Friday, July 21, 2006

Is This Really Math? Or Is This Just Crap?

I stumbled upon a website today: www.mathematics21.org . It was a funny name... after all, math + drinking age = João Magueijo?

No, 21 does not refer to the age, but the 21ST CENTURY! Upon this realization, I reminded myself that I should approach this page with an open mind, and crap alarms armed.

The page was impossible to navigate, and unreadable in Firefox because the XML was screwed up. I clicked links and ended up going in circles. Everything is in outline format, which is usually great and easy. This, however, was outline format from hell, because there were ten outlines with no distinct starting position. I had to pick up this thing in pieces... in Internet Explorer...

This is what I managed to get from this mathematical revolution (because of the outlines):
  • This will change mathematics, immediately.
  • Everyone should be accquainted with this... because it's better.
  • It involves substituting common algorithms for mathematical objects.
  • These mathematical objects... are better.
This page so poorly designed--I'm getting crap vibes from it, and worse. He claims this new method is great; all it seems to be is confusing. Essentially, it's avoiding math, and replacing math with variables that represent math, but really have no practical application. What happens when you integrate one of these objects? Does it do anything? No. You've still gotta figure out the integral.

I'm keeping an open mind...

One of the big claims of this... d00d is that this new math will transcend "AXIOMATIC METHOD." AXIOMATIC is a big word. AXIOMATIC sounds archaic and evil. I had heard the term before but couldn't put my finger on its definition. I checked Wikipedia and found out that "An axiom is a sentence or proposition that is taken for granted as true, and serves as a starting point for deducing other truths. In many usages axiom and postulate are used as synonyms."

For example, this is an axiom, stated by Euclid, a dead Greek guy, "Things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another." So, that means that if x=2 and b=2, x=b. Ok, duh. According to this guy, he's throwing AXIOMATICISM AWAY. Let's wait a minute and see if 2 is still equal to 2...

I'm really trying to keep an open mind.

Here are 2 ampersands (&& ). Here are 2 more (&& ).
&& = &&
Yea... as best I can tell, 2 still equals 2. The axiom remains in place. The world is saved.

Things descended, soon into even deeper crap--into Crap Lake. I've spent a jolly good bit of time programming; this guys says he can make it easier. (I attempted, at this point, to find the page where I read this on. I can't. It's too big of a goddamn mess to find anything. How did this guy write this much? Why?) He says his form of math uses algorithms as data structures. This makes no sense. If you want to get anything practical out of such a data structure, you would have to recalculate the result over-and-over again, thereby limiting your processing speed, especially for very large or slow algorithms.

Has he written a program before? More than one? Has he ever written one "just because?" I have.

The author of this webpage (whose name I omit, for his own sake) really slid below the "Free Energy Line," where people begin to sound more ignorant than, if you're unfamiliar with them, those total pseudoscientists who claim to pull electricity out of their ass (where they have hidden, a small generator burning bullshit). Pardon the run-on, but to the point, he said this when talking about using his method to create massive libraries of information with his "method:"

"These repositories can also count how often a given person or entity generates new ideas. This can be used as a mean for finding and chosing clever persons for high positions and to make the amounts of job earnings more fair. (I deem that it will decrease World unfairness because the criteria in greater degree than now will be based on inherent objective mind abilities rather than on subjective criteria of education and subjective personal characteristics.)"

Hmm... somebody fucked around in high school and wasn't admitted to college. Oops... but his SAT was so high!

He started an online journal for POST-AXIOMATIC Mathematics. He is the only author published.

He claims that nobody has ever studied formulas, presuming you equate formulas to functions. This guy has. Ooh! and this guy. They invented this branch of mathematics, which deals entirely with functions.

Note: If you don't believe, for some reason, that a formula is a function, take any formula, solve it for the dependent variable, and plug in all values possible for the independent variable. Graph the results. Look! a function!

Open mind... closed.

This guy is painfully, ridiculously wrong. He's using a "theory" that is not actually a "theory" to try to revolutionize mathematics; it doesn't. All it does is navigates around the truly challenging and exciting part of math--to reach the heights of human understanding, wisdom, and ability--at times through the worst misery one can experience (I've been there). Through fancy lettering and jibberish rhetoric, he has attempted to appear intelligent. However, those who can see through his garbage can tell that it is nothing more than weak sauce. Period.

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