Most people who aren’t math majors scoff at the idea of mathematics, but the more you study it, the more interesting concepts you will uncover. Through my hunger for knowledge, I have come to be interested in the concept of a supertask.
We all know that there is an infinite amount of countable numbers; you can always just add one to “n” and make it bigger. If you have read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, you learned that there is an uncountable infinite set of numbers between zero and one. You can just keep adding a zero or two or even a six to a decimal, and it will continually change in size.
This gets interesting when you think about cake, Gabriel’s Cake to be exact. Gabriel showed that there is a way to make a cake of infinite surface area and a fixed volume. A cake that you can eat, but never have enough frosting to cover. You can always cut the slices of cake in half, theoretically continuing on forever, leaving you with infinite cake.
This is a little bit of a nerd moment, and most people won’t find this concept worth researching more, but now you know something else that most people don’t really know. We must stay hungry for information until the day we move on, for science and life are forever changing.
People have this problem where we see knowledge consumption as more of a task than a privilege. We don’t care about learning until we benefit from it physically, financially or publicly, but this is completely missing the point. A good example of this is about stars. In the year 2022, we will be able to see a supernova explosion all the way from the constellation Cygnus.
This may just sound like a a bit of useless information, but in four years we will be able to see a star explosion brighter than anything in our sky except our sun. Nobody except nerds and astrophyscists will care about this incredible discovery for three or four years because we don’t care about it until we can see its beauty for ourselves.
We have grown to believe that knowledge is only for utility, which is a major problem. As soon as we stop being curious and questioning everything, we will stop learning as a society. We must learn that knowledge is not just for the job you have or the class you need to pass. “When will I ever use this” is the enemy of knowledge. Only when we believe that knowledge is a privilege can we strive as a society and humankind.