Wikipedia leads off. Numerology (known before the 20th century as arithmancy) is the belief in an occult, divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value, via an alphanumeric system, of the letters in words and names. Back in 2018, I read three novels by Polish writers. In Cosmos, by Witold Gombrowicz, two city slickers visiting the Polish countryside become fascinated with patterns of cracks running across a plaster ceiling, and subsequently are obsessed by conspiracy theories pertaining to their host family. Of course, the cracks mean nothing, unless of course they actually do. Deprived of context, some things can mean anything. Let’s say someone walks up to you on the street and presses $7.13 into your hands, not a penny more or less. You count the ragged dollar bills and grimy coins twice, even three times. Why not seven dollars without the cents? Why not $500, for instance? Does the sum imply something? Yesterday as we motored through rural Indiana, a “cosmos” all its own, I saw ......Read more