Unlike more superficial forms of expertise, mathematics is a way of saying less and less about more and more. A mathematical text is thus not an end in itself, but a key to a world beyond the compass of ordinary description.
G. Spencer Brown • Laws of Form
Sorry for the sluggish response … but I’ve been slogging through a mass of mindless link repair due to the slew of url-extinctions and url-mutations afflicting our web of maya over the last few years. I’ve been working to recover-revise my better contributions to the old LoF list along the lines of what Spencer Brown wrote about time and imaginary logical values and the impact it had on my own work with logical graphs from the early days on.
There was a time when I spent a lot of time thinking about the “phenomenology of internal time consciousness” and so on but that was a long time passing. I think I first learned the word phenomenology from early readings in Bachelard and Sartre but my current take on it is more heavily influenced by subsequent experiences in physics labs and libraries.
Physicists speak of the need to reflect on the circumstance that even our most exalted theories get their first leg up from our “naked eye” perception of “pointer readings”, that is, from the superposition in our visual field of a needle on a graduated dial, or the analogous incidentals in other sensory modes. As a rule, a working physicist would never think of taking that “observation of obvious” truth in too reductive a sense, since that would lead to sheer sensationalism, and even the purest experimentalist has a better appreciation for the role of theoretical conception than that.
Well, I didn’t know I was going to write this much when I opened the page, but I started remembering experiences and thoughts from the earliest days. At any rate, I think I’ll blog this on my series about Process and Paradox since that is occupying my mind at present and I wouldn’t want to sidetrack the time-phenomenology line.