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.

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

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