“The only thing we can do is approximate using Fourier analysis, as though love is an impossible periodic function and the only way we may describe it is by decomposing it into an infinite sum of sines and cosines. Or we might sculpt it using negative space, as though love is a block of marble and we chip away what it is not, to obtain the figure of what it is.”
This and Ch 70.
Fourier series are, as Spock describes, decompositions of functions into an infinite sum of sines and cosines. Basically, instead of writing your function in terms of x^9 + 17x^5 + e^(2y/π) or whatnot, you use only various combinations of sin(x) and cos(x). Generally the function you’re approximating is taken to be 2π-periodic (i.e. it repeats every 2π), and the more terms you have in your decomposition, the better the approximation. This idea of approximation is similar to the note I wrote earlier concerning Riemann sums and calculating the area under the curve.
I think the idea of negative space is clear. There are two main ways (these aren’t the only ways, of course) that you can sculpt. There’s additive sculpting, where elements are added, molded, shaped, and removed from the main piece. This what you do with clay and how you eventually make bronze sculptures. The process of making a bronze sculpture is rather elaborate, but it’s based on additive sculpting, since you first make the thing out of clay, wax, wood, etc, then make a cast, then make the bronze sculpture out of the cast. That’s the gist of it. I got carried away. The point is, sculpting with stone is subtractive, where you carve out the figure by removing what it’s not.
I don’t know what more I can say. He says it best, right there in those two sentences.
“Without it, can life hold any meaning? Without it, is it possible to hope? We ask of the universe an eternal question: ‘Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?’”
Inspired by Spock’s speech in The Motion Picture, when he tells Jim of the meld with V’Ger.
The poem is a modified version of the first chapter in the Song of Solomon (or the Song of Songs). There are several versions of the text. I used the King James Version, which can be found on bartleby here: bartleby (dot) com/108/22/1 (dot) html#S1