UNBOXED: Again & Again & the Infinite
If I say that I walked and walked and walked,
you would think that I walked for a long time,
not that I walked three times.
If I say that I said something over and over,
again and again,
you would think that I said it an indefinite,
uncountable number of times.
To express the infinite and indefinite,
immeasurable and uncountable,
in bounded, countable words,
we simply repeat ourselves,
once or twice.
The infinite goes on and on.
We could measure and measure, but never measure it.
We could count and count, but never count it.
We could walk and walk, but never walk it.
If we could walk around the world,
we could walk and walk,
but never reach the ends of the earth,
walking endlessly in circles.
We can see the horizon going out of sight.
We can see and say that a circle has no end.
So, is this the infinite?
What about now…
DOT DOT DOT…?
Repeating ourselves, again and again,
we understand and express the endless.
(Inspired by Where Mathematics Comes From, by Lakoff and Nunuez)