A Mathematical Genius

Colourful preschool numbers

Micturition Psychogoat is probably the world’s leading expert in the field of mathematics known as difficult sums. Not only does he know what seven means, he is also able to calculate his conference-speaking fee to 27 decimal places. He has also made several of the world’s governments pay him tax, even while not living, working or hanging his hat in their country for a significant period of time. Not only that, the very same hat is now also classed as a tax-deductible travelling expense and is officially recognised by the UN as an independent island nation in its own right.

Psychogoat first shot to fame outside the mathematical world when he produced a Fields Medal-winning paper on the various uses of imaginary numbers. In particular, the paper discussed government figures and the statistics bandied about by various players in the field of public policy. What so fascinated Psychogoat was that a seemingly endless – if not infinite – amount of numbers, statistics and other figures are produced around the world. All created by various governments, official opposition, NGOs, charities and other such organisations. Most of these numbers, according to Psychogoat, have no actual meaning, or correspondence with reality. At least not in the three-dimensional universe all other numbers are calculated and used in.

Psychogoat has since proposed that such ‘official figures’ do not actually exist in reality. These ‘official figures ’as they are called in mathematics, to distinguish them from actual numbers, exist only in a particular quasi-mathematical world. This mathematical world was, Psychogoat claims, first invented by politicians, usually when they were campaigning for elections. However, he says it has now spread to the rest of the players in the world political game.

According to Psychogoat, the other non-governmental organisations saw how the politicians were using these figures to further their own ends. Psychogoat contends that these figures are mostly made up out of thin air, wishful thinking and outright political mendacity. The politicians use these numbers to put a positive spin on the politician’s own policies and actions while denigrating those actions and policies of the opposition.

There is – of course – a long tradition in politics of using made up numbers and pretending they have real meaning in the actual physical universe where we live. Everything from Soviet tractor factory statistics, through to reductions in the national debt, health service improvements and all else under – and sometimes not under – government control has a whole raft of figures available. Politicians and others use these numbers to prove whatever the user of those figures wants people to believe. Of course, often no such figures exist, and for those numbers that do exist, the politicians use them to mean what they want them to mean. This is, of course, the opposite of how mathematicians, and even ordinary people, in the real world use numbers.

Psychogoat noticed too, that the non-governmental organisations, charities, pressure groups and other such groups had adopted this use of what he calls ‘the political numbers’ to further their own aims. The NGOs often use their political numbers either in concert with, or in opposition to, the ‘official’ governmental numbers in the same field.

Thus, according to Psychogoat, the whole field of political numbers have no real meaning. He claims that such numbers, from statistics to even actual population count and tax receipts, as well as figures produced by the NGOs, etc are meaningless. He says they have all lost touch with what the rest of us would see as mathematical reality. Political numbers, Psychogoat says, no longer have any meaning or correspondence with the real world whatsoever. Therefore, Psychogoat contends, we should all realise that such political numbers bear no correspondence at all with the world we live in and should, therefore, be entirely ignored.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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