It’s not the destination, It’s the journey


After sitting quietly and attempting to wrap my head around Pascal’s Equilibrium of Liquids, I felt a general sense of things but was left more confused than before I began reading. I recognize that Pascal was able to come to the number 100 as a measure of equilibrium, “If a vessel of water, closed on all sides, has two openings, one hundred times larger than the other, with a piston carefully fitted to each, a man pressing the small piston will match the strength of a hundred men pressing the piston in the hundredfold great opening, and will overmaster ninety-nine.” (30) That is fine to say, but it is never explained how he arrived at the number. Where there experiments conducted until 100 fit nicely with his theory?
Pascal is explaining many findings and conclusions and arrives at explaining equilibrium in liquids, as one may have guessed by the title. I really would have wanted to see and understand how he arrived at these complicated solutions. He makes a comment “Here is another proof which only geometer will be able to follow…” This seems to imply that his findings are not meant for the general public. Do you think this was an intentional jab at the average person or that Pascal merely believed we don’t have the capacity to understand?
I found the change of the substance to be important because if and only if the water in the bottom freezes, then one ounce of pressure will suffice. However, if the entire tube is frozen then the 100 pound rule comes back into play. Again it would be helpful to not just state facts but explain them. I started to see how by changing forms the entire experiment changed.


So much more than the Pythagorean Theorem…


In a “prosperous” location already bustling with a top medical school, Pythagoras establishes his school which turned out to be much more complex than I imagined given my limited knowledge of Pythagoras. Not only were astronomy, music, metaphysics, and polydaemonitics theology studied but this was the first known school where woman were welcomed, a fact that is enormously telling to the type of person Pythagoras was. Pythagoras eventually married one of the female students.
Through different life experiences such as the legend of music, he was able to use numbers which he believed explained everything about the universe. Walking past a blacksmith he was stuck by the different tones. This was something that was just a major part of who Pythagoras was that is perfectly encapsulated in this particular story. He was able to see and hear in this case what someone might interpret as noise thus disregarding it. He instead create an entire theory based upon this. This experience created the phase “all is number”. What does this phrase mean though?
Reading through the rest of the sections I was truly impressed by what Pythagoras was able to explain through math including his ever famous Pythagorean Theorem. But, let it be said right here on this very sheet of paper, that he was so much more than that theorem which is something that many people not versed in Pythagoras may view as his only achievement. It is extremely impressing the school he created and the volume of students that followed a strict schedule in order not only to learn but grow as human beings. It is deeply sad how he and his school meet their end. It is haunting to picture someone chasing an elderly Pythagoras down and killing him without mercy.
However, despite all I learned, I am left with ponderings and questions.
First, How can everything be explained by mathematics with the saying “that numbers appeared to be the ultimate meaning of everything that exists”? Can everything in your mind be explained by mathematics? Can feelings such as love according to Pythagoras be explained by an equation?
Next, what were these cults that are briefly mentioned and how did they affect the scholars that attended Pythagoras school?
Furthermore, when it comes to the strict silence in the mornings and the command that one must not sleep upon laying down at night but contemplate the day seem useful? Is this something we could retrofit into our lives to making them more meaningful?
How can math and religious matters be so closely related?
Evil belongs to the unlimited and good to the limited. Please explain first what the limited and especially the unlimited are. Why then does evil fit with the unlimited?