Author Topic: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?  (Read 1756 times)

Offline Baruch

Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« on: August 30, 2018, 07:19:07 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

There are objections.  But this gets back to Pythagoras' cult, Plato's Academy and other crap.  If arithmetic is a useful fiction (it exists because humans and other sentients invented it and found it useful) ... what of other cultural constructs, such as religion ;-)
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 08:48:12 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

If you read the above publication from Zeeya Merali, which I read in 2006 in Popular Mechanics, you will actually be a witness to how creative theoretical scientists are.

One will think that they started off with almost nothing, got a space vacuum in a space vacuum, bubbles of nothing popped out, a cosmic string was caught, is was placed in this space bubble, and a whole new universe came into existance by scientists waiting and watching the bubble grow infinitely large from the inside, but from the outside it remained infinitely minute.

One eventually then realize that it was never done in any lab, but it was mathematical equations manipulated by theoretical physicists all over the globe, to speculate on how it should be done, but these scientists need billions of dollars to build larger accelerators.

then again on the other-hand, if it was not for mathematical calculations, we would not have had Transistors.
Or is that also a concoction in the story of science.

Well, at least Newton used maths and it proved to be correct.
Oh, wait.
He used maths to calculate the observation, not create maths to postulate on theories.



Evolution, the religion whereby one believes your children more human, and your parents more ape, than you!

The Human Mind, if it has nothing to do with Evolution...What an incredible entity...
If it does, what a waste!

Atheism, what a wonderful religion, where one believe to believe is erroneous.

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 09:01:03 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Oh, I found it here.
It is a pity that not the whole article is available, but just read this nail biting scientific devour done by Sakai, Linde, Eduardo Guendelman, Alan Guth, Ed Farhi, Willy Fischler, and Jacov Portnoy.

Now, they might be great mathe-maticians, but they are even greater Mathe-magicians.

Then people say I feed everyone BS!
Evolution, the religion whereby one believes your children more human, and your parents more ape, than you!

The Human Mind, if it has nothing to do with Evolution...What an incredible entity...
If it does, what a waste!

Atheism, what a wonderful religion, where one believe to believe is erroneous.

Offline Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 12:45:24 PM »
Sorry, only one unconfirmed magnetic monopole observation in history.  So building your own universe will have to wait.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 01:16:07 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

If you read the above publication from Zeeya Merali, which I read in 2006 in Popular Mechanics, you will actually be a witness to how creative theoretical scientists are.

One will think that they started off with almost nothing, got a space vacuum in a space vacuum, bubbles of nothing popped out, a cosmic string was caught, is was placed in this space bubble, and a whole new universe came into existance by scientists waiting and watching the bubble grow infinitely large from the inside, but from the outside it remained infinitely minute.

One eventually then realize that it was never done in any lab, but it was mathematical equations manipulated by theoretical physicists all over the globe, to speculate on how it should be done, but these scientists need billions of dollars to build larger accelerators.

then again on the other-hand, if it was not for mathematical calculations, we would not have had Transistors.
Or is that also a concoction in the story of science.

Well, at least Newton used maths and it proved to be correct.
Oh, wait.
He used maths to calculate the observation, not create maths to postulate on theories.

Observations (to the limits of available equipment, as an extension of our senses) are true in themselves.  Theories based on observations fall like leaves from trees in Autumn. 

And, forgive me if I misunderstand this, but didn't Newton use maths to explain the observations rather than the reverse?  I think you have it backwards.   
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Shiranu

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 01:26:00 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

There are objections.  But this gets back to Pythagoras' cult, Plato's Academy and other crap.  If arithmetic is a useful fiction (it exists because humans and other sentients invented it and found it useful) ... what of other cultural constructs, such as religion ;-)

The concept of mathematics varies between cultures, which to me shows that there is at the very least no inherently "true, one way to do" math. It is simply a language... one that is extremely versatile and useful, but a language non-the-less and thus one that is influenced by the culture practicing it. There are concepts that stand true amongst essentially all cultures, but the same can be said of language... nouns, verbs, adjectives exist in essentially all modern languages but that doesn't make these concepts "true" any more than 1+1 = 2 "true".

