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(Nature)   Like the Honey Badger, math don't care. Math don't give a shiat   (nature.com) divider line 60
    More: Amusing, yeast infection, wishful thinking, calculus, algebra, Fast Forward, physical effects, statisticians, Scientific American  
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6373 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Nov 2012 at 6:23 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-09 08:48:07 AM  

gadian: Math is like religion. You take it at faith that 2 + 2 = 4 and you blindly memorize sums, formulas, and proofs as if they were prayers or commandments that are drilled in to the skulls of quaking children. You follow the steps that you're told and told that doing it any other way messes up the catechism and makes god angry, but this way, for this kind of problem, always gives you the right answer so sayeth they. They? Who are they? Well, that is a story not meant for mortal ears.

Sure, I'll divide by this number, flip this greater than sign if the number is negative, and round to the nearest thousandth, but it is all holy text written in greek of which I'm taught the answer as the priest perceives it, but never the meaning or reasoning. I take it on faith that every problem set up this way uses the same process to find the answer and when a problem that is set up that way and doesn't follow the same process, I know that we're on a different chapter and I don't question it. I should pray over my weakness and suffer through until I'm granted clarity, but I confess to never being a true believer to begin with.


While yes, it is true that most of the people in math class just memorize the steps they've been taught to solve problems of format x, there are some people that actually cared about understanding why a problem is solved with certain steps. If you take math on 'faith' because you were to lazy to really understand it, that's your problem. But math isn't faith-based. That 2 + 2 = 4 is true even if we had chosen to use other symbols to represent the concepts of addition and equality. Even if we had no such symbols or understanding of the concepts, if you picked up two rocks, and then two more, you'd have four rocks. And that's not terrible.

Sure, we choose our own conventions, like writing things down in base ten, defining certain operations and properties in category theory with specific names and symbols, but the truths they represent are not negotiable. Math isn't invented, it is discovered. It doesn't require faith, some people just can't muster up anything besides faith.
 
2012-11-09 09:46:27 AM  

dark side of the moon: FTFA: Another friend, Allyson, was even more blunt: "My initial reaction to the word 'calculus' is not unlike a caveman throwing rocks at the moon in ignorance and fear resulting in blind rage. There is no such thing as ghosts creeping up behind me on the stairs, but there is such a thing as a polynomial monster, and it has hooked teeth and causes chronic yeast infections, I'm sure."

As a woman currently enrolled in Calculus 1, I laughed heartily at this quote. I don't hate math. Rather enjoy it actually. But indefinite integrals are not my favorite thing as of late.


you'll get to where you can do indefinite polynomial integrals in your head, triple trigonometric integrals are where the pain is in Calculas. At the end of Calc 2 our exams only had 2 or 3 questions on them because even going at full steam with no thinking it took the whole class ( 1 hour 20 min ) to just write out the answers since they were multiple pages each.
 
2012-11-09 10:00:42 AM  

Ishkur: gadian: Math is like religion. You take it at faith that 2 + 2 = 4 and you blindly memorize sums, formulas, and proofs as if they were prayers or commandments that are drilled in to the skulls of quaking children. You follow the steps that you're told and told that doing it any other way messes up the catechism and makes god angry, but this way, for this kind of problem, always gives you the right answer so sayeth they. They? Who are they? Well, that is a story not meant for mortal ears.

Sure, I'll divide by this number, flip this greater than sign if the number is negative, and round to the nearest thousandth, but it is all holy text written in greek of which I'm taught the answer as the priest perceives it, but never the meaning or reasoning. I take it on faith that every problem set up this way uses the same process to find the answer and when a problem that is set up that way and doesn't follow the same process, I know that we're on a different chapter and I don't question it. I should pray over my weakness and suffer through until I'm granted clarity, but I confess to never being a true believer to begin with.

More or less.

Mathematics isn't a description of reality. Mathematics is a description of the human perception of reality, and that is an important, if perhaps irrelevant, distinction.

