Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Numbers

Has anybody else been following the really ace discussion of math in the New York Times of late? Well, actually, its "The Opionator" blog I'm looking at. The whole series, about half a dozen or so columns so far, is laid out for easy access right here. You know, I'm probably what could be described by some people as a nerd. I just love learning about things, and, since I'm somewhat of a purveyor of language myself, I admire intelligent people who can present complex ideas in coherent understandable fashion for the rest of us. Hence this marvelous series. If you have any interest whatsoever in numbers and math, give it a whirl.

I am interested, of course, in numbers and math because I'm interested in practically everything. It's always a joy to me to run into people who feel the same way. Or to encounter an expert in something who is willing to share what he knows. It's a given that he or she will be enthusiastic. I've always marveled at how much we know about everything on the one hand, and on the other how much we don't know about everything on the other hand. Something like cellular biology is a field wide open, despite the tremendous leaps we've made in the past ten years. Or astronomy and cosmology. Stuff like that. Sciences in general. All of this depends on math; all of it speaks math. It's a language I wish I spoke. (In fact, I wish I spoke at least three other languages besides my own. I'm still tinkering with the idea of getting a DVD course in Spanish--supposedly very good--and teaching myself. [Maybe I can get my daughter to go in halfsies with me; she did for an art course.] Anyway, the name of the company that makes these highly-touted language classes escapes me at the moment. If anybody knows, please drop a note.)

I never will speak higher math. Don't have that kind of mind. So a series like this one--the writer is Steven Strogatz, btw--is perfect. It's so good, the end of it will be a sad thing.
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