Monthly Archives: February 2018

To Where Goes Infinity?

Most of us understand that infinity is a term for that which is too extensive to be measured. This gift from Aristotle, infinity is popularly viewed as that which extends outwardly or onward  from a given center, origin, or source, to some non-place or some non-end.
We can imagine infinity as emanating outward or onward from us, from the self. One can imagine it can even imagine infinity as emanating past us from some extreme left to some extreme right.

While our minds can only presume the boundless, we seem to have learned to live with infinity, when encountering lines, circles, Irrational numbers   . However we could accept absolute infinity if there is a compelling reason to do so.

The modern compelling experience for accepting infinity, as a truth, lies in software development. All programmers and developers are familiar with the “infinite loop”. This nasty little experience occurs when executing a computer program that contains a logical error. At some conjuncture a small loop of code designed to repeat a task continuously until a change signals stop. However, if when writing the code one either forgot to put in the “stop” or put in the “stop” incorrectly, then the repetition zips along with no graceful way out – reboot the computer or executing a previously design kill-switch to unconditionally stop the errant program. This infinite loop is a modern experience with the truth of infinity.

Other more traditional experiences with infinity are those of being lost at sea beyond sight of land, lost in the desert with no obvious way out, or lost in a very large forest. A pregnant woman in labor has had an experience of infinity. Children experience the idea of infinity waiting for Birthdays or Christmas.

Notwithstanding the above I will introduce you to hypothetical implementations of infinity that defy argument.