The math thing in your head

You and I are sitting together talking.  You leave and I can no longer see you.  That’s an instance of one minus one equals zero.  It has been shown that babies have some facility with and some understanding of small arithmetic even though they have not been taught arithmetic.

Beyond our ability to do very small arithmetic, I believe mathematics is a product of our imaginations.  That means we create mathematics using our abilities to create and manipulate metaphors.

One million is a concept in our heads.  We won’t find it outside our heads.  Even if you show me precisely one million grains of sand, the million part is in my head.

Good poets and good mathematicians have a lot in common.

Advertisements
Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://statestreet.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/the-math-thing-in-your-head/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: