The Reality Report: Episode 127

Monday, 10 December 2018

Episode 127

A rather unusual extended Reality Report with peripatetic/shamanic rock musician Conrad Singh, recorded in the early hours of a Thursday morning after he played with his band Cloudshoes in Canterbury. He was quizzing me on some of what he'd read in my book The Mystery of the Prime Numbers (2010). We begin with me explaining the origins of the number e and its role in estimating amounts of prime numbers that can be found in various stretches of the number line. We get into (in a very breezy, conversational way) spirals, logarithms explained graphically in terms of spirals, the Riemann zeta function, imaginary numbers, quaternions and octonions. We consider the theological controversy around the use of infinity in calculus in the early 1700s, the ancient Greek headspace that led to both higher mathematics and the current "quantocentric" global civilisation and the extent to which number is "hard-wired" in human brains. The conversation then starts to drift more in the direction of looking at how number (quantity-based thinking) has taken over the world, leading me to explain my motivation in writing the Secrets of Creation trilogy. Conrad waxes philosophical on number, mind, the current global techno-civilisation and where it might be leading, and before we know if we're talking about lost Amazonian civilisations, the rainforest as a vast computer, the eternal nature of all forms and the endless human quest for...what? We can't remember. Time to get some sleep...


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