Counting and recounting

In A Beautiful Mind, the biography of John Forbes Nash Jr. by Sylvia Nasar, one finds the following passage

Margaret Wertheim, author of Pythagoras’ Trousers, a history of numerology, has pointed out that “people look to the order of numbers when the world falls apart, suggesting once again that delusions — like “mystical, cultic religious efflorescence” — aren’t merely the ravings of madmen but conscious, painstaking, and often desperate attempts to make sense out of chaos.


And a little further on we read

To stay in one place and not to run away, to labor at articulating his delusions in a way that attracted an audience that valued them must be seen as evidence of some progression back to consensual forms of reality and behavior. And, at the same time, to have his delusions seen not just as bizarre and unintelligble, but as having an intrinsic value, was surely one aspect of these “lost years” that paved the way for an eventual remission.

Numerology as a ground for dialogue? It makes sense given its function in this case of constraining of behaviour to make communication possible.

And so for day 390

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