A Special Letter From That Beautiful Mind,
John Nash
I have to admit that I am baffled by Jason X. I'm
a pretty smart guy, but clearly a much more precocious mind
than mine is needed to explain this. I am preparing a book
and movie review of A Beautiful Mind, and I found that
John Nash's wife Alicia is a movie buff. So I gave it a shot:
I emailed John Nash at Princeton, and this is his special
message to you concerning his findings on Jason X.
To the Loyal Readers of This "Filmsnobs":
My name is John Forbes Nash, Junior. You probably know me
as the mathematical genius and remissive schizophrenic from
the film A Beautiful Mind. If you've read that somewhat
true account of my life compiled by Miss Sylvia Nasar, you'll
recall that my most outstanding accomplishments occurred when
I tackled mathematics' most vexing problems. You see, I have
a bit of a fetish for problems, you might say. I've tackled
all the great problems worth my efforts: the classic Fermat
theorem about an integer multiplied by itself p times
where p is a prime, von Neumann's minmax theorem and
mathematical description of game theory's application to pure
economics, and my nice discovery concerning the manageability
of algebraic manifolds, proving the isometric embeddability
of abstract Riemannian manifolds in flat (or "Euclidean")
spaces. That was probably my greatest achievement in pure
mathematics. But it was the holy grail, so to speak, of pure
mathematics and theoretical physics, The Riemann Hypothesis,
that perpetrated my decent into madness. Solving it would
open up many new solutions to problems both in theoretical
and applicable mathematics, but, I have to admit, Riemann's
zeta function conjecture proved to be my undoing. In short,
my failure to crack that problem cracked me, in a sense.
Now that I've recovered and live a somewhat normal existence
here in my office at Princeton, I received a most perplexing
proposition from a certain "Shimes," who, from what
I can discern, runs a quaint little movie review site on the
internet. Being a man of a certain hubris, which I suppose
is a trait of most mathematicians of my caliber, I was presented
with a problem so vexing, so complex, yet so elegant, that's
its unraveling might lead to new discoveries in the theories
of the universe, including a much needed revision in Einstein's
relativity theorem. I shall let Mr. Himes tell it to you in
his words:
Dear Professor Nash,
My name is Steve, and I review movies on the Internet
I know that your wife Alicia is a big movie buff, and I've
seen the movie of your life, as well as read much of the biographical
information about your life and work. Anyway, knowing your
interest in the great problems of the universe, and your unique
approach to solving them, I thought you might be able to help
me out. There's this movie out right now that I can't make
any sense of. You know Jason Voorhees, the guy with the hockey
mask in the "Friday the 13th" movies? Well, somehow,
he's ended up in space in the 25th century, and he's terrorizing
these teenagers in the future. For the life of me, I can't
figure out how this happened. I think that maybe Jason fell
through a "burp" in Einstein's fourth dimensional
conjecture, or perhaps Jason himself, seeing as how he's been
immortal in the last twenty years of cinema, is perhaps a
physical constant all his own, kind of like Planck's Constant
or the coefficient of friction. Like I said, I can't figure
it out, nor can I figure out how ten of these Jason movies
exist, so I propose to you, Dr. Nash, The Voorhees Hypothesis:
ƒ(13) * 10 = 2455 (JX)
How is this possible? Thanks for all your help,
Steve
My, what a problem indeed! Needless to say, I found my work
concerning the Strong Goldbach Conjecture a bit, well, elementary
in comparison. I tackled the problem immediately. Faced with
such a complex proposition, I decided that the only possible
method was to revisit my original 1959 idea for solving the
Riemann Hypothesis. I will have you know that this is quite
a risky proposition for me, considering that this idea drove
me to madness back in my, shall we say, "lost" days.
But as I near the end of my productivity, I feel that my new
celebrity in the world of cinema, which I, quite frankly,
find a little hyperbolized, should propel me to face my demons.
I have learned to compartmentalize—the appropriate euphemism,
I believe—my thoughts, and so by revisiting Reimann,
perhaps we too can find a cause for the existence of Jason
in 2455, or as Mr. Himes so named it, The Voorhees Hypothesis.
Much to my surprise, Alicia has been quite supportive in
of my efforts. Alicia, my wife, is an avid moviegoer, and
she too was quite distressed at the notion of Jason X.
"John," she said, "I'm afraid the boy is right.
You must tackle the problem. To prove Jason Voorhees' existence
in the twentyfifth century would undermine a century's worth
of insight into quantum mechanics, as well as fundamentally
question Einstein's notion of time as a fourth dimension geometric
space. Either that, or Jason Voorhees is an asofyet unknown
theoretical constant. The implications are vast and frightening.
