Bigotry (you win, I give up)

Rustom Mody rustompmody at gmail.com
Fri Apr 28 00:36:17 EDT 2017


On Friday, April 28, 2017 at 9:36:02 AM UTC+5:30, Mike Reveile wrote:
> On Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 9:44:15 AM UTC-7, Rurpy wrote:
> > On 04/18/2017 04:34 PM, Chris Angelico wrote:
> > > On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 8:28 AM, Ben Finney wrote:
> > >> Chris Angelico writes:
> > >>
> <<snip>>
> 
> Interesting thread... but volatile.
> I find imaginary numbers to be quite useful for understanding real problems... but I do not try to make them real. They are simply useful ways of looking at the real world.
> I do the same thing when I think of gods and monsters... useful, but not real.


Lets call real in the math sense realₘ — ie real-number, imaginary-umber etc
Lets call real in the ordinary sense realₒ —ie having existence

History suggests that realₘ was a defiant attempt by mathematicians
to cock a snook at other mathematicians who contended that the set ℝ was un-realₒ

Interestingly these arguments led to the establishment of the field of computer
science: http://blog.languager.org/2015/03/cs-history-0.html

Personal Note: As a 11-year old reading George Gamov 1-2-3-∞, I had a great
deal of trouble understanding imaginary numbers.
Later when studying it in math-class I managed to get along with them by
playing by the symbol-manipulation rules
Much later I understood why I did not understand: The word 'imaginary' was cueing
me — subconsciously of course — 
This is not real...
This is not true...
This is not...
What the &*^%#% is this??

And still later... learnt from Dijkstra the term 'lousy-language' and its consequences


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