Sunday, August 23, 2015

My trust in math

Maybe I should get serious and find math software that I can recommend to people for when I talk about how computers are my friends as they can easily verify some my math.

Mathematical discovery has the awesome property that a correct result is immutable. That's a fancy word for unchanging. So you can chill out, relax, sit back and enjoy the ride if you have one. But for other people looking on it can be stressful--how can they know? Sure you can say, just work through the proof, but realistically how many people really want to do that work before they have confidence you are correct?

So I've been working on what I call the social problem, which includes ways to help, like pointing out that computers verify certain really cool things I found perfectly and easily.

Checking by computer is quick and easy if you know your way around math software.

That social stuff can mess with people's minds and I believe quickly checkable information helps, so I've talked more in such areas recently, like my time on the Usenet newsgroup sci.math and other things that for the most part are really about perception.

How might it look to someone just coming across these things who doesn't have over a decade of experience playing with the math?

To me numbers are just FUN. So I at times I find myself stuck thinking: why can't I just show them the fun? Don't they get it?

Like, one of my favorite math expressions now:

(462 + 482 + 722)(1722 + 258+ 430+ 6022 +17622) = 

            615+ 30752 + 141452 + 159902  + 1884972   =  114*74*210

That relies on some math I found to get it. As I can do lots with squares and sums of squares to get squares. Like I posted recently to emphasize a way to get multiple sums of squares for the same value, which might be useful to math hobbyists.

What other people do with the discoveries, especially if they find new math of their own is what will shift the social reality.

What changes things is what others find as that can make it really real to a person.

Like, long ago, I just dreamed of having my own mathematical discoveries and wondering what it would feel like.

It's like--the math is your best friend EVER.

The math will never let you down. The math will never betray you. The math will never change on you.

If you find out something was wrong, it was people who screwed up, not the math. That's a weird thing to contemplate which I love so much. Guarantee of human error when it doesn't work!

Put your trust in math, if you can, and then you can have a certainty for which others can only dream.

But you can't manufacture that want. For some people like me it is an aching need.

I had to have that certainty, and knew that mathematics could provide, so I was going to go get it.

The truly motivated will figure it out and take the time required. But to do the work you have to believe in the math. As otherwise why would you do what it takes?

James Harris

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