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Monday, April 07, 2014

My math fan perspective

There is something about the thrill of being a fan. And I've finally decided to use the word "fan" after avoiding it for so long because there are things that I can explain from that perspective that only make sense from it.

And I am a HUGE fan of mathematics. I get excited about it, but admittedly now find myself more enthralled with my own ideas. You'll find hardly a mention of anyone else related to math on this entire blog, except for my math heroes here and there.

(Yeah and that's highly suspicious--someone claims to be a big math fan but is mostly talking about his own work? It's so antithetical to how modern mathematicians operate as to be almost inconceivable.) 

Figuring out some important math of your own I guess isn't a surprising thing to want, but it's kind of like fantasizing about hitting a home run in a professional baseball game.

For me years ago with some of my math ideas thinking on them I'd imagine it was like blasting a grand slam home run that could rock the entire world--and later find I was wrong! No worries, kind of like watching that ball flying away, only to see it shoot right, and realize it was a foul ball. I made a lot of mistakes. Sometimes went for months deluding myself. But I kept swinging.

Fans get really excited about things that interest them. I get really excited myself about math. I suspect that professional ball players are usually fans of their game.

And that perspective shifted everything from me, as can you imagine professional baseball players running around demanding that people pay attention to their game? 

Baseball fans don't need to be ordered to pay attention. Fans just love the game. It brings them a lot of pleasure to watch it and appreciate great plays, and great hits.

If people are not interested in what you're doing that is their right. No point in bugging them about it.

So I cheerfully note that mathematicians are not apparently interested in my math ideas on this blog and I have no interest in bugging them about what I've found. In the past I guess maybe I saw them as umpires refusing to make the call, but even that has faded. 

It is after all, just my opinion.

And if I take myself seriously, who am I to tell another fan of math how to behave? 

Ok, I think I got that covered. For those who see me as just some guy with delusions I've talked about mainstream concerns to help show how I work to lessen the likelihood of leading others astray. And I'll emphasize as well here I am NOT a mathematician. I am a person who has figured out some things on my own and I have no interest in pushing people away from the mainstream. I like emphasizing that often now.

But that may not be completely fair for others. If you can evaluate my work, and if you see it as being a big deal then yeah, as a math fan, you could be interested and legitimately in how things are going in certain areas. Like, how can things be so quiet?

Things are quiet for me. I have no idea how quiet they are around the globe. Can't go out there and see what people in over a hundred countries are doing so mostly rely on web stats. Things appear to be quiet to me. It's been that way for quite some time, over a decade. 

How could any major event in math NOT be hollered about and trumpeted around the globe by giddy fans?

I have no clue. I've pondered that one for years. For most they can just reasonably assume that the apparent quiet simply means I didn't discover anything major in math. I say that's just the safest thing to believe for them.

Has my life changed, could be a question from a serious math fan who DOES think I found some important things and the simple answer is, yes.

You know I love this analogy to baseball. And yeah, having done plenty of disclaimers above I will admit that I feel like someone who has belted it out of the park more than once. And it feels tremendous.

What other people do is their concern.

Do I want fans? I ask myself that question and have had problems for years with that word "fan", even though I see myself as one, and think it's a lot of fun. It's weirder to think of others looking at you in that way. So I've decided to just explain that emotion.

I would like fans of my research and my approaches. It'd be nice to talk about some of these things with a friendly audience I will admit. As I had my fill of hostile people so will not discuss with them any more.

For years I've been blissfully a singleton--a word I've loved. And I've kept at my research by myself, and it's been great. But I will finally admit that part of me has felt that was one way to do things while it worked and maybe I might possibly consider doing things differently someday.

Pushing the baseball analogy yet again, I think that at certain levels it's all about the activity. And I like to imagine that if given the chance, two professional baseball teams would happily play in an empty stadium, or just at some ballfield, with no fans around at all, just to play the game.

I am so lucky, so unbelievably lucky, and maybe it is good to put that out there. I'm just glad I got to put some things of my own out there.


James Harris
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