Don't Hate Math Because Of What Arithmetic Did To You!

When someone says, "I hate math.", what is actually being said is almost always, "I hate arithmetic."

Now, see here!
Arithmetic is the counting of beans and the chopping of onions. Hate it all you want but, it's there and you'll die without it - if you can't do the math to keep track of money, keep gas in your car long enough to get to the next station, pay for the gas and the food you're driving around to get - you are screwed.

Arithmetic is exact, it is black or white, on or off, and it does not forgive, nor does it entice - some animals (some primates, elephants, some cetations, a horse or dog here & there) can cognitively process counting, set analysis (identifying which group is bigger), and maybe some rudimentary addition and subtraction skills - arithmetic is an evolved skill, and those creatures without it are at the mercy of the rest.

I loathe arithmetic - it's boring and it's frustrating. To make one little mistake; adding when I should have subtracted, mis-managing a decimal point, forgetting not to divide by zero can result in a false statement, like the one that cost me $3000.00 because the IRS wouldn't forgive my mistake of putting a wrong number on a wrong line, which caused it not to add up properly... Or worse, I need food like a junkie needs junk, and bad arithmetic could have me standing in line somewhere, hoping the free meal won't run out before I get some - and I don't want to live like that! Good Grief! Even describing arithmetic bores me stupid, so I'll quit right now, and write about something really interesting, what math really is - language.

Mathematics is the Rosetta stone of any and all relationships; it is not just a language, it is the language which lexically and syntactically liaises any and all other languages - including itself! Whenever a new language evolves, mathematics must evolve in order to bind it. Often, mathematics can be held responsible for creating languages.

If we think of the pace of the development of humanity through recorded history in terms of a man walking down a road, Albert Einstein pretty much invented the De Lorean and handed it over. He did not express himself through intricate mathematical constructions, though he used them to prove what he said - he told stories about trains and lights and people who lived in a flat land, and most of his stories did not contain arithmetic. Einstein did not invent the mathematics which described energy/matter conversion, he used Newton's mechanics, Leibniz' calculus, Euler's differential equations, and his own intuition and internal narrative to derive and prove e=mc^2 which spawned a whole new set of languages that changed the world - some of those languages, quantum mechanics for instance, he disputed almost until the end of his life. I wonder what he would think of M-theory or the quantum computers Google & Lockheed / Martin are tinkering with as I write this.

And, I don't just mean the relationships between abstracted, esoteric languages like translating from electromagnetic theory to hydraulic or music theory, I mean translating between English, relational calculus, linear algebra, discrete analysis, and Japanese - which is what happens when I use Google translate or when I call Samsung and talk to their border-bots. These evolved languages have taught machines to listen and respond so well that, sometimes (more often that, of late) humans are having trouble telling the difference - my youngest child will be 13 in December, this technology almost did not exist when she was born.

Another technology, fMRI is able to translate between thought and identity - if I think of a hammer, the fMRI reads my neurological processes, shunts the data to a computer; the computer analyzes the data and a picture of a hammer is displayed - that, my friend, is communication via unspoken language. Coupled with quantum computing, machine learning may become essentially a telepathic process. The kind of mathematics this requires I cannot even describe because I don't know enough of the language to do so, some sort of weird complex analysis, I'm sure - hopefully I'll be able to know, someday.

So, hate arithmetic all you want! But know it - because knowing how to use it will improve your life immensely - and allow you to learn the math, while not knoing it will isolate you from vast realms of knowledge, also not having decent arithmetic skills can kill you. You may not want to know anything about esoteric mathematics; the power and beauty its applications manifests into the world, (your body and brain actually know a of 'natural' mathematics already but, that's a different post) - you're OK my book - lots of folks like to wing it, do great work without it, and I can dig it.

Here are the equations for everything I just said,

Arithmetic = Necessary = Sucky = Suck It Up
Mathematics = the Language of Language
Machines <- -="" language=""> People

The final equation in lolcatmath

Universe Sez: IF {haz arithmetic} THEN {can haz math} ELSE {kthxdie}

OK, I'm done - now I have to go out into the head and do stuff.


It's nice not to be on facebook - I got a lot done today. :)


WCC Facelift Mocing Right aAong

I did not realize they were going to rebuild the entire plaza.

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This African Guitar Lady Rocks!




Banshee Train

A banshee train
just howled its way west through town;
as if incited by murder;
the bad death of a lover.

Blats and blares and wrath spat
soaked up by the already heavy air;
shrieking in voices, all dominant, dissonant, yet unison;
of power, of pain, of rage, of despair

It gave me a thrill and a fright, my children;
and somewhere it's howling, I hear it
still, carried back in fits and gasps
on the leaf-blow'n Halloween wind.


Christina Osborn: Studio Demos

Here are the 4 tracks from Christina's studio demo set.  All songs are original pieces ("All Your Days Are Sad" was written the weekend before the studio session and I posted the original in an earlier journal  - "How Sweet It Is" is my favorite.)  The tracks are CD quality so, they're each about 5 MB.
If you feel these songs are worthy of your support, please feel free to contribute (via the PayPal donation link below) to Christina's musical fund, which will help her book more studio time, which is spendy stuff!  She's been working and saving to move to Michigan to continue her development (I get to participate in that, which is cool!), but, every little bit helps!