|Rosemary & Alex - Mocambo, Veracruz, Christmas 1967|
Calculus is the mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape, and algebra is the study of generalizations of arithmetic operations.
It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus; the former concerns instantaneous rates of change, and the slopes of curves, while the latter concerns accumulation of quantities, and areas under or between curves. These two branches are related to each other by the fundamental theorem of calculus, and they make use of the fundamental notions of convergence of infinite sequences and infinite series to a well-defined limit.
Infinitesimal calculus was developed independently in the late 17th century by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Later work, including codifying the idea of limits, put these developments on a more solid conceptual footing. Today, calculus has widespread uses in science, engineering, and social science.
In 1962 the world in my brain was fundamentally changed and definitely improved by two professors at the University of Americas in Mexico City.
Noted philosopher and scholar Ramón Xirau Rubias taught me philosophy for two years and we went from the Pre-Socratics to Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre. At the time I did not understand Plato’s Platonism. It has only been in the last 10 years that I have come to understand how important it is. I have written several blogs on my personal concept of what I call catness.
|Lucinda Urrusti. Retrato de Ramón Xirau, 1994. Óleo sobre tela.|
Chicurel (my memory fails me in not knowing his first name) taught me physics and mathematics. He was early in teaching us about Quantum Theory. But it was his explanation of The Calculus that has left me thinking, particularly when I combine it with my light knowledge of philosophy.
I can state fundamentally, and perhaps not accurately, that the expression “well defined limit” in the little essay from Wikipedia is what makes me think in the way I do about not being able to forget or diminish my grief over the death of my Rosemary. Picture this:
In analytic geometry, an asymptote (/ˈæsɪmptoʊt/) of a curve is a line such
that the distance between the curve and the line approaches zero as one or both
of the x or y coordinates tends to infinity. In projective geometry and related
contexts, an asymptote of a curve is a line which is tangent to the curve at a
point at infinity. Wikipedia
What the above means is that these curves touch either the x or y axis only at infinity (wherever that is).
|These curves touch the x and y axis at infinity|
Using that mathematical example, even though I do not
believe in ghosts, I can feel some remnant (not yet at infinity) when I walk
Niño in the same route she did. When I look at her side of the bed there has to
be some of her indented on the bedspread even though I have washed it many
times and made the bed. The same applies in using her pillows. Some of her is
there. I call this her absent presence, diluted but always there.
Every evening before the next day’s garbage pickup I empty the garbage and put the cat tins in the blue boxes. I then place a new plastic kitchen bag in my under the sink garbage container. Today as I got one out of the guest bathroom I noticed that there were a few left. These are from a box Rosemary bought. Underneath is another unopened box of 100 she also bought.
It would seem that my Rosemary’s presence is an example of a calculus limit at infinity. I will run out of her bags, perhaps in my personal oblivion.