
freddurgan
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I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics
#3761860  02/10/05 02:52 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Throughout history, mathematicians have been playing with numbers all their lives. Algebra, Geometry, the Calculus, etc. All of these great achievements have changed science for the better and math is great yadda yadda. I can't even write a good intro paragraph about math.
I don't get it and I want nothing more than to understand WHY mathematics is such a pursued goal, and why math over the centuries has had some of the greatest minds working solely on the science of numbers. What's the point? What is it teaching us?
I can understand the beauty of physics, or chemistry. These are natural laws, they exist and can be tested/verified and manipulated for the benefit of mankind. Chemistry gives us medicine, physics gives us unTOLD amounts of things.
But studying pure mathematics..I don't understand. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked math and only recently have I discovered that I still do, but I don't have the shining light of mathematics in my eyes and I'd very much like to have a glimmer of it.

MegaloMello
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3761890  02/10/05 02:58 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


mathematics is the foundation of physics and chemistry... I think it's what the numbers symbolize that give them such power...
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trendal
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3762220  02/10/05 04:09 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Math, quite simply, is the language of nature.
Behold, the beauty of mathematics:

Phluck
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3762395  02/10/05 04:41 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


I can understand the beauty of physics, or chemistry. These are natural laws, they exist and can be tested/verified and manipulated for the benefit of mankind. Chemistry gives us medicine, physics gives us unTOLD amounts of things.
If you've ever taken a physics or chemistry course, you'd know that there TONS of math involved. That's part of it right there...
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freddurgan
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: Phluck]
#3762627  02/10/05 05:40 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


But I mean..yeah alright, there is math involved. Chemistry is divide this, add that. It's simple math. Even Physics isn't that complicated of math, at least not in the early stages. But what about like..
Combinatorics Stochastics Differential Equations Multivariate Statistical Analysis Graph Theory
I just don't understand what these complex mathematics bring to the table. Would studying math just make me some human calculator?
Mathematicians are intensely intelligent people, I don't understand what they do with all their math.

SneezingPenis
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3762946  02/10/05 06:42 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Like the movie Contact quoted, "math is a universal language" it is what the universe was created with. All language is man made, except math. We can try to put into english the story of Genesis, but it can more easily be expressed to all as 0= infinity, out of nothing came everything. Everything tangible can be put into mathematical concepts and terms, the only reason for actual language is abstract ideas like love, hate patriotism, enlightenment etc.

Gomp
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3763042  02/10/05 06:56 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 




Disclaimer!?

MOTH
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3763182  02/10/05 07:19 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


I desperately want to comprehend mathmatics period. I have some sort of brain problem where I have a difficult time deciphering even the most simple problems. I would love to learn how to do math well, but it's always such a struggle for me.

SneezingPenis
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: MOTH]
#3763232  02/10/05 07:29 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


The only brain problem you have is that you THINK you have a brain problem...lol

Clark
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: SneezingPenis]
#3763353  02/10/05 07:54 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


[Excessively ascerbic, drunken reply deleted by me.] Sorry.

Edited by Clark (02/10/05 07:59 PM)

Ped
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3764339  02/10/05 11:48 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Why does a painter paint? Why does a sculpter sculpt? Why does a writer write? Why does a musician write music? Why does a dancer dance?

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PhanTomCat
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: Ped]
#3764406  02/11/05 12:11 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Quote:
Ped said: Why does a painter paint? Why does a sculpter sculpt? Why does a writer write? Why does a musician write music? Why does a dancer dance?
Because it's freedom is VERY empowering.... Creating that which does not exist.... Nothing short of beautiful  but for one set of eyes.... For there would be nothing at all....
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Zekebomb
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: Ped]
#3764851  02/11/05 02:11 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


yeah Ped, are you saying that mathematicians are artists?
and here's what I'm unsure of: did humans discover or invent math?

Vertigo6911
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: Zekebomb]
#3764972  02/11/05 02:52 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


the truth is just the reverse... artists are mathmaticians. all the great ones were.
u need to understand the number PHI
PHI is the nuber 1.618 AKA the golden ratio. this number keeps coming up everywhere in nature. for instance: the distance between lower and upper leg is 1:1.618 the distance between lower and upper arm is 1:1.618 its in us, animals, plants etc etc... there are other things like that too, for instance the Fabonaci sequence: 112358132134 etc... (ech number is the sum of the last 2) this comes up in the formation of leaves and stuff like that...
all the big painters knew of these things and used them to make their paintings... take a ruler (and calculator to a Da Vinci and u will find the golden ratio...
things like that are the reason peaple were always fascinated with math. and it goes deeper too... everyting in nature seems to be 'fractal' in nature. im not sure exactly what that means but i think it means everything can be brought down to a simple mathmatical equation.
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raytrace
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: freddurgan]
#3764985  02/11/05 02:57 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


