- #1

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I have made such a dramatic shift that I don't even like applied math that much. A better way to say that, is that I don't like applying math, because I'm sure the math that I do has found applications long ago, I just may not be aware of it. A classmate asked what topology could be applied for and I pretty much ignored the professor's response because I don't want to know. It's like knowing that would make the math more "mundane." I just want to play with math things and not give a hoot about the real world. It's all just a game that way.

The reason I have included that tid-bit is because I ask this question not out of a dislike for pure math, but I ask because I genuinely want to know what the value of pure math is to the world, where everything is about dollar signs. Since I completely agree with the idea that math is worth doing for its own sake, I'm not looking for those types of answers. I want to know, in the real world, what kind of value is placed on the math that isn't applied. I want to know where a pure mathematician's paycheck comes from, and why he would be paid. There must be some motivation to pay him, but what is it, if his work is not applied in some real world scenario where a profit can be gained? Or is my view too cynical?

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