How would you feel if for hundreds of years you were told that you were one thing, but now everyone is telling you that you are no different than a whole bunch of other things. Things that don’t even look like you! However I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at he beginning. Meet Mr. Cup:
Together with his wife Mrs. Cup, and his son Lil Cup, he has a very loving family. They spent copious amounts of time together, more than any family really should, but it worked for them. Hardly ever apart sitting in the cabinet, sometimes separated for a cycle in the dishwasher, but this was only for an hour or two, and then the whole family is reunited!
Mr. Cup comes a very long line of cups. There is a rumor, that maybe he had a saucer somewhere far back in his lineage, however the whole family tries to forget about that. Namely this thing they call Topology. Topology concerns itself with continuous deformations, i.e smooth transformations. Nothing that involves sharp bends or tearing. What does this have to do with the perfect life of Mr. Cup one might ask. A very astute question indeed.
The twisted ideas from Topology will lead Mr. Cup to an existential crisis, ultimately a break down, one that in turn will ruin his life. What could be so horrifyingly perverted about this mathematical subject that could cause the simple life of a one Mr. Cup to come crashing down. It was one simple idea:
In Topology, cubes and coffee cups are the same thing.
Let that sink in.. cubes are the same thing as coffee cups. Don’t think about it too much, unless you want to find yourself with the same fate.. After he heard about this topological monstrosity he started having nightmares. Simple ones at first, he would see cubes. But they got worse.. Much worse…
This nightmares persisted. He would wake up screaming in the middle of every night. His wife would try to comfort him, but instead he would yell things like:
It’s not hip to be square!!!.!
Things got worse by hour. He was sleep deprived, it wasn’t long before he started talking to himself all day.
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The poor Mr. Cup was going insane, if not already completely insane. It was G.H Hardy that said
I have never done anything ‘useful’. No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world.
However his work, and many other pure mathematicians are to blame for the torture of this poor cup. It was now in his hour of darkness, he had finally had enough. He climbed down from the cabinet, and crossed the kitchen counter quietly. He reached the knifes. He picked one up. He then approached his wife. She couldn’t hear him, he knew she couldn’t.
In the end, he has nothing. He is/was just a cube.