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> The use of Math on the Path, Using math as a tool for self discovery
Trip like I do
post May 13, 2005, 01:17 PM
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It's the oldest and the simplest of all questions regarding the nature of mathematical truths. History gives no universally accepted answer to it.

Proponents of social-constructivist philosophy argue, for instance, that the equation 2 + 2 = 4 is only a convention our grade school teachers bullied us into accepting as a law of nature, and that mathematical objects are social entities in the same way as monetary systems or political institutions.
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Rick
post May 16, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Attempting here to replace a post that got lost in the server migration.

This old question should have been settled long ago. Plato was just plain wrong. The world of forms (ideas, software, numbers, information) does not exist. Only substantial things (matter and consciousness) can have existence.

Saint Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas were both Platonists who had extensive influence on Church doctrine. The philosophical errors they propagated are still around to confuse people today.

Mathematical ideas (like addition of numbers) find expression because they are useful. They are therefore embodied in human practice and text books.
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Trip like I do
post May 17, 2005, 05:03 PM
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I think the biggest danger of computers is that we confuse the speed of processing with the speed of thought.

Computers don't think.

They put out something like surface impressions (illusions), and the faster they can do that the better. But are we getting fooled into thinking that speed is a valuable thing in terms of processing ideas? And really, the most valuable thing in terms of processing ideas, and most people’s experience will bear this out, I think the most valuable thing is ripening.

An idea has to ripen. Just making connections is trivial.

It can be interesting, but when an idea really takes root in my gut so I stay awake nights, it's different.

As Shakespeare said "ripeness is all."

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post May 18, 2005, 11:36 AM
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QUOTE (Trip like I do @ May 17, 06:03 PM)
Computers don't think.

That depends on how you define thinking. If you define it as "what human brains do" then computers don't think. If you define it as "processing information to achieve benefit" then they do think.
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Trip like I do
post May 20, 2005, 05:10 PM
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Some scholars have argued that the brain may build its mathematical understanding with language and that the structure may still stand after the scaffolding is removed.
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Trip like I do
post May 20, 2005, 05:14 PM
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However, no matter how helpful language may be to mathmaticians (perhaps as a mneumonic devise) it is not necessary for calculation. Also, they are processed in different parts of the brain.
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post May 20, 2005, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE (Trip like I do @ May 17, 08:03 PM)
....the most valuable thing in terms of processing ideas, and most people’s experience will bear this out, I think the most valuable thing is ripening.

An idea has to ripen. Just making connections is trivial.

It can be interesting, but when an idea really takes root in my gut so I stay awake nights, it's different.

As Shakespeare said "ripeness is all."

Heraclitus, "A lot of learning does not teach a person the posession of understanding."
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P.j.S
post Jun 14, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Pure Hebrew which is the language that the first couple in the Garden of Eden spoke is read right to left and the letters of the alphabet are also numerals. Similar to the Hebrew language today perhaps.

That is an early indicator that people could count at least.
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post May 17, 2011, 01:44 AM
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Never seen a bteetr post! ICOCBW
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Maud
post May 17, 2011, 04:32 PM
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Home run! Great slugging with that asnewr!
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