On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM, Jonathan Crabtree <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Thank you Joe! > > That is the 'what and why' of ASAPANS (as simple as possible and no simpler). > > Multiplication should have been clarified by Einstein. > > Multiplication is NOT scaling. >
I think a fairly common mistake among mathematicians is to think their job is to develop "global meanings" in the sense of their being a top level namespace that anchors all the others, a fixed firmament.
On the other hand, the more productive of the lot are reconciled to "local meanings" with well defined language games, oft revolving around so-called "axioms" which mnemonically rhyme with both "axes" and "maxims" (axial maxims).
Think of a drawer full of board games, acquired of the years. Yahtzee, Stratego, Chess... Chinese Checkers, Go. Hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe "an infinity of games". Is there one ring to rule them all, one board game to bind them? Monopoly? Parcheesi? Nah, don't got, don't need.
Mathematics is a harbor for what I'd call "fundamentalists" of the same ilk who park their craft in religions. Not exclusively of course. You have plenty of polymath cosmopolitans parked here too, like Martin Gardener.
The math fundies are zealots in the same sense that they not only want their own sandcastles respected, but they want to go down the beach kicking down others' sandcastles because there can and should be only one universal language of mathematics (like Taliban defacing Buddhist frescos, or crazed Americans burning Korans). These are like the lost tribe from the Tower of Babel or never "got it" about what God did on that day (He destroyed even the possibility of a global namespace, bringing an end forever to "one size fits all"). Maybe if you explain it to fundamentalists in Old Testament terms like that, at least some will get in what way they've been sinners and repent, but most will keep going along their intolerant paths, straight to the hells they deserve.
One reason I like tetravolumes and preaching an alternative to "cubing" as a model of 3rd powering as it's so disruptive of congealed zealotry. The cruft of the ages is exposed as such: cruft. We can question authority at an elementary school level if we like, in ways the fundies are rather helpless to defend against. Easy winnings. However I don't make the same mistake of thinking I need to replace Earthling math with what I've taken to spinning as Martian math. We have more intelligent ways of networking with world leaders than that. Collaboration is the name of the game. We know what it means to live in a multi-polar world with no single "superpower" or "axis" (in the singular sense). We're not just more "Babelite mathematicians" who don't get it.