Imaginary (See my video about the groove it's written over: https://youtu.be/pwfcv7ioHdE ) Zero has no value Negatives have less Decimals and fractions aren’t ‘natural’ e and Pi and Phi are all ‘irrational’ And the square root of a minus isn’t ‘real’ It was named ‘imaginary’ by the guy who said, “I think, therefore I am” Existentially wise while devising his xy diagram But ironically he didn’t name i ‘i’ That was the guy who also calculated e Who could truly see how useful i could be Things get dubbed when they’re still dubious, even named by the nay sayers And those labels hang about long after doubt has faded out Like the Big Bang and odd numbers, even when they’re in their prime What seemed obtuse is seen as the right angle over time Growth, circles and flowers aren’t irrational any more Than the never ending numbers at their core But it reminds me the creativity that inspires renewed reality Requires the passion fashioned from irrationality Give your brain free rein The way to where we want to be is imaginary But dissing dystopia is easy pickings, let’s cultivate a finer fruit A future fair in every sense, so ripe its seeds take root Oh, fertile minds, kindly open up the blinds Write reams to help to right the wrongs we’ve wrought Bright dreams to sing, supplanting tired refrains we’ve all been taught It may be seen as lunacy But loop the moon and soon they’ll see That that once thought unfeasible In fact is unbelievable I mean, incredible Unreal, mad, nuts, bonkers, insanely… sensible So make your brain free range The way to where we want to be is imaginary Some questions have no answers Conundrums even less One proved that maths can't prove itself, we're all a bit like that Self referring breaks us down, uncertain like a certain zombie cat Those stringy loopy theories trying tying types of gravity Are nature’s form of levity, so fill your cup and have a tea I'm not saying it's wrong, just that every corner leads to more The only one one knows for sure is that one never really knows for sure ... maybe [Dialogue:] “Someone, please, take a letter” “Will I do?” “Gee, why not!” “OK” u can stand for many things Like the union of two sets Potential energy or initial velocity Or atomic mass 1.6ish Octillionth kg* My favourite constant, that's what u will always be ("aw, ya dolt!") When u and i combine, it gets complex indeed A whole nother dimension to our lines is what we need So I can count on you and you on me, it's agreed! A new plane with wings and plot twists each good turn will provide us We 2 have prime position, no other factors can't divide us Not nothin’! Zero has no value Negatives have less An infinity of numbers are ‘natural’ Yeah, but infinitely more aren't ‘irrational’ Though uncountably more are and many more aren't ‘real’ They were named ‘imaginary’, but now are seen as neither abstract nor surreal They're as practical and useful as the wheel May their once derisive name remind us it's the odds that change the game Wise weirdos who theorised til their genius was realised Give your brain free rein The way to where we want to be is imaginary ©Mal Webb 2022 *Actually, the atomic mass constant (or the unit, Dalton) is 1.66053904 yg (yoctograms or 10^-24 grams), but to avoid confusion with Yg (yottagram, which is 10^24 grams ... significantly heavier!) and to rhyme with 'velocity', I approximated and went up and down a 1000! The way things are named has always intrigued me, particularly in maths and science, and it lead me down several somewhat related paths. I won't pretend to be adept at the actual calculation of all this maths and physics, but I sure enjoy the concepts! This song references several clever folks: Rene Descartes, for whom Cartesian coordinates are named. He embraced i, but, like Rafael Bombelli before him, couldn’t see how it could be useful outside of pure maths. Leonard Euler, an amazingly creative mathematician who filled a lot of gaps. Fred Hoyle, an astronomer who, when he was more of a steady state theorist, coined the term Big Bang. Ursula K. Le Guin, who urged young writers to create better, sustainable futures within their fiction, such that it mught inspire reality. Kurt Gödel, who proved that maths was neither complete nor consistent. Alan Turing (who proved that maths is not decidable, while inventing the modern computer! Douglas Hofstadter, who wrote several books linking incompleteness to arts and psychology, most famously, Gödel, Escher, Bach. Erwin Schrödinger, he of the undead cat analogy, whose equation is at the heart of quantum mechanics... he, like his fellow physicists, was a little unsettled by i being a term in it. String Theory and Quantum Loop Gravity are two proposed ways of getting Relativity and Quantum mechanics to play nicely together. My wonderful high school physics teacher, Trevor Pilling, when I asked what is actually doing the pulling with magnets, said, "We don't know and we'll probably never know... isn't it wonderful!" Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, the maths lecturer who wrote his Mad Hatter scene to parody William Rowan Hamilton's Quaternions… it seems his creative mind didn't extend to accepting abstract maths! Georg Cantor, who applied his set theory to 'infinity', i.e. set of natural numbers being within the set of rational numbers, which is within the set of real numbers, which is within the set of complex numbers, using density and countability to define them. Fritz Zwicky, a Swiss physicist derided for his Tired Light theory, but pivotal in astronomy (theorising Dark Matter and Supernovae), as well as advances in jet propulsion. He is remembered as both a genius and a curmudgeon. One of his favorite insults was to refer to people whom he did not like as "spherical bastards", because, as he explained, they were bastards no matter which way one looked at them. |