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Topic: Of Sequence and Success
Replies: 17   Last Post: Nov 4, 2012 11:22 PM

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Louis Talman

Posts: 5,100
Registered: 12/27/05
Re: Of Sequence and Success
Posted: Nov 3, 2012 1:02 AM
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Sudoku is a good example, but not the one you're still ignoring.

A. Of course "you really don't see sudoku being played that much (by
adults even)." Solving puzzles requires concentration and is a poor public
activity. You don't really don't see a lot of people working crosswords,
either. And yet both appear in almost every newspaper you pick up. Do you
really think that newspapers---which are undergoing a fairly substantial
economic crunch---would waste the space on something that isn't popular?
(And consider what that means for astrology...)

B. The invention of modern mathematics by the ancient Greeks---who were
almost completely innumerate by today's standards---renders your "natural
progression" untenable. And I'm not the least surprised that you chose to
ignore it.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:27 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

> On Nov 2, 2012, at 5:55 PM, Louis Talman <> wrote:
> I gave an excellent example you seem to have chosen to ignore.
> I'm sorry, I guess you are talking of this ...
> "And consider the popularity of puzzles like sudoku---which are based on
> very mathematical, but non-arithmetic, reasoning---in a nation that
> despises mathematics. Where do such phenomena fit in your "natural
> progression"?
> I didn't give it enough thought and I will concede that sudoku is an
> excellent non-arithmetic mathematical reasoning example. And it is playable
> by young children (my son played it in first and second grade). I disagree
> somewhat with your notion of "popularity" because you really don't see
> sudoku being played that much (by adults even). That is probably just due
> to self selection. Are you aware of anyone trying to popularize it in
> elementary math curriculums? We used to have the magic squares (ok, so it
> has a little arithmetic) and the fifteen puzzle (no arithmetic). Then the
> standards came.
> Bob Hansen

--Louis A. Talman
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Metropolitan State College of Denver


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