So, I got bored the other day and decided to give our good old friend IMDb a visit. But instead of just diving in and getting lost (the way I usually spend my time on the internet), this time the search bar got my eye’s attention immediately and as if they were guided by some magical force, instead of searching for another bad sci-fi/horror movie, I went ahead clicked the drop-down menu to the right of the search bar. Keyword. Bam! No day passes by where we google stuff on the internet, and we don’t ask Google same questions we would ask a human being; “Yo, what are some good movies about mathematics?” –at least I don’t (unless Google finally makes its way to a new paradigm shift into the information singularity). We use keywords. Why would the biggest movie database on the planet not have such a feature? Instead of searching for movie titles, or genres, why not search for keywords and get a handful of movie suggestions you might actually like? And what’s even stranger, why haven’t I thought of it earlier?
I selected search by Keyword, drew my cursor back to the search bar and I entered mathematics (you guessed it. It’s still on my browsers history –I don’t delete browsing history, never) so I ended up searching a movie I could hopefully enjoy watching that night. It’s turned out that my search came to a fast end. After skipping the first hit Letters from an Indian Clerk which didn’t even bother clicking on since it had no thumbnail on it (I must remind myself to bias less and read more), I skipped immediately to the second hit. Not realizing that Touch was actually a TV show, I skimmed roughly through the description and watched the trailer afterwards. It was that TV Show whose promo I saw on ProSieben a couple of months ago and instantly caught my attention, but on that very moment my unconscious mind decided to add it to its imaginary “watch later” list in case I had time to actually see it. It was a bad choice and the habit of not to writing things down sometimes makes me think like, why do I even bother owning a smartphone, if I use it almost only for surfing on the web and playing Flappy Bird or Doodle Jump? Sigh.
After having forgotten the name of that show, it was a pleasant coincidence that I found it by accident, twice. Thanks God I didn’t realize it was a show on the search results page; otherwise I wouldn’t even have bothered clicking on it. I was on one of those phases where starting another TV show wouldn’t make things better. But this was the show I’ve been looking for months! I also found out that it was only two seasons long. Two seasons, that’s acceptable. And most of all, it was about ‘mathematics!’ Well, it was motivationally enough to get me jump up the bad, get some snacks and turn the lights off.
Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen the show yet, you should probably stop reading. You’ve been warned.
I’m not gonna go ahead and write down a full description of the whole show, that’s not my intention. I’m just going to point out some quotes here and there, what I liked and what I didn’t.
The Pilot episode
You may easily get a false impression after watching the first episode. It starts out with an 11 year-old- mute boy named Jacob (David Mazouz) scribbling down the golden ratio on his little notebook while narrating with his own voice:
The ratio is always the same. 1 to 1.618 over and over and over again. The patterns are hidden in plain sight. Just have to know where to look. Things most people see as chaos actually follow subtle laws of behavior. Galaxies, plants, seashells. The patterns never lie. But only some of us can see how the pieces fit together.
All I could think of in that moment was “This is going to be so awesome!” – There we have it; my first expectation (and maybe even my last one throughout the whole show).
The Golden Ratio is essentially just another irrational number represented by φ (phi) just like π or the base of the natural logarithm e. You will obtain that number by cutting a line segment in two parts, so that the length of the longer part divided by the length of the smaller part is equal to the length of the whole line segment divided by the longer part of the two pieces.
In other words, if you were to construct a line and cut it in two pieces, blue + orange so that dividing blue with orange would give you the same number as dividing the whole line (blue + orange) with blue . You would get the golden ratio. 1.61803398874989484820…
He then continues on with some other statistical information, like the current world population, the number of days he’s alive and explains an ancient Chinese myth about the Red Thread of Fate:
There’s an ancient Chinese myth about the Red Thread of Fate. It says the gods have tied every one of our ankles and attached it to all the people whose lives we’re destined to touch. This thread may stretch or tangle, but it’ll never break. It’s all predetermined by mathematical probability, and it’s my job to keep track of those numbers, to make the connections for those who need to find each other… the ones whose lives need to touch.
Hence the name: Touch.
I knew immediately that I felt in love with this show. A TV show or any film, from which the audience can’t get more out of it than just a “what a great movie that was” now a days is more or less not worth watching (especially if you’re in a constant hurry to get things done, but always seem to run out of time).
Jake lives with his widowed father Martin (played by Kiefer Sutherland) who struggles to raise him up as a single parent. His mother died during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He is mute and doesn’t like to be touched by no one. He spends most of his time writing down sequences of numbers on his notebook that later on seem to be of importance for the order of the universe, and if for some reason the universe gets out of order, Jake would literally be in physical pain, shivering and jumping around (btw by universe I actually mean the people living on earth). Martin realizes that his son is gifted with supernatural powers when a bunch of mobile phones that Jake arranged in the form of a golden spiral on his bedroom floor start ringing at the same time, all with the same calling number. He’s surprised to see that the calling number was a number that Jake had been writing down on his notebook, and that also happened to be the winning number combinations of a lottery ticket of a man they met at a gas station that day, and so he starts to believe that his son Jake wants to communicate with him through numbers. Being aware that for the first time in his life his son wants to speak to him, he starts investigating these mysterious numbers, which later on would get him into serious troubles. His actions lead him even to the risk of losing his custody of his son.
As I mentioned earlier, I won’t make a full review of the episode, and I won’t make a review of every single one. I just hope to have provoked your curiosity enough to give this show a shot. If you like mathematics, you will definitely love this show. The fact that the final episode was kind of a letdown for me personally didn’t change my point of view towards the show in general. In fact, just because of that, I finally got inspired enough to eventually start blogging.
Since this is my first blog, I would definitely love to read your response. Every single comment is appreciated, even if you think this post sucks, as long as it’s your honest opinion and you provide feedback.