Friday, December 28, 2012

Hidden help?

One of the reasons I like noting I'm not a mathematician is routinely I make dumb mistakes with the math, and oddly enough I've been corrected often through the years by math people. I say "math people" to include those who may not be actual mathematicians, versus trying to figure out who is, and who is not.

And recently I had an erroneous argument which I thought proved that x2 - 34y2 = -1 had no integer solutions using some recent math finds of mine. That was pointed out to me in a comment to a post which I've yanked. It was a solid comment, very helpful, and now it's gone and I'm worrying to myself, shouldn't I acknowledge the person some kind of way?

Now it has been an issue for years to what extent I should give credit for any such help, and what happened is that for a long time I was arguing with people who were mostly insulting. And the way I see it, if someone is calling you names or insulting your intelligence, while they point out an error, why bother giving them any credit?

So I fell out of the habit.

So here's a post to acknowledge LOTS of help through the years from critics! People who for whatever reason pointed out when I made mistakes. And with my techniques, which involve brainstorming--i.e. often I JUMP to a huge conclusion very quickly as I throw up ideas--that has been often.

Erroneous argument is YANKED, and I'm puzzling as usual how I had some stupid math mistakes. But often it's easy enough to explain--you really WANT to believe something that is just not true. And your mind tells you what you wish to hear.

Thankfully someone pointed out my error, and thanks! And even thanks to all the others through the years, even the ones who were insulting, as you not only helped me, you saved me time from not needing to worry about acknowledging you.

Oh yeah, making mistakes SUCKS!!! I hate it, because then you have to clean up the mess. Here thankfully someone helped me early before I went too far with a mistake as I was getting ready to really get excited with what I thought was a pivotal result.

James Harris

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