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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Infinity, not so infinite?

Infinity, not so infinite?

Author: Lucas Gardner/Thursday, January 15, 2015/Categories: humor

Dear US National Science Foundation (NSF),

The following proposal, I believe, is, in all modesty, one of the most significant breakthroughs in the history of mathematics as well as in physics. For years, I've aimed to tackle the nature of infinity -- inherently an abstract. Until today. I believe that what I have discovered after decades of careful study may forever change how we understand the concept of infinity. Please hear me out, and allow me to make a suggestion that might at first seem inconceivable, but will, after some bulletproof reasoning, present irrefutable proof that we have misunderstood infinity since we first even considered the concept.

I think that infinity (∞) might be number 8 but on its side.

Allow me to begin with a simple diagram, depicting infinity:

Wow, infinity. What a concept. No beginning, no end. Completely and utterly without limitation. Or perhaps, we've been wrong this whole time, and infinity is not so limitless after all. Allow me to show you another diagram. It's the number 8.

Wow, the number 8. Not so impressive, and CERTAINLY not limitless. I'll tell you right now, without even having to think too hard at all, the limit of the number 8 - It's the number 8. If anything, it is one of the easiest numbers to grasp. You can count to it on two hands, probably before you even reach that very age - 8. There are animals with that exact number of legs, and even some with MORE legs than that. The number is anything but vast.

 

Or is it?

 

Let me pose the following hypothetical: What if we could rotate the number 8 90-degrees, so that it looked like it was on its side instead of being right-side up? A scientist of a more skeptical sort than I might say its impossible, but I dare to tackle the impossible with a stubborn fervor - the kind of fervor that breaks miracles down to bits and puts them back together with science.

Below, you will see I have opened up a picture of the infinity symbol using the Macintosh Preview app.

 

Nothing to see here, right? But what if we went ahead and flipped that symbol, say, 90-degrees to the left?

 

Below, the results of said experiment are documented. No use of digital manipulation was employed.



Does this symbol look familiar? Perhaps a little comparison:

You will notice that the two symbols are remarkably similar, possibly 100% identical.

In order for the theory to hold up, it would have to work that the number 8, when rotated 90-degrees as well, would too be identical to the infinity symbol. Let's go ahead and run the same experiment but with the number 8...




... And you will see that it works both ways.

The question remains, is infinity is the number 8 sideways, or vice versa? Which came first? Which is the chicken and which the egg? I propose that the number 8 came first, because it is a lower number than infinity and is much easier to count up to (12345678). Perhaps greater minds than myself, in the near future, will offer more answers, but I believe I have laid the important groundwork.

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