Date: Jul 12, 2013 10:48 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: All mathematics (in the universe) is just increase or  decrease...

Responding to Wayne Bishop's of Jul 12, 2013 8:10 AM (a copy of his post appears below my signature):

Remarkably enough (!!), I am in agreement with a fair bit of Professor Bishop's arguments in his post (though I would have been much kinder in my disagreement than he has been to Mr Sauter).

I wish to observe, however, that the "beautiful double entendre metaphor" below pointed out in Professor Bishop's statement works ONLY in <<US English>> (but also see qualification about 'Indian English', below):

"It is equally obvious why 'pons asinorum' has made such a beautiful double entendre metaphor from antiquity:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pons_asinorum ". --Wayne Bishop

In 'English English' [and, till lately, in 'Indian English' also], "ass" means only "donkey" and not 'fundament' at all. (For instance, "You Jackass!" would mean only "You Male Donkey!" - it IS pejorative, yes, but it would not generally be considered to be 'abusive', as it would probably be in the USA).

[Nowadays, 'Indian English' has taken on many of the expressions of US English - and today a teacher here would need to be very careful indeed to apply the term "Ass!" to a student who didn't understand, say, the Pythagoras Theorem. That was something that he/she could freely do, with no fear at all, in the days when I was in school. Now, a serious complaint could result].

For instance, I observe that there is (formally) NO double entendre whatsoever in the term 'pons asinorum', which means only:

"pons as·i·no·rum (pnz s-nôrm, -nrm) n.:

A problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person."

Background note:
====
I'm not entirely satisfied with what this dictionary tells me:
+++
(From The 'Free Dictionary'):
ass 1 (s)
n. pl. ass·es (sz)
1. Any of several hoofed mammals of the genus Equus, resembling and closely related to the horses but having a smaller build and longer ears, and including the domesticated donkey.
2. A vain, self-important, silly, or aggressively stupid person.

[Middle English asse, from Old English assa, perhaps of Celtic origin, ultimately from Latin asinus.]
ass 2 (s)
n. pl. ass·es (sz) Vulgar Slang
1. a. The buttocks.
b. The anus.
[GSC's note: the above is, I believe, the US usage].

2. Sexual intercourse.
[Middle English ars, from Old English ears; see ors- in Indo-European roots.]

GSC
Wayne Bishop posted Jul 12, 2013 8:10 AM:
>
>At 02:40 PM 7/11/2013, Donald Sauter wrote:


>> I honestly believe we are all on just about the same wavelength as far as "addition" and "multiplication" are concerned.

>I honestly believe you are wrong about this (and many other things besides).

>> I will admit to a very slight problem with "mathematics", if one wants to be difficult.

>You are quite right about "problem" part but not close about the "very slight" part.

>> I think most audiences would know what I mean by "mathematics" - that "numbery" stuff that we use to solve problems in all kinds of fields.

>You are right about "most audiences". In our culture (even educated circles), there is no ignorance attributed to "I was never good at math" as opposed to "I never learned to read." That was not always the case: For nearly all of the last a couple of millennia, competence with genuine mathematics was considered essential for genuine education. Probably "Let no one ignorant of geometry enter" was not engraved over the door of Plato's Academy but the concept was - and still should be - completely consistent with the essence of it.
http://plato-dialogues.org/faq/faq009.htm

>> No, I'm not referring to sets and patterns and symmetry and geometric "proofs" and all the other non-numbery stuff we may have pulled in under the math umbrella. I see in a recent thread we're not really sure if logic is a part of math.
>>
>> So, if it wasn't obvious, math = numbery stuff.


>It is obvious. It is equally obvious why "pons asinorum" has made such a beautiful double entendre metaphor from antiquity:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pons_asinorum
You may recall that the Greeks clearly understood your four operations (or two if you prefer) conceptually (perhaps better than you do?) but easy computation ("ciphering") came many centuries later from India (and some say Chinese before that) by way of the Arabs by way of Fibonacci. Euclid's proof of the "infinitude of primes" does not represent real mathematics?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinitude_of_primes

>> Are we on the same wavelength now?

Only if we agree that the aforementioned "pons asinorum" is an appropriate metaphor for your post and website:
>> http://www.donaldsauter.com/all-of-math.htm

>You mentioned partial differentiations. Would that be over the real or the complex numbers?
>And at your website:

>>"x = 25, -4 (Faint-hearts may throw out the -4.)"
>I assume you are not faint of heart but log(-4)?
>How does your strong heart approach that step in your computation?



Message was edited by: GS Chandy


Message was edited by: GS Chandy