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A math cult

  1. Nov 20, 2008 #1
    Is it just me, or does this whole thing sound like a cult?.

    I'm an applied mathematician, but I can't make heads or tails of what they're saying. Perhaps I should walk across the road and ask the Puries. I'm reminded of a quote in The Mathematical Experience where the authors (justifiably) compared mathematics to scientology: both 'fields' put the learners through various programs -- the ones who emerge are believers. The ones who don't are flunked. There's little way to justify to an outsider the reality of your program -- especially when there are only half-a-dozen who can understand what you're saying.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2
    Re: Math...cult?

    I don't like the words they use there. They sound really made-up. Although I don't know, maybe they are real. I know I almost broke down crying when I start reading about all the pseudo-particles such as phonons, magnetons, polarons, spinons, etc. At some point I just started going "No, no, this has got to be utter BS."

    So maybe it's real and I just don't get it?
  4. Nov 20, 2008 #3
    Re: Math...cult?

    I dunno...some of the stuff is true. Some of it puts me on edge. For example,

    Depending on what you mean by "nonlinear", this is not true. Inverse scattering, for example, applied to the nonlinear Schroedinger or the KdV. Or numerics (which was clearly there before 2000) is another easy counterexample.
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