[lit-ideas] Re: math question

  • From: Julie Krueger <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 11:22:46 -0500

If I were a mathematician, I would know what it is that I'm asking, what it
is that I want to know, but then, I'd know it.

The sequence of mathematical notation is what it is because it symbolizes,
expresses, a reality out there, surely -- not that humans have invented
this reality.  If one does this series of multiplications and additions of
quantities, an interesting pattern emerges in the symbols used to represent
these manipulations of quantities.  The pattern seems to call attention to
a principle in mathematics rather than being a symptom of our notational
invention.  There must be a theoretical "because" to the question of why
these patterns occur the way they do.

In music, the circle of fifths isn't just some cute trick or device for
memorizing the progression of sharps and flats through major keys.  It
describes a fundamental part of the structure of music, the way western
music is woven.

I suppose the (a?) problem here is that I am looking for a brief
explanation of something in theoretical math, instead of taking a multitude
(how many explanations in a multitude?)  of classes.  (What's the square
root of a negative multitude?)

When "we" make mathematical statements are we using symbols to represent
how reality works, or simply inventing a code?

Julie Krueger

On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM, Paul Stone <pastone@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I have to agree with Adriano... there is nothing mysterious, or even
> explainable about mathematics. It just IS! You can tell me WHY 2+2=4
> REALLY. Except to describe the fact that it does.
> just my 1+1 cents.
> p
> On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 2:15 AM, Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>  the sequence has nothing surprising (take a look at terry tao's work if
>> you like surprises)
>>  ? נכון
>> >>> Julie Krueger <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx> 09/04/2012 01:19 AM >>>
>> So from all this I take it that no one can, in fact, explain the why of
>> the math sequence?
>> Julie Krueger

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