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VIDEO: Hannu Rajaniemi Talks About Mathematics and Writing Fiction

Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief, talked at the International Science Day event in Finland about “Constraints and Creativity in Mathematics and Fiction”.

[via John Jarrold]

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on VIDEO: Hannu Rajaniemi Talks About Mathematics and Writing Fiction

  1. This is the far side of the literary side to SF  that John Ginsberg-Stevens likes to inhabit.

  2. Musician Robert Rich says a similar thing, that limited tools help his creativity.


  3. Although the beautiful in life and nature that art seeks to make visible has sometimes very real mathematic relations, it doesn’t make the idea of architecture, landscape, the species, the character visible to just “create” those relations in an approximation of conventional beauty. The effect is often the sterility of atmosphere of writers who are also scientists. The beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but not in an arbitrary way, but it takes the special talent, which you won’t manage to recreate abstractly, or only after the fact. Beauty also requires an interplay (the correct relation of load+pillar makes Greek pillars beatuiful as an visualization of heavyness, as an idea of nature), not rigid structures of pure relations for their own sake. The reason is that you then see and figure out the relations, and may find them “beautiful” in their symmetry and purity, but you don’t see the things’ very own beauty.

    I don’t want to sermonise here, it’s a debate with a concept of aesthetics by Schopenhauer I find myself in, and if you think you can disagree (please not too crudely, it is serious thinking), then I hope you still sympathise with me for being kind of stuck within a model against I cannot argue myself out of (apart from some details). 😉 Probably takes a bit of acquaintanceship with certain types of thinking as well, and I’m almost sure I failed to make it understandably in a big way. I also haven’t read this author yet.

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