For those of you who do a lot of maths, why?

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Apart from the fact that it's fun and enjoyable which are too general as reasons. For me, it's because doing maths makes me feel superior, away from life's everyday miseries and above other human beings. As Russell puts it, "...[maths] allows one to be more than man."
 

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  • #2
cristo
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Apart from the fact that it's fun and enjoyable which are too general as reasons. For me, it's because doing maths makes me feel superior, away from life's everyday miseries and above other human beings. As Russell puts it, "...[maths] allows one to be more than man."
please... :rolleyes:
 
  • #3
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Apart from the fact that it's fun and enjoyable which are too general as reasons. For me, it's because doing maths makes me feel superior, away from life's everyday miseries and above other human beings. As Russell puts it, "...[maths] allows one to be more than man."
Yeah, there are numerous mathematicians who can not stand other human beings, sure, they hide behind thick beards... I too like math because of its rigid eternal beauty which pulls me out of this ugly chaos out there :tongue2:
 
  • #4
BobG
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I like math because it gives me a way to model reality - or at least a pretty good facsimile of it.

Math is enjoyable enough, but I probably wouldn't do that much if it didn't serve some purpose. However, I certainly do appreciate the mathematicians that developed a lot of the techniques that work so well for me.
 
  • #5
tgt
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please... :rolleyes:
It's true. Let's just be honest.

Many people want to get rich not just because they want to buy more stuff for the sake of those stuff but often because they want to show off to their peers. Hence it's all a relative thing and that is why many rich people are not happy etc. But if maths can make you feel superior and above other men (except those that are better mathematicians than yourself) then how awesome is it? As long as you can live comfortably, you will be very happy indeed.
 
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Because it's a means of achieving my goals. Besides, when you do it for fun it's rather soothing to the soul. :)
 
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It's true. Let's just be honest.
It's certainly not true of all mathematicians and I know for a fact that quite a few of them would find such a position sick. Read about Perelman who refused the Fields medal. Many people contributing to mathematics view their contribution to mathematics much more important than their own person.

There is this attitude in mathematics which consists in playing with concepts until they become familiar to you. This feeling is highly rewarding, intense mathematical pleasure, similar to artistic pleasure. It makes you feel like you have really shared a thought with another person. In this respect, mathematics is a transcendental mean of communication with other human beings sharing the same passion for mathematics. In this understanding of mathematics, all humans are equal in their will to discover and share mathematical knowledge, even though some contribute more and some contribute less, this is a detail compared to the relationship they share with mathematics in general.

This whole scheme certainly does not fit very well with the idea that you can use mathematics to "feel superior".
 
  • #8
WarPhalange
LOL doing math to feel superior? Superior to who? The guy who has a well paying job and a girlfriend while you make half as much as he does and you haven't spoken to another person in 3 days?
 
  • #9
cristo
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LOL doing math to feel superior? Superior to who? The guy who has a well paying job and a girlfriend while you make half as much as he does and you haven't spoken to another person in 3 days?
So many false stereotypes portrayed in this forum: have you ever met a mathematician?
 
  • #10
WarPhalange
No! Because they are locked up in their mom's basement for 3 days at a time! That's my point!
 
  • #11
BobG
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LOL doing math to feel superior? Superior to who? The guy who has a well paying job and a girlfriend while you make half as much as he does and you haven't spoken to another person in 3 days?
So many false stereotypes portrayed in this forum: have you ever met a mathematician?
Not if he's a mathematician. In that case, he probably hasn't even met the person in the next cubicle. :rofl:

Actually, wouldn't meeting a mathematician tend to indicate his theory was wrong? Having not met a mathematician would be an indication his theory might be right.
 
  • #12
cristo
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No! Because they are locked up in their mom's basement for 3 days at a time! That's my point!
Yea, ok, you sure made a valid point there :rolleyes:
 
  • #13
cristo
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Actually, wouldn't meeting a mathematician tend to indicate his theory was wrong? Having not met a mathematician would be an indication his theory might be right.
Well, his theory is either right, or it is infact him who is "locked up in [his] mom's basement for 3 days at a time." Since I have met plenty of mathematicians, and not one of them lives in a basement, let alone is locked in there, then I would tend to believe the latter.
 
  • #14
WarPhalange
Actually, wouldn't meeting a mathematician tend to indicate his theory was wrong? Having not met a mathematician would be an indication his theory might be right.
Exactly.

Idea: Mathematicians live in their mother's basements and only talk to people every 3 days if at all.

Hypothesis: If I try to meet a mathematician, I will most likely fail because they are all working at their mother's basement/office basement/sewers.

Experiment: Go out and meet people.

Conclusion: No mathematicians met, ergo they are all shut-ins.


WHERE MY NOBEL PRIZE HMMM????
 
  • #15
WarPhalange
Well, his theory is either right, or it is infact him who is "locked up in [his] mom's basement for 3 days at a time." Since I have met plenty of mathematicians, and not one of them lives in a basement, let alone is locked in there, then I would tend to believe the latter.
Probably experimental error on your part. Most likely you misunderestimated what they said, hearing "I'm a mathematician" instead of "I'm Matt, a mortician." or something. Where is your raw data?
 
  • #16
cristo
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Probably experimental error on your part. Most likely you misunderestimated what they said, hearing "I'm a mathematician" instead of "I'm Matt, a mortician." or something. Where is your raw data?
Wow, your English is as bad as your logic! Anyway, my raw data is that I work in a maths department and have friends that are mathematicians. This discussion is pointless, so let's stop now, hey?
 
  • #18
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There is a guy planting some red flags around his house. His neighbour comes to him and ask him "why are you planting those flags ?" to which he answers "It repels giraffes". The neighbour is puzzled "But, there is no giraffe around here". And the guy looks at him "Sure there is not, and you can thank me for that !".
 
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  • #19
arildno
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Apart from the fact that it's fun and enjoyable which are too general as reasons. For me, it's because doing maths makes me feel superior, away from life's everyday miseries and above other human beings. As Russell puts it, "...[maths] allows one to be more than man."
Also, don't forget, doing maths increases the dexterity of your penis.
 
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  • #21
cristo
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Wow! Your sense of humor is utterly non-existant!
No. My sense of humour is different to yours: totally different statement. Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that these stereotypes are false. Why do you think the general public think these stereotypes exists when someone who is (probably) even a student in the sciences believes them?
Not only are you making a total fuss out of a simple joke, but you missed this:

http://www.google.com/search?q=misu...s=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
Missed what? The invention of a non-word? That was pretty much my point.
 
  • #22
WarPhalange
No. My sense of humour is different to yours: totally different statement. Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that these stereotypes are false. Why do you think the general public think these stereotypes exists when someone who is (probably) even a student in the sciences believes them?
I had heard that it was because in the 40's and 50's and such scientists were huddled into national labs to work on bombs and stuff and couldn't really talk about their research with the public (at least in the US) so the perception people got from that is that eggheads are secretive and introverted.

But, whenever I am at lunch or something and I hear people seriously discussing a project or some aspect of it when it's their time to relax, I just want to punch them. Jesus Christ, take a break people! And if they think the are taking a break, well, that's how you continue the stereotype.

Missed what? The invention of a non-word? That was pretty much my point.
Intentionally using it in a humorous context means I suck at English then? Ok. Didn't Shakespeare make up a bunch of words himself? Same with Lewis Carrol. Oops, they suck at the English. I'll let you be the one to tell them that.
 
  • #23
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Didn't Shakespeare make up a bunch of words himself?
In that case, you used a word created by another great humorist. :tongue2:
 
  • #25
BobG
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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Definitions of misunderestimate on the Web:
A Bushism is any of a number of peculiar words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, semantic or linguistic errors, and gaffes that have ...
Misunderestimate on wiki
Bush's neologistic binges are simply aspirations towards the greatness of our past Presidents. Another George was also famous for his neologisms. Both "bakery" and "indoors" were words made up by Washington. John Adams can be credited with the word, "caucus".

I think Bush aspires to surpass neologic amateurs like Washington and Adams. I think he considers himself a "Jeffersonian Republican" and is attempting to equal the most famous neologist President of all. Jefferson intentionally invented and promoted new words, hoping to turn "American" into a distinct language from "English". Jefferson invented words such as "authentication" and "electioneering" for no other reason than that he was an "Anglophobe" (another word invented by Jefferson). In fact, if Jefferson had really achieved his goals, "American" would have become "indecipherable" to the English.

George Allen also considered himself a "Jeffersonian Republican" and hoped to replicate the success of George, the Bush. Unfortunately, George (the Senatorial version) fell prey to the most serious hazard confronting neology. His new word, "macaca", already existed and had some seriously negative connotations.
 
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