Years ago, I actually studied maths for a while at school and uni. I can't say that I was particularly good at it, but I did rather enjoy it. I found it a wonderfully pointless activity; if someone had pointed out an obvious and simple way to use maths to make breakfast, say, I think I would have been disappointed and given it up immediately.
Not that I was particularly good at it, and I don't remember much of it now anyway- really when I think about maths now it's to remember how much of it I've forgotten. I didn't mind geometry (something about parallel triangles and what happens when AB meets CD via DF and BS but somehow gets confused with LM and PX, causing us all to turn on the telly and watch QA). Calculus was fun (well, I thought the name was fun, and that's all I know about it now), and of course algebra, which was all about saying a + b = a + b was laughably simple (but then so was I). There was integration (not sure), induction (no idea), statistics (nine tenths of the time I have no idea what people were talking about after they said 'nine tenths of the time') and trigonometry (do mathematicians ever run out of triangles? Apparently not). I can tell you a little bit about pi - the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter, or something like that - and I can tell you a little less about logarithms, which are things that mathematicians use to do something else (I don't know what). To this day, I do know what the square root of two was (and presumably still is) to ten digits, but I can't tell you why.
And then, of course, there is e. I can't really tell you anymore than that, e is just e. I don't know where e comes from, I don't know what you do to get e, I don't know what you do once you get e, I don't know why you would want e in the first place, I certainly don't know what e is equal to. I did know, or at least I think I knew, once. I certainly remember doing a lot of things with it. Maybe even then I didn't care much, really: I just thought e was really cool. Whatever it was, in all its mysterious ineffable numinous intangibility.
So basically this is a blog post about something I once knew a little bit about but know even less about now. They say Socrates, the man who decided that no-one was sure about anything, was the wisest man in the world. Well, when it comes to maths, I think I've forgotten more than I ever knew. Does that make me a genius, or something?
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
- ► 2017 (33)
- ► 2016 (71)
- ► 2015 (106)
- ► 2014 (135)
- ► 2013 (173)
- ► 2012 (275)
- ► 2011 (261)
- Z marks the spot
- When it comes to maths, I've forgotten more than I...
- The F word
- Variations on a theme by Hillaire Belloc
- A list of made up swear words
- Blog post written by a certain cat
- Rules to live by
- How to make things
- Things the whole know should world
- Plagues, hordes, locusts, cats
- How to catch things
- To the beauteousness of the beautiful one in their...
- Workers seizing the means and arms and legs and br...
- An interesting point
- I'm so tired I could sleep a horse
- Federal Shadow whatever representing the federal s...
- In explaining why he would not
- Spot the differences - Melbourne Cup edition
- Very somewhat bigger events of the present day
- An in-depth examination of some problematic issues...
- ▼ November (23)
- ► 2009 (290)
- ► 2008 (316)
- ► 2007 (392)
- ► 2006 (373)
- ► 2005 (287)