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  1. R

    Proof for P != NP coming?

    While it does look more promising than the usual crackpot attempts at the millennium problems there are some issues. See http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/issues-in-the-proof-that-p%E2%89%A0np/" [Broken] (there's some further discussion in the comments). It is not currently known whether...
  2. R

    Perelman rejects $1,000,000 prize

    From http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/08/28/060828fa_fact2?currentPage=all" (emphasis added by me): Perelman has also stated he considers Richard Hamilton's work on the problem to contribute just as much to the solution as his work. This is a common problem with many large problems whose...
  3. R

    No! Not Church!

    Maybe I misunderstood you, but you wrote: "The only thing we do not agree on is at what age the child is mature enough to make certain decisions for himself." This to me seems to implicitly assume that we can find a universal such age (or at least close to). Otherwise I would be inclined to...
  4. R

    No! Not Church!

    I disagree somewhat. Firstly there is no universal age where a child is mature. Age does not measure maturity even though it's often correlated. It's like asking at what color food is cooked. It really depends on the type of food. Similarly the age depends on the type of individual and the kind...
  5. R

    No! Not Church!

    The age at which they are smart enough is highly variable. Some are 10, others are 25. Also it isn't a binary switch. As you start to become more mature and critically thinking you become better at forming your own worldview. If you have never had any experience of forming or arguing about...
  6. R

    What happens in a genius mind that doesn't in a not talented mind?

    I guess we'll have to disagree then. There is not really anyway to determine whether geniuses are in some way fundamentally different from us. However I would like to point out the case of Raoul Bott (a distinguished mathematician who I would definitely consider a genius). In the AMS notice...
  7. R

    What happens in a genius mind that doesn't in a not talented mind?

    I believe basically by practicing and introspection (over a period of several years). Maybe I expressed myself incorrectly. When I said "geniuses are ordinary people with a passion and curiosity" I meant that geniuses were at one point ordinary people with a passion and curiosity who pursued...
  8. R

    What happens in a genius mind that doesn't in a not talented mind?

    Firstly I never defined what I meant by genius so I don't see exactly what you mean. I believe that geniuses are not born, but ordinary people with a passion and curiosity. Of course they won't qualify for the designation "genius" until they have achieved something extremely remarkable. I'm not...
  9. R

    What happens in a genius mind that doesn't in a not talented mind?

    Sometimes people focus too much on geniuses and to be honest I doubt there is much difference in their basic thought processes and yours. However to give a somewhat productive answer I will list what I believe are the main distinguishing factors between "remarkable" individuals and "normal"...
  10. R

    Lights go out today

    Overall I think this is pretty stupid. Everyone knows how people feel about global warming and even if this safes energy it's very little. In my experience the people who feel strongly about these kinds of events are the ones who don't think about this kind of stuff on a daily basis. Around...
  11. R

    What do you think about this T-Shirt?

    Why would you want anything else? Unless we know for what purpose you're doing this I doubt we'd be able to improve on your idea. To be honest I don't see the need to replace the xkcd's version's Laplace transform with your Taylor series. If you want something complicated with integrals and such...
  12. R

    Happy PI Day 2010

    Sure there will. We just do it on 22/7 (22nd of July) which is actually closer to pi than 3.14. Alternatively people have been known to do it on the 314th day of the year, but I can never remember when that is and I don't reckon it's that popular except for people who want an extra chance to...
  13. R

    Mathematics as an empirical science

    The only reason why part of it is the same is that both the sciences and mathematics tries to gain insight and understanding. I doubt you could find a single academic discipline that doesn't share the properties you mentioned. This is just the way humans gain understanding; by experimenting with...
  14. R

    What do youse guys think of MythBusters

    Sorry to both of you. I misunderstood the comments, and in that case I actually agree. I'll give you the first two, but in this case it's hard to say what the result would have been without the body. These types of anecdotal stories can't really be relied on as few people have seen many...
  15. R

    What do youse guys think of MythBusters

    I don't see the contradiction. Why can't people hate to do something, but still like the products it can produce? I don't like sewing, but I don't mind wearing clothes. I don't like doing woodwork, but I like my desk. I'm all for spreading science to as wide an audience as possible, but I...
  16. R

    What do youse guys think of MythBusters

    I pretty much agrees with Moonbear's response. I don't think they deny that. I remember Adam in one episode (a re-visit one I believe) talking about how they intentionally made the show mainly about entertainment to attract viewers, and then slipped in the science which isn't as easily...
  17. R

    Gardening by the Moon

    I have no idea whether there is a correlation between moon phases and the growth behavior of plants. However sometimes such irrational beliefs are actually true, but the correlation is rarely due to direct causation. So we shouldn't be too quick to dismiss unfamiliar ideas (though ideally we...
  18. R

    I wan to be a mathematician

    No (no one here can tell you, except perhaps yourself). Are you seriously taking the advice of one anonymous person on an Internet forum and basing your perception of yourself upon that? Unless I'm not detecting some kind of sarcasm, you really need to learn to do some personal introspection...
  19. R

    Are axioms subjective?

    Actually just the other day I took an apple and an orange, and suddenly I had a pear... Well no, but who is to say that it won't happen? All our previous experience tells us that when we take an apple and an orange, then we have two fruits, but what if the probability of getting two fruits is...
  20. R

    Are axioms subjective?

    Of course they are subjective (I would rather use the term optional though, as in: you may accept them). If you deny the existence of an infinite set, then it would be rubbish to say that the set of natural numbers exists. If you claim that two sets can be different despite having exactly the...
  21. R

    Nationality of PFians

    I voted other because Denmark wasn't in the poll.
  22. R

    Should we get vaccinated?

    But it didn't take 7 hours to administer a shot. Obviously health clinics can't just put out a box of syringes for people to take. People will have to be given instruction on how to properly administer it, how to recognize bad reactions to the shot, what to do in case of adverse effects, etc...
  23. R

    Should we get vaccinated?

    Yes, and if the vaccine worked in that way I probably wouldn't bother to take it, but as the vaccine will actually protect me more like a bulletproof vest than a metal shield. I don't walk around with a metal shield in my pocket. I totally agree that at the moment it isn't a pandemic and that...
  24. R

    People not following the rules

    Are you saying "uumm WHAT" due to the inaccurate number of people continuing to write, or due to the relaxed nature of the reply? I agree and I think it's totally unacceptable if nothing is done about it. In my opinion this would be the proper response, but only if the prof. made sure to...
  25. R

    Should we get vaccinated?

    I disagree with your odds. I believe your odds of getting swine flu is probably above "almost 0%" whatever that means (my guess would be at least 1%, but I'm not a doctor of course). A potentially pandemic disease needs some sort of critical mass to become a pandemic and I don't believe we have...
  26. R

    Hostile non-smokers

    Suppose it would legally be accepted to create smoking and non-smoking bars. I think this would discriminate unfairly (both towards smokers and non-smokers). Consider a group of people consisting of smokers and non-smokers. What bar should they go to? If they go to the non-smoking bar the...
  27. R

    Global warming isn't anything to worry about

    Sure the temperature on the Earth varies naturally, but we have substantial evidence that suggests that the current increase in temperature is caused mainly by humans. Just because the temperature can change naturally doesn't mean that every change is natural. In my opinion it doesn't really...
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