Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How social can work with math

Mathematics is one of those rare areas of human endeavor where a result is absolutely right or wrong.

Absolutes are a special kind. And nothing any human being can do can shift that absolute reality one way or the other. Either the math works or it does not.

But people can SAY anything, which is where social effects can be fascinating.

If you argue against an absolute truth, you can not only destroy the trust of others in your opinion, but also your trust in your own opinion, within yourself.

Regardless, the math doesn't care.

Social helps though, I think. Talking out ideas can be extremely useful. But you have to keep it in perspective.

Or in other words, you can waste your time arguing with people about math or you can enjoy your time finding it.

And if the mathematics works, trust human curiosity and need, but don't worry about it.

Want to see an example of an absolute mathematical truth?

Here's one:

If x2 + y2 = z2 then (v2 - 1)z2 - 2xy = 0(mod x+y+vz), where v can be any value.

And I have up a post stepping through in enough detail to make certain, well, of absolute certainty: Example showing truth logic and absolute proof

There is a plodding quality to valid mathematics where you can just check step-by-step, and every piece must be perfect. I find that comforting. But to some the effort may seem difficult, but I think it is refreshing. Passion for what you do, gives you the energy to do what it takes.

Maybe social can help reinforce views that give permission to escape the work, if people tell each other what they wish to hear.

But the math doesn't care how hard you think it is, or not.

The proper point of view with mathematics is: absolute proof.

Accept nothing less.

James Harris
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