What's the point? Truth
I don't understand what they do with all their math A student of Euclid, which has just learned his first theorem asks what he should gain from learning such things; Euclid tells his slave to give the student three obols, "since he must make gain out of what he learns".
Edited by raytrace (02/11/05 03:05 AM)

soulmotion
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: Zekebomb]
#3765434  02/11/05 05:07 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


I think these two questions are central to original quesion in the first post.
Quote:
Zekebomb said: and here's what I'm unsure of: did humans discover or invent math?
Human beings invented the language we call mathematics, but we didn't invent the relationships between quantities or the concepts themselves. Really, that's all Math is; it's just a language where we use names and symbols to represent quantities, equalities, and proportionalities. The english language is really just a complex construction of mathematical concepts... (it's seems to be the other way around, but in my view, words are merely ways to represent a series of concepts...)
Quote:
Zekebomb said: yeah Ped, are you saying that mathematicians are artists?
I believe that anything can be an art (at least in the liberal sense of the word. Nowadays, the definition of the term 'art' is alot more flexible than it was centuries ago). I once saw a book at the library entitled, "the Art of Living". Without even opening the book, the title taught me something profound. The way I see it, art can be any expressive enterprize. If you can express a mathematical concept in a meaningfull and elegant way, you are preforming the art of mathematics.

redgreenvines
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: soulmotion]
#3765473  02/11/05 06:02 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


me too someone posted this ( http://www.fractalwisdom.com/FractalWisdom/ ) eventually I will wrap my head around it there is something about mandelbrot that really intrugues me
good luck

Ped
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: redgreenvines]
#3765893  02/11/05 10:44 AM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


>> yeah Ped, are you saying that mathematicians are artists?
The more brilliant and passionate ones, yes. There are a number of mathematicians who crunch numbers for mundane purposes like record keeping and statistics monitoring. They "do" math from 9:005:00 and pretty much forget about it when they're distracted in other things. Many artists and musicians are this way too; they intellectualize tremendous amounts of information about art, music, brush and instrument technique, but fail to notice the beauty behind the sheer spontaneity of created works.
>> and here's what I'm unsure of: did humans discover or invent math?
This is a bit like asking whether or not humans discovered or invented music. It's a neat question. I think music exists because human beings decided it existed; they saw harmony and pattern in things and found a way to express it in writing. I suppose that would qualify it as an invention. That would apply to mathematics just as well, I think.
Both of these are representative of something first apprehended intuitively, explored, and then expressed creatively. The language used to describe these thoughts and feelings arose our of sheer necessity; we simply felt compelled to externalize these things. It's spontaneity and compulsion that makes art what it is: since the more brilliant and the more passionate mathmematicians do what they do simply for the sake of doing it, I'd say they are artists like any other.
Mathematics is a means of expressing relationship between phenomena external to the math itself. Music is the same. Melodies have a relationship with eachother, and, the most brilliant music exists as a reexpression of phenomena external to the music itself. Toward the middle of his career, Beethoven once poured a bucket of hot water on his head, then a bucket of cold water, and expressed the changes he felt on his body in music. Vivaldi composed a set about the emotional and existential characteristics of the four seasons. Handel transcribed feelings of divine rapture. The list goes on and on.

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Huehuecoyotl
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: MOTH]
#3766140  02/11/05 12:26 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Some people aren't mathematically inclined. I am not. When I started college I was told that if I was not a math whiz I could not be a computer program major successfully. Well, I did fine in programming as I discovered that practical application of math is a creative process, and that much math, in practical application, does not require numbers, but logic (which is math as well). I am quite a ready programmer, but I still suck at math. I know how to read and use formulas proficiently, but I am a creative, right brained sort. Music is totally mathematical, but most musicians are terrible or mediocre at math. I have forced myself to pass all of the classes through diligent work, but I will never be a math nut.
 "A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda

dr0mni
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Re: I desperately want to comprehend the beauty of mathematics [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
#3766263  02/11/05 01:00 PM (12 years, 4 months ago) 


Mathematics is the most accurate way to represent what is actually going on. It is pure logic and cannot be misinterpreted, only misunderstood.
"meaning is not in things but in between them". An object or idea or anything (i think the word is meme) only has meaning in relation to everything else around it. Thus math is the science of relationships between things.
1+1=2, whether it's chairs, oranges, or world wars. Mathematic principals apply to everything.
Fractals are evident in everything. The universe is just a big fractal. So understanding the math and significance behind these things can help you understand the nature of the world you life in.
Since these constant mathematical relationships allow our universe to form in the way that it has, I firmly beleive that the study of science and math will lead us to better understand the nature of God and what it's plans for us actually are.
Math = fundemental unchanging truths = relationships of the universe = fractals = God
therefore math = god
i know it's not actual math, but it's how I like to think of things.

