|Style over substance|
Vortex-based math is a pseudomathematical/vaguely theological pile of nonsense for which some guy named Marko Rodin is to blame. On his website he claims it's the secret to unlocking the Universe or some such.
“”At the age of fifteen Marko Rodin projected his mind as far as he could across the universe and asked the question, "What is the secret behind intelligence?"
Did he find it? Judge for yourself.[note 2]
The process behind vortex-based math is similar to other cranks' approaches to mathematics: notice mildly interesting patterns, ignore practical implications of those patterns in favor of waxing poetic at length about how "mystical" and "powerful" they are, assert without evidence that they represent some important real-world phenomena, and ignore any evidence contradicting any of the claims you just made.
Essentially, the idea revolves around a circle with nine points equidistant from one another. Number the points, and then draw lines connecting each vertex n to its double modulo 9 (technically: [(2n - 1) mod 9] + 1). You get a vortex! Sort of. It looks like the infinity symbol drawn by a particularly boring robot, honestly. Rodin claims that it is the "Mathematical Finger Print[God", which is of course a perfectly reasonable assertion for a mathematical paper to make.[note 3] He then goes on to make many more dubious claims which aren't worth reiterating in full.] of
Most of the properties attributed to the number 9 are in fact a consequence of the fact that we count in base 10, and it is an elementary calculation to see that given any arbitrary counting base n these properties would hold for the number n - 1. Hence, the justification to the premise that the number 9 has significant properties (a premise central to vortex-based math) could just as well be made for any other positive integer.
The truth is that these sorts of patterns pop up all the time in mathematics, because mathematics is basically just the rigorous study of patterns. They aren't unique; in this particular case, you can create different spirals using difference bases for your numerals, and derive lots of seemingly incredible properties from those bases just as easily as Rodin does for base 10. The stuff he creates may be interesting to look at, but it's no more significant than that.
The bizarre theological stuff really is impressively nuts, though; overall it ranks up there with Time Cube as one of the more wonderful and crazy outposts of the internet.
- Inexhaustible free energy
- An end to all disease
- Produce unlimited food
- Travel anywhere in the Universe
- Build the ultimate supercomputer
- Obsolete all existing technology
- Ask Professor Puzzler: Vortex Based Math, a simple and fun dissection of the "math" by some proper mathematicians (it requires elementary school level math, so no headaches there)
- For bonus points, how many rationalist red flags can you count in that sentence? Is it more or less than the number of licks it takes to get to the centre of a Tootsie Pop?
- Spoiler alert: No, he didn't.
- To be fair, legitimate mathematicians do have a noted tendency to wax theological, from Ramanujan claiming inspiration from a goddess in his dreams, through Kronecker's assertion that, "Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk." (God made the integers, all the rest is the work of man.), all the way to the book in which Paul Erdős liked to claim that God had hidden the best proofs. But none of them used such metaphors as part of their actual mathematical work.
- RodinAerodynamics.org, featuring the Rodin Coil
- The Rodin Coil: Is It The Greatest Discovery of All Time? by Joe Martino (March 1, 2014) Collective Evolution.