Posts Tagged ‘Grothendieck’

Truth Makes No Sense. Sense We Make. As Love We Do!

January 8, 2019

The truth doesn’t make sense. Truth doesn’t have to make sense. Because WE, humans, not truth, make all the sense there is, and all the senses, there are in the world. Giving senses to truth is what WE do.

Truth doesn’t have to make sense, but we need to make sense… to survive. Truth is eternal, its survival not a problem, and truth doesn’t need to remember stuff. Truth just is, it is what is. Another word for truth is reality. We don’t know all there is, neither does truth, because truth doesn’t know anything. Truth is what is. Truth is not what proffers meaning. That we do.

Then the question naturally arises: what is meaning? What does meaning mean? (One is condemned to read until the end of this essay to find out!)

We, on the other hand, need to well-order reality (in the mathematical sense) to create causality chains, little stories in our minds we can act upon, reflecting what is… Pieces of truth, enough of them, we need, in order to survive.

Making Sense is our Prerogative. And only ours.

A simple truth about humanity is that it needs faith… to think. That explains much, excuses a lot, while complicating everything. Yet it doesn’t mean anything goes.

Exposed to this truth, many a scientist or rationalist, of the shallow persuasion, will scoff. They are wrong. They use faith everyday, and especially them.

Thus the great mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck once discovered that the (French) military secretly financed his own Institut des hautes études scientifiques (IHÉS) . Grothendieck was fiercely, and loudly, anti-militaristic. Grothendieck had founded IHÉS (with Dieudonne, another French mathematician). Being militarily funded violated what Grothendieck called “one of his axioms”. So Grothendieck resigned and gave up math, at the grand old age of 42.

Grothendieck’s “axioms” were his faith: he had faith in his axioms. All and any axiomatic system is a system of faith. Axioms can be ridiculous, like the Axiom of Parallels (known to be false in spherical geometry, which Pytheas of Marseilles had used, contemporaneously with Euclid…)  

Truth makes no sense, but we have to make sense, and not just on the blackboard! Grothendieck, 1960s… IHES…

Grothendieck was very clever with his mathematics, much of it related to Category Theory applied to Algebraic Geometry. He didn’t realize that it was the military which had saved him from extermination in 1944, by killing the Nazis. In his memoirs, hiding in the French woods, as an ex-German Jew, and child, he didn’t realize that his life was at the most extreme risk…. He said this himself in his memoirs. But shouldn’t have he realized, when reflecting on his lack of reflection then, that the military, in particular the French military and the FFI (Forces Francaises de l’Interieur) saved his life?

Shouldn’t Grothendieck have been grateful? Just 30 years earlier, the French military had been defeated by the Nazis and forced, by traitors to accept a ceasefire, leading to the Holocaust of the Jews (if the French military had kept on fighting, from the Mediterranean, the Wehrmacht would have been unable to attack the Soviet Union, and thus to massacre all the millions of Eastern European Jews it did massacre, with the help of the SS and other PhD endowed nuts…)

Here we confront a problem with scientists: they love to pose against the grain, spurning truth. It’s not just the likes of John Lennon who do. Lennon’s loud screaming for peace, was coincident with similar poses from the likes of Bertrand Russell, and company. Some will point out it was the time of the Vietnam War. Right. However, whatever it was, the Vietnam War was no holocaust, nor genocide. Right, it was no good. But still, no genocide. Meanwhile genocides were conducted in Canada and Australia, very discreetly, against the Aborigines. They could be conducted, those genocides, because they were, and are, discrete.

All those protesters protesting against something else, not so clearly significant, as if it were the end of the world, contributed, by raising loud red herrings, to make those genocides safe (for the whites to conduct) and effective (by separating children and parents, ravaged, acculturated adults were sure to come about, and further disappear the aboriginal population in crucial parts of the Anglosphere, through all sorts of depressions, abuse and drug addictions….

Truth is what made us. Made us as a society, a civilization, a species, an ethics, a psychobiology, a force that goes, a will, a hope, an arrow of time… Denying truth is denying our creator.

Patrice Ayme