

If I had unlimited time to write and I attempted to write every book that could ever be written, I would never be finished because no matter how many books I had already written I could just take one of my existing books and add one word or one letter in somewhere and make it a different book and I could do that forever.

So, I don’t know if you still struggle with this, or if you’ll ever even read this, but your Dad is wrong. Your writing is your own and it is original. You are bringing it into existence.

I hope you are well.
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Postby Prycejosh1987 » Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:55 pm

I think you need to discuss with both of your parents about your findings and insight. It seems like something you need support over, maybe you could also get input from friends on the subject.
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