Serendipity: Tesla, Chaos In Boxes
Yesterday a very nerdy and awesome article showed up in my news feed: apparently, someone recently discovered a long-lost drawing made by Tesla, labelled “Map To Multiplication.” A quick glance at the diagram showed a circular diagram with star shapes on it. This was a very dramatic moment for me, full of anticipation and a mixture of emotional confusion. Here’s Tesla’s diagram:
Why did I panic? Because in 2008 I published a book called “Chaos In Boxes: twisted adventures in music theory,” and one of my proudest achievements in that book was my discovery and creation of the “Times-Table Mirror.” Sometimes I call it the “Multiplication Mirror” for the sake of alliteration. When I say I “discovered” it, I really do mean that it came into being under my very own eyes and pencil and brain, never before seen by myself or anyone else …that I know of (and I still remain skeptical of my own originality in terms of worldwide historical unprecedence, since this thing I invented is just too obvious… how could it not be common knowledge already?). My “Times-Table Mirror” entails 9 small and simple circular diagrams with star shapes, plus one larger diagram that ties them all together. Here’s what the final diagram looks like, just to give you a quick idea:
So when this Tesla thing came along yesterday, I figured, “This is probably the same as what I came up with,” and my first thought was A) little old me and my big little discovery will be rendered totally irrelevant by mister bigshot famous math rebel. Who am I? Nobody. After this, nobody would even believe that I came up with this on my own, they’ll say I just copied Tesla. Even though I found mine was published in 2008 and this other thing only came along yesterday (2015). NNNNOOOOOO!!!! It’s my idea. Mine!
But then I realized that, B) for one of my discoveries to be considered important and smart enough for Tesla-philes to be gaga on it would only serve to increase the notability of my Times-Table Mirror. I could feel oh-so-smart about having discovered the same idea as Tesla, on my own, separately, without his help or influence. I’m not even going to mention the idea of channeling, LOL.
It was a perceptual transformation that only took a few seconds, thankfully. Swimming in a glass half-full is better than drowning in one that’s half-empty.
Of course, my thinking is probably marred by egocentricity, especially considering that I’m very low-level when it comes to math and hardly any competition for the likes of a legend. I’m just a musician who likes to dabble in mathy stuff whenever I feel like it. But what the hell… it is what it is. This is my blog/book/whatever and I’ve felt less foolish for way stupider feats.
So, anyway, as it turns out, after looking a little closer at Tesla’s diagram, it is actually not as similar to mine as I had A) feared or B) hoped. My Times-Table Mirror is much simpler and less far-reaching. If this sounds unimpressive, let’s remember that most people hate math and totally suck at it, by their own admission. My level of contribution to the math world is the type of thing that’s pretty easy to relate to. In fact, I really (still) believe that the Times-Table Mirror should be taught in Elementary schools. Or College. Whatever. It’s missing from everywhere so it’s needed everywhere. A true mathematician could dismiss my Times-Table Mirror as being shallow or primitive but no-one could deny its beauty!
When I looked at Tesla’s “Map To Multiplication” I noticed a few differences from my Times-Table Mirror:
- My “Times-Table Mirror” is based on digital roots and therefore only goes up to the number 9. Tesla’s “Map To Multiplication” is based on the number 12 and extends outward 12 levels to 144. This results in a completely different bunch of shapes associated with each times-table. For example, the number 3 and the number 6 both create a Triangle in my Times-Table Mirror, whereas Tesla’s Map To Multiplication results in a Square shape for all multiples of 3 (including 9).
- I chose to display each times-table on its own circle, for a total of 9 diagrams, plus one “macro-view” circle which shows the symmetrical relationship of all the individual diagrams to each other. Simple and easy to look at. With Tesla’s system, all of the times-tables and their shapes are conveyed on one diagram. Thoroughly detailed but a little messy-looking in comparison.
- Tesla’s Map To Multiplication conveys prime number principles, which are not included whatsoever in my Times-Table Mirror.
And some similarities:
- Both systems reveal dualities possessing opposing polarity in clockwise-ness. For example: in the Times-Table Mirror, the 3x-table is a clockwise Triangle and the 6x-table is a counter-clockwise Triangle. In the Map To Multiplication, the 5x-table and the 7x-table are opposite in their clock-direction; and other mirrored pairs exist as well (some of them not mentioned but easy to find), for example, 2 and 10, 3 and 9, 11 and 13…
- In the Times-Table Mirror, the 9x-table is an anomaly because it holds a special position as the “mirror centre” as well as being the only instance of a non-star shape, since any multiple of 9 has a digital root of 9 (eg. 9 x 4 = 36 and 3 + 6 = 9). The Map To Multiplication also possesses somewhat of an anomaly: the 6x-table produces a vertical line through the entire system. Furthermore, the 12x-table produces a vertical line on the top half of the diagram only.
All in all, it seems to me that, despite the surface similarities (times-tables becoming stars on circles), the two systems are more different than they are the same: mine reveals the symmetry of digital roots and mod-9 (and closes in itself), whereas Tesla’s is tied to Primes and expands without limit through a 12-web.
So, once I’d had time to breathe a sigh of relief of having maintained some sense of originality and relevance, I felt like the time was ripe to get productive and stop procrastinating about making my next “instructional/sales” video for “Chaos In Boxes.” I would, of course, choose “Times-Table Mirror” to celebrate all the hubbub. Before I got very far with making the video, I became extremely distracted/inspired to instead go rummaging through all my old notebooks containing the old scribbled napkins and whatnot from when I was still writing the book (it took almost 6 years to write). In those heaps of papers were also a bunch of markups from my publisher/editor. That was a lot of fun and brought back lots of memories.
Then something a little cosmic happened. I know the idea about “synchronicities are always happening, it’s just a question of which ones you notice,” BUT… after being up ’til wee hours looking at the old construction bits for the book, I received an email from my publisher in the morning! The timing was extremely serendipitous, if you ask me.
The Universe is magic, yo!
If you want to read about the entire Times-Table Mirror procedure, you can check out this free preview pdf from the book or watch the video on YouTube which only took about 10 hours to upload. Or, buy the book and read it! Or all of the above, LOL.
End of this report.