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'[OT]: Hitchhikers guide to figgering, was: If 6 '
2001\06\05@221349 by

Dan Michaels wrote:

> > That math is often useful to describe the behaviour of the
> > universe is a happy circumstance, but so far has not been
> > shown to be more than that.

> By "... more than that ...", do you mean being able to "explain"
> the meaning of life and the genesis of the universe, etc,
> as opposed to simply being a way to "describe" it?

As in the universe, the meaning of life, & all that?  :)

Math as gnosis is an ancient, interesting idea. The power
math has given us over the world tempts us to argue, like
Isidore Rabi : "What the hell else do you want - Mermaids?"
Reasonable, but illogical, so I guess I do.

best regards, Jack

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John Gardner wrote:
>
>> > That math is often useful to describe the behaviour of the
>> > universe is a happy circumstance, but so far has not been
>> > shown to be more than that.
>
>> By "... more than that ...", do you mean being able to "explain"
>> the meaning of life and the genesis of the universe, etc,
>> as opposed to simply being a way to "describe" it?
>
>As in the universe, the meaning of life, & all that?  :)
>
>Math as gnosis is an ancient, interesting idea. The power
>math has given us over the world tempts us to argue, like
>Isidore Rabi : "What the hell else do you want - Mermaids?"
>Reasonable, but illogical, so I guess I do.
>

Well then that is the answer. "Math" is not the correct tool to
answer those kinds of questions, so ........... look elsewhere.

best regards,
- dan
==================

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Dan Michaels wrote:
> ........... look elsewhere.

Those so inclined might look at Thomas Huxley's
essay on the limitations of the scientific method.
I did a brief Google, did'nt find it, but lots of
hits, so maybe it's out there.

regards, Jack

--

John Gardner wrote:
>Dan Michaels wrote:
>> ........... look elsewhere.
>
>Those so inclined might look at Thomas Huxley's
>essay on the limitations of the scientific method.
>I did a brief Google, did'nt find it, but lots of
>hits, so maybe it's out there.
>

Jack, I think it is great that guys like you and Michael Brown have
so many questions about science/etc. However, you guys do seem to be
a tad bit impatient that science has not yet supplied all the answers

OTOH, just look at how far we have come from the sublime ignorance
mankind possessed 2000 years ago. The earth was flat, at the center
of the universe, perched on the back of a tortoise, and super beings
in the skies produced thunder and lightning by clashing swords.

Progress comes from guys like you not settling for the mainstream
answers, but always questioning everything. Science needs more guys
like you to want to devote their lives to addressing these issues.
What science does show is that, no one should simply sit down in
the belief that what they know today is the final truth.

However, the first thing a scientist, himself or herself, has to
learn to live with is profound "delayed gratification". I was once
involved in some scientific research, and I can tell you, it takes
months and months to produce even the tiniest new result. Embedded
systems development is a lot easier and the results come one heck
of a lot quicker.

best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
=======================

--

Dan Michaels wrote:

> Jack, I think it is great that guys like you and Michael Brown have
> so many questions about science/etc. However, you guys do seem to be
> a tad bit impatient that science has not yet supplied all the answers

Me - Impatient? As I close in on social security my biggest challenge
is staying awake :)

> OTOH, just look at how far we have come from the sublime ignorance
> mankind possessed 2000 years ago. The earth was flat, at the center
> of the universe, perched on the back of a tortoise, and super beings
> in the skies produced thunder and lightning by clashing swords.

Actually, with The Institute For Creation Research < 1 mile NE
and an international flying saucer cult HQ ~ 3 miles due South,
I have an adequate supply of such notions in the here & now.

A number of ancient cultures knew the earth was spherical - Some
had sun-centered cosmologies/technologies/religions. Hard to tell
the difference sometimes, then and now.

> Progress comes from guys like you not settling for the mainstream
> answers, but always questioning everything. Science needs more guys
> like you to want to devote their lives to addressing these issues.
> What science does show is that, no one should simply sit down in
> the belief that what they know today is the final truth.

I deny any complicity in Progress. Or truth. Especially Truth.

> However, the first thing a scientist, himself or herself, has to
> learn to live with is profound "delayed gratification". I was once
> involved in some scientific research, and I can tell you, it takes
> months and months to produce even the tiniest new result...