There's no way I can ever go back to the Princeton Cinema
8 if you don't solve this equation."
Indeed, Jason X is a disturbing conception that denies
rational existence. As I tried with the Riemann Hypothesis,
I have developed an idea to try to prove the Voorhees Hypothesis
by logic, by the internal consistency of the system of Friday
the 13th movies. Some proofs are based on analogies, on
rules of logic whereby something is proved indirectly. If
one could show that the structure of the Riemann Hypothesis
and Jason X are in some sense identical, one could
show that the logic of one proof had to apply to the other.
For instance, Riemann conjectures that within an infinite
series 1 +1/2s + 1/3s + 1/4s...in which
s is a complex number, say s = u + iv
(assuming i = square root of 1), where u and
v are real numbers, the chosen series converges. If
Riemann is correct, then all such values of s for which
u lies between 0 and 1 are of the form 1/2 + iv,
namely, all their real parts equal to 1/2.
To be analogous to the time travel of Jason Voorhees, one
must prove a similar internal logic within the seemingly infinite
series ƒ(13) + 1, ƒ(13) + 2, ƒ(13)
+ 3....ƒ(13) + 10. Let's investigate. The first
Friday the 13th movie is a significantly diminished
subset of the infinitely better John Carpenter film Halloween,
which is justifiably a classic of the genre. The formulaic
procedure of the irrational actions of the interchangeable
teenage variables in this series is proven analogous to similar
series in an elegant, brief essay on the subject by noted
expert Wes Craven in his famous and lucrative Scream series
in the 1990's. The significance of the discovery should not
be underestimated: Professor Craven rationalized the irrational
behavior of infinitely interchangeable teenage variables within
the context of its own internal consistency and logic. Very
elegant indeed. However, the plot variable in the Voorhees
series proves a bit more problematic. It's elusive, and grows
quite unpredictable in increasingly irrational ways. The first
two installments of the series involve a small camp in New
Jersey, Voorhees himself existing in only twodimensions.
In the third installment, the Voorhees equation distorts itself
by converging onto threedimensional solid geometry, thus
forcing the audience to have to wear—and this is purely
a subjective value judgment—stupid looking red and blue
glasses just to see him. The fourth installment conjectures
that it's "The Final Chapter," yet paradoxes itself
by proceeding to a fifth installment, "A New Beginning."
So far, the Voorhees Hypothesis has not ventured into wholly
unexplainable territory, even for Hollywood. Yet, its sixth
installment offers interchangeable teenage variables digging
up Voorhees (a completely irrational act, even by the standards
of the Craven Theorems). The seventh involves underwater telekinetic
powers, which defies the superiority of the rational mind
in the real, physical world. And in the eighth, it is proffered
that Voorhees can somehow "take" Manhattan, though
this seems somewhat plausible, considering that in the ninth,
Voorhees supersedes Einstein's fourth dimensional conjecture,
thus, he "Goes to Hell."
From underwater to Manhattan to Hell, I cannot produce an
equation, by the laws of quantum mechanics and relativity,
that could conceivable land Voorhees in the year 2455. The
thought itself conjures feelings of my own dark madness that
has shadowed much of my adult life. As I've retreated inward
since Mr. Himes offered me the Voorhees Hypothesis, I've begun
to hear the voices in my head again. Sometimes I hear nothing
but a chainsaw, but this is not the delusion that I believe
may precipitate another episode of unfortunate madness: I
hear a certain mysterious figure only revealed to me as "Opie,"
discussing an idea so absurd that even I, who once believed
that aliens communicated with me through the front page of
the New York Times, find insane—a mermaid venturing
through the streets of New York City to locate a man she's
rescued twice at sea. Perhaps my recent entry into the annals
of cinema has somehow bent the closed universe of movies to
the will of my mind, with Jason X a delusion much like
the extraterrestrials who sent me messages back in the 1960's.
Perhaps I wandered into a movie theater in 1980, and Jason
Voorhees triggered a deep psychological reaction to the insulin
shock therapy I received to treat my schizophrenia, only now
manifesting itself in the irrational, nightmarish existence
of Jason X. If, my dear moviegoers, you do see Jason
X, like all of my delusions, you have to rationalize its
nonexistence. In other words, in an effort to rationalize
one's thinking, the one can simply recognize and reject the
irrational hypothesis of delusional thinking—like Jason
X. As with the voices in my head, Jason Voorhees will
never go away, but if you ignore him long enough, he will
not haunt you. He will not haunt you.
The 1994 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics,
John Forbes Nash, Junior
Pictured Above: Nobel Laureate John Forbes
Nash, Jr. Admits Defeat In Trying to Rationalize Jason
X
