Andrew Magrath (biggrumpy) wrote,
Andrew Magrath

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Essay: Who Mourns for Theta?

Who mourns for you θ? Who remembers you before you were associated with a pseudoscience? Before you got hijacked by a quasi-religion? Who remembers who you use to be θ? And who misses you now that you are gone?

I remember when you were the perfect symbol to represent an unknown angle. We both know you were the best. Yes φ is good, but, let’s be honest, it’s the second string. There really isn’t even a variable after it worth mentioning. Yes, you θ, you were always the star. But in this tragic comedy we call life, you are now tangled up with scientology. Oh cruel cruel fate: how you toy with us mortals and our symbolic representations.

Scientology stole you, gagged you, drugged you, and beat you. Now a θ isn’t an angle to be flushed out; a devious piece of symmetry to be discovered; a worthy foe to meet wits with and shake hands with when the game is done. No, now θ is a form of quackery: the source of life, the soul, the essence. Theta, ohh θ, why have they brought you low? Why did they pick on you? What did θ ever do to them? What did θ ever do to any of us?

Is it θ’s fault geometry is hard? Is it θ’s fault that calculus hurts? Who could hate θ so much as to do this to it? Sweet θ is as innocent as x or y or φ. Yet the bullies came, and they decided to change you. For what mathematical sins were you crucify for dear dear θ? Why couldn’t L. Ron Hubbard have picked Θ? Why did he pick the lowercase letter, the one I loved, the one that really stood for something (other than an esoteric pentaquark)? Of all the symbols in all the world, why did he cull you θ?

But now you are gone. There will be some that remember you for who you were. The real you, the θ before they took you. The θ before they ruined you. The θ that was x’s equal, if not mathematically, at least symbolically. That is the θ we should remember. That is how θ would want us to remember it.

Who mourns for θ?
I do.
I do.
I do.

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