It's getting tougher - The gov't has once already threatened
to close the Patent Office, on grounds that most worthwhile
Things being what they are, I'm pushing my research along with all
deliberate speed.

best regards, Jack

--

John Gardner wrote:

>> Jack, I think it is great that guys like you and Michael Brown have
>> so many questions about science/etc. However, you guys do seem to be
>> a tad bit impatient that science has not yet supplied all the answers
>
>Me - Impatient? As I close in on social security my biggest challenge
>is staying awake :)
>

Great, now you can have lots of time to cogitate on difficult
problems :).

As one who has been there, done that [at least to a small degree],
it is hard for me to criticize people who do such enormously
difficult work as scientific research. I was once the lowest level
grunt in a neurophysiology lab, and can attest to the enormous
amount of meticulous scut work involved, week after week, month
after month to get any new thing.

Sometimes, however, some truly great thing, such as DNA, does come
out of the scientific effort. I would say that DNA is the mermaid
Isidore Rabi was looking for. It puts so much of 19th C controversy
into perspective.
==============

>> Progress comes from guys like you not settling for the mainstream
>> answers, but always questioning everything. Science needs more guys
>> like you to want to devote their lives to addressing these issues.
>> What science does show is that, no one should simply sit down in
>> the belief that what they know today is the final truth.
>
>I deny any complicity in Progress. Or truth. Especially Truth.
>

Well, we may not be zeroing in on the truth very fast, but lately
at least, the Hubble Telescope has sure opened our eyes to the
supreme enormity of it. 100s of "billions" of galaxies, each with
10s or 100s of "billions" of stars. Galaxies as far as hubble can
see, in all directions - take a look:

http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/96/01.html

Truly incredible - unless its a hoax of course, like man on
the moon - and after all those guys did grind the mirror wrong.
However, it does look like most of the questions you and Michael
Brown have been positing will have quite a few new neighbors.
Ain't it great!

best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
========================

--

> Sometimes, however, some truly great thing, such as DNA, does come
> out of the scientific effort. I would say that DNA is the mermaid
> Isidore Rabi was looking for. It puts so much of 19th C controversy
> into perspective.

Arguable.
But, what is the meaning of a mermaid?

RM

--

At 09:40 PM 6/6/01 +1200, you wrote:
>> Sometimes, however, some truly great thing, such as DNA, does come
>> out of the scientific effort. I would say that DNA is the mermaid
>> Isidore Rabi was looking for. It puts so much of 19th C controversy
>> into perspective.
>
>
>Arguable.
>But, what is the meaning of a mermaid?
>

Go back a few messages in the thread.

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{Quote hidden}

Could it be because Math is a subset of Maths. Instead of using a
tool, it might help to use tools. 8-)

When did Maths (short for Mathematics) become Math (short for Mathematic ?).
Just lazy spelling or is Math in reality a dumbed down
version of Maths for the MTV/Cartoon Network Generation with short
attention spans.

Chris Carr

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John Gardner wrote:
>
>Those so inclined might look at Thomas Huxley's
>essay on the limitations of the scientific method.
>I did a brief Google, did'nt find it, but lots of
>hits, so maybe it's out there.

Maybe search on "Thomas Huxley scientific method"

www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1863huxley.html
.........

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Chris Carr <PICLISTmitvma.mit.edu> wrote:

> When did Maths (short for Mathematics) become Math (short for
> Mathematic ?). Just lazy spelling or is Math in reality a dumbed
> down version of Maths for the MTV/Cartoon Network Generation with
> short attention spans.

Chris:

"Math" is how we spell it here in the States; the word must have
mutated when an American realized that "math is the answer" sounded
nicer than "maths is the answer".

Personally, I kinda LIKE consistency between my verbs and nouns, so I
think "maths" sounds gramnmatically incorrect.

Of course... If you Brits say "maths ARE the answer," I'll agree that
spelling is in mine.

-Andy

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> > When did Maths (short for Mathematics) become Math (short for
> > Mathematic ?). Just lazy spelling or is Math in reality a dumbed
> > down version of Maths for the MTV/Cartoon Network Generation with
> > short attention spans.
>
> Chris:
>
> "Math" is how we spell it here in the States; the word must have
> mutated when an American realized that "math is the answer" sounded
> nicer than "maths is the answer".
>
> Personally, I kinda LIKE consistency between my verbs and nouns, so I
> think "maths" sounds gramnmatically incorrect.
>
> Of course... If you Brits say "maths ARE the answer," I'll agree that
> your spelling is as grammatically acceptable in your town as my
> spelling is in mine.
>
> -Andy
>
Hi, Andy, I already had a sneaking idea of where it came from, thanks for
the confirmation. I have to agree with you about inconsistency, mind you I
still think a phrase such as "Data are input through the keyboard" sounds
daft.

