Re: virus: Re: Evaluating Math
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 09:41:10 -0600 (CST)

On Fri, 29 Nov 1996, Lior Golgher wrote:

> Todd Kuipers wrote:
> > This reminds me of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
> Yap, in my post I aimed to the concept of 'quality' as presented by
> Pirsig in his great book. As david pointed out, the characteristics of
> an object can be dealt by Cohesive Math. How good is a certain object?
> That's something you can't count with Cohesive Math.
> > I think Pirsig did something like this in his book.
> Well if he had done such a thing, I wouldn't have raised the question.
> If quality is subjective, and I think it is, then Evaluating Math should
> be subjective too, just like Aesthetics.

This dictates a lot of the definitions in mathematics. If a proposed
definition for a mathematical object ends up lacking properties like 0+x
= x, 0*x = 0, or 1*x = x, we say the definition is "bad" [unaesthetic]
and try to find a better object!

Even if the evaluation is objective, the selection of interesting
properties is subjective. [This is currently the main barrier to
computer-based mathematical research. There has been some progress in
number theory on this.]


/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd