Main Question or Discussion Point
Are there any reason compelling you to go into pure mathematics beside passion? Aren't you afraid that your discipline will not yield any practical benefits for mankind?
I disagree. A single applied scientist/engineer can still have HUGE impact. A chemist discovering a new drug/material/process or an engineer designing a new machine could definitely upset the tech world, even if now the new thing has to be small.Hey StJohnRiver and welcome to the forums.
I think you should think about the idea that we all don't actually do things that benefit every single other person in a very direct way.
It's not to say that people don't contribute: most people do but it's in a smaller way and the sum of all contributions is what you see in the cumulative effect of how things come about.
Like every group of individuals, people congregrate together and help one another meet the same kinds of mutual goals that all members of the group have.
Pure mathematicians are just another group with a particular focus. Just like any other group, they have the same goals in mind and collaborate to achieve those goals just like a sports team collaborate together to try and win against their competitition.
Just like the sports team, they aren't going to benefit everyone directly and like the sports team, most people outside that little pocket of the world won't know they even exist.
This is how it is everywhere. It doesn't make anyone insignificant, but it does point out that no single individual or isolated group is really that significant in a way where they affect absolutely everything or are more important.
The thing about stuff nowadays is that collaboration is necessary to produce the things that are going to be used by many people: the computer and the internet was not simply something that occured by a small number of people and all at once. Lots of people did their own part and most people don't even know who these people are, let alone if they ever realized they helped create the stuff we take for granted.
I didn't say they can't, I'm just saying this whole idea of trying to be important is absolutely stupid.I disagree. A single applied scientist/engineer can still have HUGE impact. A chemist discovering a new drug/material/process or an engineer designing a new machine could definitely upset the tech world, even if now the new thing has to be small.
But stuff like say... a new OLED material, could be more *directly beneficial* than say... a few more significant digits on the value of Boltzmann's constant or the mass of a photon.
From the time of the ancient Greeks all the way up to about 30 years ago, the subject of factoring large numbers has always been of high mathematical interest, but with absolutely no practical value.Are there any reason compelling you to go into pure mathematics beside passion? Aren't you afraid that your discipline will not yield any practical benefits for mankind?