Episode 16

Planar Lockdown

January 24

Multivariate calculus is forcing me to look at the world in a new perspective. In former math classes drawing accurate 3-dimensional representations was only needed in a few geometry exercises, wherein everybody simply struggled to make their cube inter-dimensionally agreeable. Now, I have to draw an accurate 3-axis frame in order to make sense of my notes and assignments. I have to not only visualize a feigned height, but also be able to think with it as well. This isnít easy, as Iím not quite the artist I need to be in order to get the perspectives just right. But the point is, Iím forced to observe now a world where length, width, and depth all apply simultaneously.

This process should not be a difficult, since this actually more closely models reality than the previous planar standards. However, when I stopped to think about it I realize that much of how we live and what we do exists only in the second dimension. Notes are taken on flat pieces of paper, art is drawn upon a simple canvas, and even my precious games exist on a simple monitor (in which points and polygons are warped and manipulated to create an illusion of depth where there is none).

We live in a 3-D world but are anchored to a 2-D existence. The only way we link the two is with a liberal amount of imagination, turning ink into words, lines into space, and vertices into entertainment. Life seems so imaginary now.

I scared myself in writing, trying to draw an x-y-z plane onto a critical writing on Kafka, and trying to force my mind to work on two levels together. Iím surprised blood didnít shoot out my nose. It canít be done. Once again Iíve proved that math and writing do not mix well. I used to think it was simply because logic and creativity were mutually exclusive. But now Iím sitting in calculus trying to use my imagination to add vectors. So perhaps there is balance.

Assuming, that is, that calculus doesnít give me a similar hemorrhaging side effect by the end of the semester.

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