Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Great Math Mystery

I think that had I seen this when I was 7 years old, or so, I'd have done my math homework.  But then I would now likely be living in Silicon Valley.  So there'd be that shame. 


DougM said...

Thanks for that, Rodge.
It's one of my favorite think sinks (all three meanings). Having a MS (Sys Engineering, astronautical guidance & control), I've been academically inundated with high-octane math.

I liked this program's brief nod to the engineers' problem — use the lovely physics, but edit the math to develop a design that actually works within budget and on schedule.

Math is an awesome product of really smart people, and it's use in physics describes fundamental natural properties, but those fundamental properties don't exist in isolation (where those fundamental properties can be seen).
Our inability to accurately model/calculate complex interactive processes, mathematically, underscores the idea that Nature, itself, doesn't calculate.
It's a centuries-old argument.

DougM said...

Oh, and on the snarky side,
I see the pseudo-science of anthropogenic global warming as Aristotelian (see: heavy objects obviously fall faster than lighter ones, so testing is unnecessary). Sure, AGWeenies employ the window-dressing of impressive climate models. However, if the underlying mathematical model is flawed …
You know, input > model > output (but don't look closely at the input or the model).
I call it the Phase-2 problem.

Anonymous said...

2 + 2 = 4 Right?

2 cups of water and 2 cups of sand equal about 3 1/2 cups of stuff.

Hello theory, meet reality.

Anonymous said...

“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.”
Lord Kelvin, first quoted to me by my high school calculus teacher.
Lt. Col. Gen. Tailgunner dick

Ole Phat Stu said...

but your cups of sand are not 100% full. Sand's volume is a fractal part of the cup's volume. Think a sphere enclosed in a cube as an approximation. You forgot to take that into account ;-)

jw said...

@ Ole Phat Stu

try it with water and alcohol. same result.

DougM said...

^ The "solution" to the question is that there is no conservation-of-volume law.
… especially when grain alcohol is involved.

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