It suddenly occurred to me, that math is actually just another language. Math is an effort to simplify, condense and explain to ourselves what something is, to make it tangible and more easily manipulatable, and to more easily communicate to others an idea, with symbols and names like “seven.”
It would follow then, that like our english language, there’s lots of nouns, ideas, or things we have no name for, or that our language is incapable of explaining to us or doesn’t have the words/phrases for. There’s many examples of words existing in other languages that do not really have a correct word or translation in english (same can be said across/between any two languages).
I was taught in linguistics, that because languages have different grammatical structures and patterns, that it actually changes the way your brain thinks about information or solves problems. In fact, people who are bilingual (or speak multiple languages) have an advantage in problem-solving because they are able to think about said problem from multiple viewpoints. Their brains process the information differently, and if they have many structures/processes at their disposal, it would make sense that if it was hard to understand though one particular process, that they would have another at their disposal to try it out on. If that process make the problem more tangible, than that person would have an edge over someone who does not have that ability.
Does this mean that there exists somewhere in a universe, another society of intellectuals who may have created another language for math that can explain things in a way that ours cannot? Or that there’s more than one way of personifying math? Making it tangible and manipulable in our minds?
I know that there are sometimes math examples within our own system that have more than one correct or plausible answer. I also understand that when applied to physics, people are coming up with new theorems that no one thought of because no one could see it in the same light previously…What if there are civilizations that are totally ahead of us in mathematics because they have created a language, a system that makes things so much clearer than our own?
I always thought that even if mathematical numbers did not look like 1,2,3,4 or weren’t called “one, two, three, and four” that it would nevertheless, easily translate and still would hold the values of 1,2,3, and 4. In that way, math seemed “universal” to me…but…what if it’s not? What if there’s another way?
My head hurts.