Words are powerful. Many words are needed to say simple things. Reality has simple rules.

Put these facts together and you’ll realize that English is ill-equipped to discuss the rules of reality: the rules of reality are simple, and simple things take lots of language to pin down exactly.

The key word here is “exactly”. It’s easy to give hand-wavy explanations that gloss over the details and can be easily miss-interpreted. This might provide a glimpse into the workings of reality, but it certainly won’t help you *understand* them.

If you want to actually know the rules, we must discuss them unambiguously. There should be no wiggle room in our descriptions that does not also exist in reality. Insofar as the rules of reality are absolute, our expression of the rules must be absolute.

An unambiguous expression of a truth is called a formalization of that truth. We need formalizations if we hope to accurately express the rules.

This does not mean that we should use mathematics instead of English. Mathematics is not the only formalization available. The notation used is not important. What is important is that the notation is unambiguous.

It does no good to convince your friend that addition combines numbers if they leave the conversation believing that $1 + 2 = 12$.

When discussing the actual way reality works it is important to be exact. For this reason, you must be presented with the equations that govern the rules of reality.

Simplifience will not use the archaic notation of mathematics, preferring a simplified version. But you must be presented with equations all the same.

The equations will be explained in English. I will build up your intuitions for them and I will show you how they work. If all goes well, you will grasp the rules of reality without needing to refer to the equations.

But all will not go well. The English language is simply too powerful. Words are imperfect, they say things that we never intended them to say.

My explanations will have holes. My descriptions will be inexact. My analogies will break down at the edges.

I give you the equations for when my words fail you. When you are left confused, the equations have the answers. Where my sentences contain ambiguity, the equations do not.

Never feel intimidated by an equation. Equations are clarifying tools. They are fallbacks that protect us when we’re burned by the many meanings of common languages. Formalizations are the only way to prevent errors in translation.

The rules of reality are simpler than you think, and they can be expressed in English. But in order to ensure that the rules are accurately translating from my mind to yours, you must have the equations.