We do not possess the ability to jump outside our skulls - outside human perception, reasoning, and comprehension of the natural world and its faculties - and truly observe the Universe on a completely objective level. We are the observance observing the observation which, if you know your Godel & Heisenberg, means that nothing can be proven true.

Everything we know comes to us through biased, human filters. Even things we think are universal absolutes, like logic, math and physics - they're all human constructs: Human tools created by humans and used by humans to understand human perceptions of the Universe in human terms that humans can relate to, for the benefi ...


Everything you said is actually complete bullshiat.
 
2012-11-09 11:22:47 AM  

doyner: I keep telling my wife that everything is easier after algebra II. It's true.


Math isn't easier after Algebra II. It's just that Algebra II sits roughly at the abstraction limit for a lot of people. If you can make it past that, you're sufficiently "good at math" to continue, and while the math does get harder, you can probably still handle it (at least until you get to real mathematician-level math, not just the applied math you see in college). But a lot of people don't get past Algebra II.
 
2012-11-09 11:43:56 AM  
Math in the simple sense of using numbers to count, add, and subtract is the decategorification of a correspondence between sets. For example, you could use your fingers to determine if all your children or sheep are present by having each finger stand for one child or sheep - e.g. right hand thumb stands for "Bob". Or you could decategorify this where let's say you have established that all and only the fingers on your right hand correspond to your children. To see if your all your children are present you can count those fingers (5), count the children, and see if you get the same count.

Most everyday counting happens using the natural number object of the topos Set. Of course you can count and add in any other topos that has natural numbers and you can wind up with "non standard" variations.
 
2012-11-09 12:45:27 PM  

Coder: Math isn't invented, it is discovered.


I've been sayin' that shiat for years.
 
2012-11-09 04:58:41 PM  

dark side of the moon: This (and many other reasons) is why I love you TMLO.


:D

*tip o' the hat*

Good to see back around the way, dark side of the moon!


ATRDCI: you are acute when you are angry


blipponaut: I see a convergence of the hearts happening here. Hawt.


PC LOAD LETTER: These jokes are very derivative.


THIS WORDPLAY IS INTEGRAL TO THIS THREAD
 
2012-11-09 05:49:06 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: dark side of the moon: This (and many other reasons) is why I love you TMLO.

:D

*tip o' the hat*

Good to see back around the way, dark side of the moon!


ATRDCI: you are acute when you are angry

blipponaut: I see a convergence of the hearts happening here. Hawt.

PC LOAD LETTER: These jokes are very derivative.

THIS WORDPLAY IS INTEGRAL TO THIS THREAD


Please try to be discrete. Yes, wordplay is standard. Deviation is permitted nonetheless.
 
2012-11-09 06:11:10 PM  

doyner: Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: dark side of the moon: This (and many other reasons) is why I love you TMLO.

:D

*tip o' the hat*

Good to see back around the way, dark side of the moon!


ATRDCI: you are acute when you are angry

blipponaut: I see a convergence of the hearts happening here. Hawt.

PC LOAD LETTER: These jokes are very derivative.

THIS WORDPLAY IS INTEGRAL TO THIS THREAD

Please try to be discrete. Yes, wordplay is standard. Deviation is permitted nonetheless.


The remainder of this thread will be a sobering one.
 
2012-11-09 06:16:18 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: doyner: Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: dark side of the moon: This (and many other reasons) is why I love you TMLO.

:D

*tip o' the hat*

Good to see back around the way, dark side of the moon!


ATRDCI: you are acute when you are angry

blipponaut: I see a convergence of the hearts happening here. Hawt.

PC LOAD LETTER: These jokes are very derivative.

THIS WORDPLAY IS INTEGRAL TO THIS THREAD

Please try to be discrete. Yes, wordplay is standard. Deviation is permitted nonetheless.

The remainder of this thread will be a sobering one.


Yeah. We need to get out of this mode....and I mean that.
 
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