June 21, 2009

Repetition and meditating on simple numbers

Photo of a coneflower by Tim Stone [website down] and a short article on the math it expresses

I've taken up swimming in an attempt to halt the cascading failures in my body after 6.5 months of partying too much.

Three weeks of changes - a lot less drinking and back on low carb / primal exercise - and I can already feel things starting to turn around and churn beneath the surface. Stochastic systems and emergence mean a certain amount of surrender is required when it comes to doing the right things for your body. If you can quiet yourself for long enough and listen to what your body is saying, then the answer will often be clear. And, like Haruki Murakami writes in another post: Being active every day makes it easier to hear that inner voice.

There are a lot of pools in this part of town, and the one two streets over is probably the worst, so after 7pm there's usually only one or two people there. I do 60 x 25m, and to not lose count / keep my head relatively quiet I focus only on the numbers, manipulating them in various ways. This is kind of dull for one and two, but picks up with three and beyond.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. My conscious thoughts are very simple, and I'm barely numerate, so these are basic exercises, but they please me and they get the job done. I don't lose count or think too much, and the swimming is done in a trance.

Anyway, this link leads to a list maintained by Erich Friedman that explains what's special about a lot of numbers, which is similar to this list of the properties of the first 5,000 integers. Lots of things to thing about when you're counting to 100.

No comments: