Thanks to everyone who joined the discussion in the comment thread to Via negativa and the road to hell. I was reminded once again why it’s a good idea to keep writing even when one isn’t feeling especially inspired, as was the case last Wednesday (and almost every other day last week – summertime humidity is setting in). Sometimes the best ideas do emerge from dialogue. And judging from people’s reactions, it’s gratifying to think that some of my wilder and woollier notions may not be entirely half-baked. There’s still a part of me that believes that an idea has to be obscure to be of any real value. But another, louder voice says, on the contrary, that ideas only gain value as they approach the vatic or poetic; anything else amounts simply to rearrangement of semantic furniture. Which, to the extent that it allows us to reconceptualize the symbolic spaces where we live and work, is no empty exercise either. And which does not begin to account for the power of mathematical ideas… (Aaagh, here I go again! Somebody hose me down!)
Dave Bonta (bio) often suffers from imposter syndrome, but not in a bad way — more like some kind of flower-breathing dragon, pot-bellied and igneous. Be that as it may, all of his writing here is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).