Exponent of Desire

by shminux 1 min read26th Feb 201313 comments


I've been mostly lying in bed with fever for the last couple of days, and one night my starved for external stimuli semi-conscious mind produced the following mathematical construct, which I decided to share. This is not intended to be scientific or even all that serious.

So, suppose you have something. Let's call it 's'. You like it, so you want to keep having it. This is a first-order want, let's call it w(s). You also want to want to have it, which is a second order want: w(w(s)), or w2(s). If you are perfectly content, this will be true for all higher order wants, as well, wn(s). Now, you don't worry nearly as much about higher orders, so let's discount their contribution to your thoughts and feelings by the factor n!. Finally, the sum total of your wants for s is


This is, of course, the standard way to construct functions of linear operators.

So, if you love someone wholeheartedly and without reservation, you can call them the exponent of your desire. Hopefully they are geeky enough to appreciate it.