Dickens and Mathematics Somehow

I’ve noticed that lately my blog posts have been becoming more personal.  Maybe it is a phase I’m going through.  Anyway I just finished reading Dickens’ Little Dorrit. Besides the well-known social motifs relating to poverty, prisons, bureaucracy, and bubble economies, I detected the theme of shifting reality. As one example the particularly arresting chapter “On the Road”  has little Dorrit drifting along the canals in Venice and seeing or at least sensing the Marshalsea (debtor’s prison) in every tableau.  Is it possible that one can accumulate enough meaningful memories that one has a certain sense of unreality or at least a disconnection to present experience?  Can our accumulated past life over-filter the present?  For those of us who spend a lot of time thinking (There I made a tenuous connection to doing/teaching mathematics.) is this a natural state?  We spend so much of our  time problem-solving, observing our own actions for correctness and clarity, checking our assumptions and searching our memories that we might lose touch with the immediate present.  Is this my introverted nature justifying itself?  Or my aging self?  Or are shifting realities just part of the human condition?


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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One Response to Dickens and Mathematics Somehow

  1. Brittany says:

    I like that your blog posts are becoming more personal! I am a student from a couple terms back, and not to offend math in anyway but the more personal blogs are a better read! 🙂

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