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The Squaring of the Hypotenuse

Updated on March 12, 2015
The seafarer's daughter (a.k.a. Ludwig Wittgenstein)
The seafarer's daughter (a.k.a. Ludwig Wittgenstein) | Source

Once upon a time

there lived a people called the Infinitesimals in a country that went by the name of Metaphoria on Sundays and by the name of Eugenius on long weekends.

Now the Infinitesimals worshipped something called a Decimal which was a circle condensed into a dot and whose function it was to measure by division into ten parts anything that existed as a chunk in the world.

And in this world that it existed in, called Metaphoria, there existed another people, but only on Sundays, who by the same name only with an 'e' added to the name of the country for good measure... worshipped an ancestor called a 'carrier,' because long ago s/he had carried a man called Christos — but now was more adept at carrying letters usually attached to vowels thanks to a bilingual seafarer from the days of old down into new countries of the mind called Syllables...

Now as bad luck would have it,

the Infinitesimals had a problem: division into tens worked only as far as the infinitesimals could shrink themselves down to the size necessary to pass through the worm wholes needed to engineer the replays of the "Big Bang" (the result of compressing the Decimal down to infinite density) during their End of the World Festivals. But there was a limit to this reductionism beyond which they could not pass through and remain alive long enough to conduct their engineering experiments.

Now it was believed, because of something called a quantum effect shrouded by the carrier from long ago, that it may be possible to transverse the worm whole needed to engineer the ultimate big bang that would bring about the true end of the world to end all ends—making them redundant—which was the ultimate aim of these festivals whether the Infinitesimals knew it or not.

Fin du Monde, film by Abe Gance
Fin du Monde, film by Abe Gance | Source

So they paid big money to this carrier,

a descendant of that seafarer who had invented the syllables, to find a way to survive the transition through worm wholes and, by extension, the transition from one end-of-the-world big bang to one beginning of the world big bang... Hence, starting over in a new world.

You can see, dear reader, what an extraordinary contract this was for the descendant of the seafarer who also had carried Christos across a similar journey long ago...

Now there remained

one big problem. This transition required the squaring of something called a Hypotenuse. And the squaring of the Hypotenuse could not take place without a town square to begin with. However, in the land of the infinitesimals all public space was triangular in shape — something about their love of pyramids which permitted them to square the circle and calculate the round shape for engineering purposes allowed them to see the pyramid in the circle but not the square in the pyramid.

So our carrier had to find a way to introduce pyramids made up of squared Hypotenusiae. And this he did by shrouding the workspace in the town pyramid with a giant awning behind which his sub-architects and their stone masons worked day and night around the doomsday clock for years—perhaps thirty hundred of them in our measure today...

Found footage of inverted pyramid under construction
Found footage of inverted pyramid under construction | Source

Until one day,

the King of Kings of the Infinitesimals summoned this seafarer's daughter-descendant (now called Christanthalus for short) and gave her a steadfast deadline: "Finish the squaring of the Hypotenuse or get out of my kingdom!"

Well, you can imagine how this went over with the workers whose livelihoods had depended on this never-ending project for hundreds of years... They quickly finished the project and prepared to have it unwrapped for the Big Bang festival at the now proposed true End of the World by the Higgs Boson committee.

On a clear skied Sunday,

with the Head Boson, officiating, after a night of heavy partying and fornicating as per the end-of-the-world rites, the whole country of Infinitesimals had gathered at pyramid square to watch the unwrapping of what-was-supposed-to-be a new collider that would ferry the infinitesimals to a new post big bang world christened by a new theme song championing the refrain "bat-a-bing-bat-a-bang..." ad infinitum...

And when the shroud was stripped away, the Infinitesimals were treated to an eerie vision of an enormous inverted pyramidical building standing mysteriously on end.... So frightened were they that the building would tip over and collapse on them that they immediately scattered in the four known directions without noticing that on the roof-top of this marvelous building lay a square garden with a landing pad to welcome the arrival of a new people from another end-of-the-world transition—perhaps by big bang, perhaps by silent descent—named the Metanoiae...


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