Hunting The Boojum

Nothing is perfect

I am not generally seen as being a perfectionist, being rather slap-dash in most tasks. As a child I found the idea of infinity quite ludicrous and was never upset because the God I was taught to pray to did not appear to be perfect or even answer my pathetic prayers. I found that expecting nothing meant that what I did get was always a pleasant surprise. Not being a spoilt child I have never thought that the world owed me a living.


Such things as the recurring decimal in Pi and the existence of irrational numbers confirmed to me that maths was more of an art form than the vaunted key to the mysteries of the universe and one that I had no interest in or aptitude for. My joy in coming across Gödel’s Theorem can be imagined and matched my delight in finding out that hard scientists had to invent imaginary “singularities” to make their mathematical theories and descriptions of the universe work. Dawkins’ memes remind me of Ptolemy’s epicycles, except they are useless and intrusions of a hard scientist’s ego into my own field of proper social science.


However I always felt that nothing was perfect and came to understand why many mystics insisted that god could not be named, some just leaving an empty space in their writings. It has taken me considerable intellectual self-discipline but I have eventually reached the point being able to believe in nothing, at least in short bursts, and my greatest aim is to achieve nothing. Many years ago I wrote this as my four line epitaph, “Out of nothing I come/Just to have fun/ Into nothing I go/At the end of the show.”