Friday, May 09, 2014

I'm Seeing Ghosts

Or trees that look like ghosts, anyway.

Driving along I 84, I saw a bunch of white shapes on a hill in the distance. "Funny," I thought, "those look like ghosts." (I assumed that what they really were were some trees heavy with white blossoms, and when I got closer, I found I was right.)

But my next thought was, "How did ghosts come to look like white blobs? That is certainly not what Hamlet's father looked like, or Hamlet could not have recognized him. Of course we still have that sort of recognizable ghost in our stories as well. But where did the ghost that looks like a kid with a white sheet over his head come from?


  1. I think the idea is that the ghost is wearing the white shroud it was buried in.

    1. Thanks, MM! I bet you are right. (By the way, why are you MathMan? Are you a mathematician?)

    2. I actually study theoretical physics (although I'm interested enough in math that I got a masters in math on the side during my undergrad), but a decade ago when I commented on a blogspot blog for the first time Google made me choose a username, so I just arbitrarily chose MathMan and now whenever I log into my Google account to post a comment it displays that.

      My actual name is Keshav Srinivasan (you may see me in Bob Murphy's comment threads), and I'd love to post under my real name but I don't see a way to post comments here without logging into my Google account.

  2. Wow, it turns out to be really easy to change your blogger username. So I'm now the artist formerly known as MathMan.


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