Mathematics vs Cinema As Tools For Explaining The Universe

?”Cinema can still explain the whole world. Mathematicians think it’s math. I believe it’s cinema.” – Jean-Luc Godard

Mathematics can explain only what we cannot sense. That is why we have mathematics: to compensate for our limited ability to perceive the universe.

However, human concepts must at some point be reduced to those stimuli which we can experience. All language is reducible to an analogy to experience. All imagery is by definition experience. Mathematics is, at some degree of abstraction, simply a vehicle for compensating for our terribly weak short term memories by creating categories, applying quantities, and rearranging symbols while preserving ratios. The mind could do this without mathematics if we had the short term memory to do it with.

Film is, today, the most informationally rich means by which, that which we *cannot* perceive directly, can be reduced by analogy and narrative, to that which we *can* perceive directly.

At first glance, these statements are not terribly romantic.

But after we consider that human beings have invented mathematics, the narrative, and visual media so that we can rapidly sense what we could not sense directly, we can certainly wonder at the marvel of what man can accomplish in the service of his mind and his experience. And in that understanding we can appreciate that there is no material difference between mathematics and cinema. They are simply extensions of us.

And that is as romantic an experience as any.

– Curt Doolittle 😉

(Originally posted under FilmmakerIQ)

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