Tuesday, December 30, 2014

And the best tattoo of the year 2014 is...

Ok, I am a standard mathematician. I don't want to reinforce the trite stereotype of the nerd math-lover, but I have thick glasses, often the colours of my clothes don't match (and my clothes are too big/too small/perfect just for old people), I learned how to bike waaay after learning the difference between mass and weight, and of course I am terrified, terrified by needlespleasepleasepleasetakeoutfrommyviewthatinstrumentofterror. I'm hopeless, you really wouldn't expect me to dissert about the current fashion in tattoos, would you?

Yet, Buzzfeed made a list of the most trendy tattoos of the year 2014. And what do we have here?

Photo from here

The lemniscate really exploded this year. Even someone like me had to notice this trend in the skin of the people around. The most popular is probably the one with "love" embedded in it, or other writings (note the Buzz Lightyear reminder!)

Photo from here

and the combos "feather+infinity" and "finger tattoo+infinity" are also ubiquitous.

 Photo from here

Photo from here

There are tumblrs devoted to it and all sorts of websites. But I am a set theorists, not a fashion designer, so what can I say to you about it?

Well, now I am about to dump to you a nugget of information that will surely make you popular with your friends. You can ask: why there is one symbol of infinity, when there are many infinities? The reason is that the lemniscate, in mathematics, always refers to the potential infinity, i.e., the infinity you cannot reach, (I explain this here) while each different actual infinity, i.e., an infinity considered as size of an infinite set, has a different symbol. Cool, huh?

Pick up artist suggestion
So, you are at a New Year party and you see a cute girl with an infinity tattoo. What do you do? You go close to her, you say "Hey, did you know that this symbol only means potential infinity? But the actual infinity..." Pause. "... is in my pants".

And then you pick from your pants' pocket a piece of paper with an aleph on it. Mark my words, she'll throw herself to your arms. You're welcome.

You want a symbol that it's even more than infinity? Here you are

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