The strange thing is that the use of the word Math instead of Maths seems to
have suddenly become standard practice over here. For some irrational reason
it causes a little twinge in my brain cell. I have no explanation for this
change, we are not exactly bombarded with the word, unlike the word Colour
where we are exposed to the (in)correct all the time yet there is no hint of
anyone dropping the u. Same with other words we are exposed to all the time.

I have no doubt that someone will come up with a logical explanation.

Sorry about the rambling, it's a sign of Old Age when you start wondering

It's going to be interesting to see what happens when English is declared
the official language of the United States of Europe and the Language Police
start imposing standards.  8-)

Regards

Chris Carr

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> >Arguable.
> >But, what is the meaning of a mermaid?
> >
>
> Go back a few messages in the thread.

No, no - I saw where the mermaid was first mentioned.
I mean the MEANING of a mermaid as in meaning of life, 42 (oh no! not
again!), all your base are belong to us and the sound of one dog barking!

Russell

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Dan Michaels wrote:
>
> John Gardner wrote:
> >
> >Those so inclined might look at Thomas Huxley's
> >essay on the limitations of the scientific method.
> >I did a brief Google, did'nt find it, but lots of
> >hits, so maybe it's out there.
>
> Maybe search on "Thomas Huxley scientific method"

Or try experimenting with "Aldous Huxley scientific
method" ??? ;o)
-Roman

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> "Math" is how we spell it here in the States; the word must have
> mutated when an American realized that "math is the answer" sounded
> nicer than "maths is the answer".

But, it doesn't !!!

RM

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Chris Carr wrote:

>When did Maths (short for Mathematics) become Math (short for Mathematic ?).
>Just lazy spelling or is Math in reality a dumbed down
>version of Maths for the MTV/Cartoon Network Generation with short
>attention spans.
>

In america, "Math" not "Maths" has always been shortform for
Mathematics - even long before MTV. I guess america reserves the
right to misuse the language of English, despite any repercussions
this may bring.

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Russell McMahon wrote:
>> >Arguable.
>> >But, what is the meaning of a mermaid?
>> >
>>
>> Go back a few messages in the thread.
>
>
>No, no - I saw where the mermaid was first mentioned.
>I mean the MEANING of a mermaid as in meaning of life, 42 (oh no! not
>again!), all your base are belong to us and the sound of one dog barking!
>

I suspect "all your base are belong to us" is somewhat more
profound than Rabi's comment about the mermaid, which was
probably just his way of saying something like "Oh! And you
want sugar with your tea, also?"

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Hi Chris -

Perhaps you've noticed that American usage is a bit different
from other flavors of the language. I'm not offering my argot
as a standard, but I've never heard a native speaker say "maths".
I'm in my 50's, so that takes care of the MTV hypothesis.

Bugs Bunny may be a possibility, though.

best regards, Jack

Chris Carr wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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Hi John,
I have to back Chris up on this one - as a native (as in it is the
language in every day use and it was the first I learned!) english speaker
among a nation of others. I actually would find it very difficult to say
"math" without the "s". In fact everytime I hear it on TV(US programmes -
note the two "m"s and the e) it hurts my ear! In Ireland we have always used
"maths" for short.
Suffice it to say that in the US you speak and write "Americanese" which is
really a lazy version of English, i.e. if you can't spell it properly then
spell what you hear!
While the rant is on - another thing that really irks me, is how the word
"affect" has started to be used universally in the places where "effect"
should be used (I blame Microsoft Word!). Also the misuse of "already" with
the future tense, "I'll do it already!" is another stupid phrase we keep
hearing on TV.

Flame shield up
Cloak device on

John
BTW I'm Irish and living in Ireland so don't reply saying " you English
......"

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----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Michaels <oricomUSWEST.NET>

> In america, "Math" not "Maths" has always been shortform for
> Mathematics - even long before MTV. I guess america reserves the
> right to misuse the language of English, despite any repercussions
> this may bring.

Doesn't nearly every language have region-specific misuses?

