Tuesday, June 2, 2015


In the obituary of John Nash, The Economist (May 30-June 5) refers to his saying that "a line drawn on a multi-dimensional idealised piece of paper remains the same length no matter how tightly it is crumpled".  I find this, and other utterances attributed to this mathematical wizard, fascinating.

This proposition is equally applicable in global affairs.  As much as one tries to resort to sophism or half-baked formulae to deal with problems at hand or created, the former will not go away and, on the contrary, might as well haunt us with a vengeance.  Flash points are too many to enumerate. Existing resolutions are too unconvincing to be seriously considered. The problems will stand, unaltered, given that the remedy might kill the patient altogether.

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