[CrackMonkey] [email@example.com: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics]
nick at zork.net
Tue Jan 23 19:10:45 PST 2001
----- Forwarded message from glen mccready <gkm at petting-zoo.net> -----
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <nev at sleepycat.com>
From: "Michael A. Olson" <mao at olsons.net>
Here's some very interesting reading on mathematics, discussing the
question: Why should simple mathematical techniques and constants so
perfectly describe natural phenomena? I've often wondered why e and pi
turn up in descriptions of all sorts of phenomena that, on their face,
have nothing to do with logarithms or geometry. One of my favorite
identities, with almost the force of a koan, is e ** (-i * pi) = -1.
It's just not reasonable that e, complex numbers, and circles should be
so intimately related to one another.
The first two of these argue a similar point: It's surprising that math
works so well, so often. The third is something of a rebuttal to the
others: Mathematics is a Darwinian tool, correlated to the fact that
our ancestors were the ones that reproduced.
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics, R.W. Hamming
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural
Sciences, Eugene Wigner
Effectiveness of Mathematics, Jef Raskin
----- End forwarded message -----
You are not entitled to your opinions.
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^ Matt McIrvin: the Nikola Tesla of tab damage.
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