Tag Archives: A.C. Aitken

Marvellous powers

I came across this quote from the New Zealander mathematician and ‘lightning calculator’ A.C. Aitken, which seems germane to some of the recent discussion here.

I believe we are surrounded the whole time by marvellous powers, are immersed in them, closer than breathing, and I think that all great music, poetry, mathematics and real religion come from a world not distant but right in the midst of everything, permeating it. When I wish to do a feat of memory or calculation, or, sometimes, new mathematical discovery, I let slip some sort of cog and lie back in this world I speak of, not concentrating, but waiting in complete confidence for the thing desired to flow in.

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