NHS invented a new type of infinity… June 21, 2008Posted by Alexandre Borovik in Uncategorized.
My posts are likely to become shorter and sparser — as a result of a work trauma, I have developed a medical condition (see a photo) which makes typing very difficult, and I depend on the kind help of my wife with all my typing needs. On the bright side, my experience gave me a new understanding of infinity. From a mathematical viewpoint, indefinitely long waiting lists for treatment on NHS (National Health Service) were not something new, they were just a special case of potentially infinite natural series
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, … etc.
going on and on in a very old-fashioned way. The real contribution of NHS to mathematics of infinity is that they make patients to wait (indefinitely again) to be included on a waiting list. It is an infinity of natural numbers enhanced by an additional constraint: you are not allowed to start counting.