This week I was pleased to see my poem Science, Fiction published in “Dark Matter: A Journal of Speculative Writing.” Check out my Poetry page for a link to the journal. My poem appears on page 47 — which coincidentally is my age at the time of publication. But I digress.
If you browse through the journal, I suspect you will find some of the works to be more speculative than others. My poem is speculative, but rational. It is the result of wondering about the degree of creativity that may be possible in mathematical equations. We are familiar with fiction in the written word; does mathematics offer fictional representation as well? In other words, does every logical formula provide a factual representation of reality, or can a formula make perfect logical sense, yet represent a complete fabrication? Think of what Hamlet told Horatio: “There is more in heaven and earth than in all your philosophy.” Surely we encounter limitations and shortcomings in all our representative languages that we can’t even know. Our best guesses fall short. Sometimes they are wrong, in which case they are well-meaning fiction. As we know from literature, fiction can be very informative, but it’s still fiction. Does mathematics offer fiction? I think it must. This poem is one way of saying so.