February 24, 2007

Fifty-car pileup in the series of tubes

In case you haven't come across it yet, behold the glory of Conservapedia:

1984 was a book by George Orwell. 1984 describes an alternate history in which Oceania (Australia) is at war with Eurasia. It is a utopian book because it talks about a place where everyone is watched over by Big Brother, who makes sure people are doing what they are supposed to.

The protagonist is Winston Smith. Thre is something about rats at the end, but it is confusing. The end is probably supposed to be ambigous.

That's verbatim. For more fun, read up on elementary proofs:

The term "elementary proof" or "elementary techniques" in mathematics means use of only real numbers rather than complex numbers, which relies on manipulation of the imaginary square root of (-1). Elementary proofs are preferred because they are do not require additional assumptions inherent in complex analysis, such as that there is a unique square root of (-1) that will yield consistent results.

Mathematicians also consider elementary techniques to include objects, operations, and relations. Sets, sequences and geometry are not included.

The prime number theorem has long been proven using complex analysis (Riemann's zeta function), but in 1949 and 1950 an elementary proof by Paul Erdos and Atle Selberg earned Selberg the highest prize in math, the Fields medal.

And Kant:

The German Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was one of the most famous philosophers ever, and is therefore one of the best philosophers ever. In his "A Critique of Pure Reason," Kant criticizes pure reason as a guide to life, establishing several categories through which reason is able to comprehend the ultimate reality. Though Kant may not have been a Christian himself, he considered Christian values to be the best values in the world in space, due to the antimony of practical reason. Kant also established a systematic basis for critical philosophy, establishing synthetic a priori considerations as a prior necessity to analytic a priori concepts, and suggested a material origin for the solar system (prior to Kant, the origin of the solar system was considered to be immaterial and possibly even a priori). Kant's own suggestion for a moral daily life was the categorical imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. Expressed another way, an act is moral only if it works as a rule for everyone. For example, littering would be wrong because if everyone did it, then there would be an ugly mess. On the other hand, if a murderer asks you where someone is hiding, you should always tell them because lying is wrong. The categorical imperative can be contrasted with the hypothetical imperative, which says that you should act according to any maxim which might possibly be willed. Kant is taught in all college philosophy departments to this day, though not for praising Christianity! He remained a confirmed bachelor throughout his life.

1 comment:

MosBen said...

Hey, David Scott, my calc professor from freshman year at UPS, worked with Selberg-type Zeta functions! Neato!