Language

From From the Trees to the Stars

Our understanding of the universe is limited by our ability to describe what we perceive.

A good example of this is numbers. Numbers form a part of the broader language we call Mathematics, developed over the centuries first to quantify the world around us and then to describe abstractly the relationships between ... things.

That could be worded better
  • At first there were only the Natural Numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4... The set of numbers that are required to count real things - which was the first application of Mathematics. Natural numbers allowed the mathematical operations addition (A + B) and subtraction (A - B) to be performed.
  • At some point someone must have realised that if B is bigger than A, then the calculation B - A falls outside the range of known numbers. Thus the Integers were born (...-2, -1, 0, 1, 2...)
  • Multiplication (A x B) was possible within the scope of Integers, but conceptually multiplication implies division (A ÷ B) and division often leads to results that again fall outside the realm of known numbers. So Fractions (A/B) or Rational Numbers were required in order to further the pursuit of Mathematics.
  • Eventually, the study of advanced concepts like the curious ratio between the radius and the circumference of a circle (Π) implied a further set of Irrational Numbers numbers that couldn't be expressed as Fractions and so the
  • The square root of a negative number (√-A) had no defined result within the Real numbers, so Imaginary Numbers


  • Culture is Language
  • Knowledge is limited by a language's ability to express something
  • DNA, the language