Jeff

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> > In america, "Math" not "Maths" has always been shortform for
> > Mathematics - even long before MTV. I guess america reserves the
> > right to misuse the language of English, despite any repercussions
> > this may bring.
>
> Doesn't nearly every language have region-specific misuses?
>
> Jeff

The USA is no longer a region of England ;-)

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Ammerman" <RAMMERMANPRODIGY.NET>
To: <PICLISTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Hitchhikers guide to figgering, was: If 6 was 9...

> > > In america, "Math" not "Maths" has always been shortform for
> > > Mathematics - even long before MTV. I guess america reserves the
> > > right to misuse the language of English, despite any repercussions
> > > this may bring.
> >
> > Doesn't nearly every language have region-specific misuses?
> >
> > Jeff
>
> The USA is no longer a region of England ;-)
This is correct.  Let me further add that we also have our own language
called American English.
>
> Bob Ammerman
> RAm Systems
> (contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
> software)

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> Arguable.
> But, what is the meaning of a mermaid?

Mea culpa, Russell. It's a moderately well-known phrase, among
physicists of a certain age.
The reference is to I.I. Rabi's passionate defense of J. Robert
Oppenheimer, the scientific leader of the Manhattan project,
against charges of disloyalty.

Oppenheimer was not a man who suffered fools gladly - The case
against him appears to be little more than gossip from disgruntled
former associates, but in the noisome political atmosphere of the
early 50's his security clearance was revoked, effectively ending
his career.

Rabi, a contemporary of Einstein, addressed the security hearing,
citing his friend's long record of achievement, not least of which
being, of course, the weapon which ended the war... The peroration
finished with the phrase in question.

FWIW, 10 years later, in a marginally saner political environment,
Oppenheimer was awarded our highest civilian decoration, not long
before his death.

best regards, Jack

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Vive la difference! BTW, I notice I'm spelling "behavior" with a
"u" these days - Must be spending too much time on these Empire
Strikes Back lists... :)

best regards, Jack

John Walshe wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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John Gardner wrote:
>
> Vive la difference! BTW, I notice I'm spelling "behavior" with a
> "u" these days - Must be spending too much time on these Empire
> Strikes Back lists... :)

Umm, if you are speaking English there is only
ONE correct spelling for everything?? "Behaviour"
does indeed have a "u" as does "tonight" have a
"g" and a "h". ;o)
-Roman

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Not on this side of the pond, OM - You do realize we threw the
OED in the harbor (That's harbour to you) along with the tea, no?

Seriously, Webster's Unabridged lists "behaviour" as an alternate
spelling, "harbour", too, for that matter, but in Gringo English
it's often considered an affectation for a native speaker to use
them.

best regards, Jack

Roman Black wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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Russell McMahon <PICLISTMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> > "math is the answer" sounded nicer than "maths is the answer".
>
> But, it doesn't !!!

Russell:

Would you say "But THEY doesn't"?  No?  So how come using "maths"
with a singular verb sounds ok to you?

-Andy

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> Russell McMahon <PICLISTMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:
>
> > > "math is the answer" sounded nicer than "maths is the answer".
> >
> > But, it doesn't !!!
>
> Russell:
>
> Would you say "But THEY doesn't"?  No?  So how come using "maths"
> with a singular verb sounds ok to you?

There ain't no accounting for euphony, Willis.

Paratroopers --> The Paras (UK)

It's arguable whether "Mathematics" is singular (although "Mathematic" as a
noun dinna work).

RM

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Russell McMahon <PICLISTmitvma.mit.edu> wrote:

> > how come using "maths" with a singular verb sounds ok to you?
>
> There ain't no accounting for euphony, Willis.
>
> Paratroopers --> The Paras (UK)

Yeah, Arnold... And automobiles --> autos, microprocessors -->
micros, etc.

So what?  None of those are ever used with singular verbs.

-Andrew

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> Russell McMahon <PICLISTmitvma.mit.edu> wrote:
>
> > > how come using "maths" with a singular verb sounds ok to you?
> >
> > There ain't no accounting for euphony, Willis.
> >
> > Paratroopers --> The Paras (UK)
>
>     Yeah, Arnold... And automobiles --> autos, microprocessors -->
>     micros, etc.
>
>     So what?  None of those are ever used with singular verbs.
>
>     -Andrew

My Oxford dictionary says that "Mathematics" is a plural noun but is usually
treated as if it is singular.

It also notes the use of "Mathematic" as valid but rare.

Russell McMahon

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