
Re: Some important demonstrations on negative numbers > a MACS syllabus
Posted:
Dec 20, 2012 12:35 AM



On Dec 19, 2012, at 11:03 PM, "Clyde Greeno @ MALEI" <greeno@malei.org> wrote:
> Professional mathematicians don't normally fiddle with trivial "proofs" of the kind seen on mathteach. But do you really think that you are ready for serious mathematical proofs in areas that you have never encountered (e.g. topological lattice theory or differential geometry)? ... or (if you prefer to focus on curricular mathematics) even a proof that that every line of rational numbers has a density of infinitesimal holes? ... or that every fully complete dictionary is a continuum?
That is like asking a musician if they can only play one genre of music. If you were an actual mathematician you would not have asked this question. You are the product of a degree in mathematics while I am a product of mathematics. Trust me, I know the difference. Actually, I think most people know the difference. This is ironic because everything you think you are not doing, you are actually doing, in spades. You have had an epiphany, but not one to be proud of. Your eureka moment was realizing that mathematics is nothing more than a good explanation, because that was your experience. But that isn't what mathematics is Clyde. And poor Joe, I tried to help him, but alas, I was using analogies, and all he wants is a good explanation. Well, if we had a good explanation for what it means to be smart then we would give it to him. We do know that one important element is that you can understand a freaking analogy.
No Clyde. Nothing in your list causes me any concern whatsoever. And I can turn what I got onto physics. computer science or even pedagogy. Many things. Now if you had really wanted to challenge me then you should have evoked Chopin or Beethoven. I am genuinely frustrated there. I understand it but I can't do it. Well, I can't do it right. Unlike those above mentioned domains. This is very frustrating to me. Does anyone do anything truly well if they were not in some way already born to it? It seems not. And I actually had money on the other horse. I did want to accomplish music.
Bob Hansen

