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What requires more bainpower? Professional writing vs advanced mathematics

  1. Aug 22, 2010 #1
    Writing requires greater intellectual capabilities than advanced math because there are no rules with the exception grammar and spelling whereas with math it's more about repetition. Having an essay published in the New Yorker, for example, requires more brainpower than fully grasping general relativity.

    Adjusting for outside variables such as socioeconomic status and age Vocabulary is regarded as the best best predictor of IQ.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2010 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Pulling theories out of thin air?

    How much math have you had?
  4. Aug 22, 2010 #3
    Advanced maths there are no rules? Even in simple maths there are rules, to make the easiest example possible; never divide by zero.

    There are rules after rules after rules, you don't get to pick and choose in almost all cases. A level maths and further maths it's just about possible to say there are ways of repetitively learning things.

    And if you wish to make comparisons between writing and math at advanced level, you'd have to up the standard to the example you have used a new yorker article. It's like having to solve fermats last theorem in a day. I know which I'd prefer and find much much much simpler.

    And vocabulary is actually about repitition, thus why it's never been used as a form of Intelligence testing. The reasoning,understanding and proper use of grammar is not particularly difficult for anyone as soon as its explained a couple of times.
  5. Aug 22, 2010 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Have you done both? If not, how can you compare?

    While everyone can have an opinion, one would hope that people would put some work on it before putting it up for display.
  6. Aug 22, 2010 #5
    Far too broad of a generalization to be made in choosing on or the other.
  7. Aug 22, 2010 #6
    He/she didn't say that. They said writing has no rules apart from grammar and spelling.

    It's one of the silliest questions I've read in a while! I would say learning to put a hat on is more difficult than both...
  8. Aug 22, 2010 #7
    I congratulate you on your satire. A stupid answer is the perfect response to a stupid question.
  9. Aug 22, 2010 #8
    I majored in math because I thought it was easier than any other subject.
  10. Aug 22, 2010 #9


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    :rofl: When my parents told me to carefully choose my educational path, I obviously chose the easiest. It came down to either Mathematics or science, I chose both.
  11. Aug 22, 2010 #10
    Define "brainpower".
  12. Aug 22, 2010 #11


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    I'd rather he define the word he spelt in the title, "bainpower".
  13. Aug 22, 2010 #12
    Well, he doesn't think writing has many rules, so he takes this poetic license.

    Still, he does possess "bane-power" himself, so maybe it's a Freudian slip.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  14. Aug 22, 2010 #13
    Ahhh... Nuts.
  15. Aug 22, 2010 #14


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    Take it easy on the spelling. I just heard writing is the hardest thing in the world to do
  16. Aug 23, 2010 #15
    Because words is something everyone comes in daily contact with while things like advanced maths is highly dependent on your background. Writing and talking is among the easiest things you can do! What is hard however is to find something which is worth writing or talking about and then properly represent the subject via the medium.

    With that maths is just another version of talking or writing, it is a way to communicate ideas to other individuals. Just like writing or talking what is hard is not actually doing maths but to find something which is worth spreading around the world and then get it down on paper correctly using accepted notation.

    Also I am sure that your understanding of maths would be an extremely good predictor of IQ if you adjust for variables like the education of your parents and the courses you have taken.

    Lastly maths do not have any more rules than writing. In maths you define all the rules yourself depending on what you need, but you are totally free to define the rules to whatever you want as long as you do not produce any contradictions. In low level maths you are just following predefined rules because maths is too deep to start with in any other way and the difference between this and teaching children things like the basic sentence structure is really non existent.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  17. Aug 23, 2010 #16
    This whole thread is pretty great :)
  18. Aug 24, 2010 #17


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    I don't see much difference between the two.

    1) In both, the most important thing is to see and develop a relationship between two or more characters.

    2) Fill in the plot with some interesting constants to make the story believable; to make the numbers come out right.

    3) Voila! Your story or equation is done. Now sell the movie rights, sit back, and watch the dollars roll in!
  19. Aug 24, 2010 #18


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    Once upon a time there was one. One met another one, and thus there became two.

    Now one and one were pretty indistinguishable, and people could not know which one they were addressing.

    . . . . anyway, there's a story there.

    Oh domain on the range,
    where variables and numbers play,
    where seldom is heard,
    a discouraging word,
    and the conclusions are not vague all day.
  20. Aug 24, 2010 #19


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    [tex]H = I \omega, the Movie[/tex]


    "Drama. Adapted from a Broadway video capture card, this minimalist interpretation by director Rick Matthews explores the relationship between a man, his moment of inertia, and his angular velocity."

    My personal review - The movie fails to develop enough depth in its characters, but the intentionally low budget style reflected in the lighting and sound editing give this movie a cute, light-headed feel that's reinforced by the surprise ending.
  21. Aug 24, 2010 #20


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    I like this movie better:

    A Boy and His Tire

    "Romantic SF. Reminiscent of Harlan Ellison's masterpiece, this movie explores the development of an earth changing relationship when a tire's angular momentum intermingles with the angular momentum of a young adult male. John Travis is spectacular in his debut performance as the interaction between the boy and the tire reaches such intensity that it literally delays the oncoming sunrise. Rated PG-13 for mature subject matter."

    My personal review - I think one of the overlooked aspects of this movie is the fantastic performance turned in by the rotating platform. While a mere supporting actor, the rotating platform is the key to a frictionless transition from one phase of the relationship to the next - and she never loses her bearings!
  22. Aug 24, 2010 #21
    I find them both difficult.
  23. Aug 24, 2010 #22
    not even very advanced math requires more brainpower:

    eg either

    1. prove there exists an integer k such that a^(p-1) = 1 + k*p for any prime p and integer a


    2. Write an article about something that could be published in a renowned magazine/paper

    Assuming you haven't been shown the proof to 1 before (it is pretty simple), I'd bet less than 1 in a thousand people could find the proof in one week, whereas I'd think far more could manage 2 in the same time
  24. Aug 24, 2010 #23


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    ...for any prime p and integer a coprime to p.
  25. Aug 24, 2010 #24
    I liked math&phys because I knew wrong and right were quite well defined (by definition). The other subjects tend to be much more subjective.

    As for the need for brainpower, well in my case, it depends on my mood and motivation, not on what I'm doing.
  26. Aug 25, 2010 #25


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    Math is a very precise form of written communication.
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