Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mathematicians and Physiognomy

At a conference of mathematicians in Barcelona this weekend I was treated to a physiognomical sample slice of people who have chosen to study mathematics further and eventually become mathematics teachers.  I was surprised to notice that many of them (80%) fall into the physiognomy of Mercury, adrenaline (or Hod for the Hermetic Qabalists).


The physiognomical traits produced by adrenaline are a relatively lithe and muscular frame, and generally a narrow, avian face with a ''beak-like'' nose.  Over abundance of adrenaline generally improves* recall from the memory, but can lead to these types having difficulty in lettings things go. They can tend towards the jumpy-sensitive, grudge bearing and vengeful.  Their recall abilities often lead them into intellectual or pseudo-intellectual pursuits and can find them quick-witted and funny.

As a teacher of theory of knowledge I have recently been exploring the historical development of science and maths as areas of knowledge but more importantly, for the sake of this post, as ideologies.  Science as an ideology, distinct from the scientific method, can be seen to be a function of the protestant, capitalist area of Europe (where the most recent scientific revolution occured) and as an institution married to the military, imperalist and corporate structures - who, after all, funds science and directs the way in whch science develops if not these entities?  Mathematics as an ideology can be seen in ''target culture'' or psychological tests that seek to make the subjective experience quantitative.  Adam Curtis' series of documentaries ''the Trap'' or Fuck you Buddy explores the ideas of mathematics as an ideology.

Tying this together with our ''physiognomical'' data we can see mathematics as an ideology of the hunter.  One example used to explain differential calculus was about a dog running along a beach and into the sea to claim a stick that had been thrown diagonally into the water.  Knowing that it would move slower in the water, the dog picks out the correct ratio of beach-run to water-swim to minimize the time taken to grab the stick - this calculus is ''instinctive''.  What then about birds or prey such as eagles and hawks, do they not perform incredible and instinctive acts of calculus in order to perfect their hunting dives?

Mathematics *attracts* the hunter - the love of precision, of accuracy, of angles, of success.  Many people in business and trading see the satisfaction of the ''kill'' in their aggressive sales strategies, that business has somehow replaced our more primitive desire to go chase pigs in the woods. Mathematics then, is the ideology of the predator...  Mathematics is still used by educational institutions and society at large to sort the weak from the strong and is still considered at the top of the academic hierarchy when it comes to subjects studied in school.  Our top mathematicians (and to some extent physicists) are also the one's ''lording it'' over the world as our planet is subject to miliatry and financial powers.

When looking at the physiognomy of our sample of teachers we must think about the ''paths'' that link to Mercury/Hod in this example.  We will have ''birds'' that are more closely associated with Yesod, Netzach and Tifereth respectively or more endocrinologically we will have adrenaline-testosterone types, adrenaline-cortisol types and adrenaline-insulin/glucagon types.  In reality the adrenaline-testosterone types look like owls in that they will still be beaky but will have rounder faces and possibly balding from the testosterone.  The fleshier aspects of cortisol or insulin will produce fatter ''pigeon'' types.  Our purer adrenaline types will produce thinner faces and more angular ''nose-beaks''.

Now this covers 80% of our sample but what about the remaining 20%?  Well there were a few randoms in there, like myself, teachers who are not primarily mathematicians, or who come from a different background and ended up teaching some maths and these had physiognomy drawn from a wide array of different hormones.  The only salient group in this sample were ''Ignorant Genii'' - or pituitary types.

The pituitary type (Kether) is normally more interested in mathematics as a philosophical subject - they are the neo-platonists and neo-pythagoreans of old - they are interested in pure maths and its implications as opposed to its applied to business/physics variety.  They love number for itself not necessarily for what it can do.

*improves from our currently limited understanding of memory, actually the power of ''forgetting'' as opposed to the power of ''remembering'' can allow a person to have a better memory.  One ''forgets'' into the memory, think about learning kung-fu or to ride a bike.  However in terms of standardised mathematics testing the ''remembering'' adrenaline types tend to perform better than their fleshier, forgetting cortisol colleagues.

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