"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 01:30:26 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
The concept of mathematics varies between cultures, which to me shows that there is at the very least no inherently "true, one way to do" math. It is simply a language... one that is extremely versatile and useful, but a language non-the-less and thus one that is influenced by the culture practicing it. There are concepts that stand true amongst essentially all cultures, but the same can be said of language... nouns, verbs, adjectives exist in essentially all modern languages but that doesn't make these concepts "true" any more than 1+1 = 2 "true".

In what way is 1+1=2 not logically true? 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Shiranu

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 01:50:41 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
In what way is 1+1=2 not logically true? 

It is logically true in our system, but that is not a statement of "realness". In mathematical systems that allow for the division of zero, you can have equations such as 1+1=1 and it makes logical sense as well.

Again, mathematics is just a form of language... there is no entity in the universe that is "1", only abstract conceptualization of "1".

A good example is "zero"... was "zero" a true number before the Mesoamericans or Indians invented it? We would say yes, but to anyone who existed before the concept of zero was conceived... they would say no. Is either side right or wrong? It all is subjective to what culture you were born into, what "language" you speak, so I would argue no.

"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 03:23:55 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
It is logically true in our system, but that is not a statement of "realness". In mathematical systems that allow for the division of zero, you can have equations such as 1+1=1 and it makes logical sense as well.

Again, mathematics is just a form of language... there is no entity in the universe that is "1", only abstract conceptualization of "1".

A good example is "zero"... was "zero" a true number before the Mesoamericans or Indians invented it? We would say yes, but to anyone who existed before the concept of zero was conceived... they would say no. Is either side right or wrong? It all is subjective to what culture you were born into, what "language" you speak, so I would argue no.

I have come across this argument before.  There is a reason why, in practical terms, there is "1" (a singular quantity).  And another "1" makes "2".  I actually doubt that this would be untrue in any universe or rational system of counting.

In theoretical maths, I suppose there are ways for this not to be true, because you can set up any axioms you choose.  5 +7 = 10 in base 12.  Does that make 1+1=20 in base 1? 

I live in base 10.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 07:07:41 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I have come across this argument before.  There is a reason why, in practical terms, there is "1" (a singular quantity).  And another "1" makes "2".  I actually doubt that this would be untrue in any universe or rational system of counting.

In theoretical maths, I suppose there are ways for this not to be true, because you can set up any axioms you choose.  5 +7 = 10 in base 12.  Does that make 1+1=20 in base 1? 

I live in base 10.

Yes, in more abstract math, you can pretty much do anything you want, provided you are self-consistent.  Pythagoras was a demi-god, but he didn't know zero etc.  Euclid isn't a description of real space, for example, but it was thought to be so for 2000+ years.  This is why math isn't equivalent to reality.  It is the most abstract of languages, and is very useful as such, particularly in science and technology.  Interpolation is fairly reliable, but extrapolation less so.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 01:50:28 PM »
Why is there no 2 in base 2, no 3 in base 3, etc.?

;-P
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline Hydra009

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 02:10:12 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
It is logically true in our system, but that is not a statement of "realness". In mathematical systems that allow for the division of zero, you can have equations such as 1+1=1 and it makes logical sense as well.
I suppose, but imho mathematics is a language meant to describe real-world interactions.  1 + 1 describes a set of one combining with another set of one to create a set of two, like a person with one cake acquiring another cake.  Mathematics is just the abstraction of that real-world scenario. 

Of course, not all math maps to reality - imaginary numbers and so forth exist because the logic that math operates on allows for i^2=-1 as well as 1+1=2.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 02:21:56 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Why is there no 2 in base 2, no 3 in base 3, etc.?

;-P

Because "3" in base 3 is "10".  Counting numbers in base 3 are 0, 1, 2, 10.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline pr126

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2018, 02:23:00 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Quote
A math education professor is arguing that gifted math classes cause β€œacademic apartheid” among students, claiming that the practice is rooted in β€œcapitalist exploitations and settler colonialism.”
LOL
"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their free will."
 - Joseph Goebbels

Cognitive-dissonance is fighting for women's rights and LBGT rights while defending Islam and Muslims against "Islamophobia".

Offline Draconic Aiur

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2018, 02:23:34 PM »
Wikipedia? Really?

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk