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Based on notaweblog.php by joshua stein

[ ] Wednesday, 4 October 2017 [ ]

mathematics is art

Two comments on maths due to Tau sum up my view:

IANAM (I am not a mathematician), but I find tau less problematic than things like division by zero, mathematics is as much an art as a science - and it suffers from poor educators as much as any other subject, which reminds me of A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart

Mathematics is a notation for the study of number, quantity, shape and space - which for me is why it is an art - it is completely created by people, unlike concrete which is a mix of water, aggregate and cement (sorry for being facetious).

If I write 3 + 4 = 12 and you say no it isn't, I am empirically wrong. That's math.

That might be wrong in base 10 but actually it's correct in base 5 (luckily you chose a sum that is correct in base 5 :~D) - who is wrong? We have failed to communicate our notation - hopefully without the catastrophic consequences of the Mars Climate Orbiter.

I agree that mathematics should not be subjective, and that 1 + 1 = 2 - but that proof took three volumes by Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead?


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