I keep hearing about this internet thing. Maybe some day I will try it.

my favorite mathematician

I have his bio and other writings.


I wuv him. (link via the top of today's reddit)
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 16th, 2007 2:26pm
One of his quotes:

"Men are slaves, and women are bosses."

Yeah, that sounds about right.
Permalink Full name 
July 16th, 2007 2:27pm
> He seemed sentenced to a life of solitariness from birth,

> His friends took care of the affairs of everyday life for him - checkbook, tax returns, food.

Hmm. The first sentence is obviously not true. He was one of the more social mathematicians around. He had, in essence, translated material goods for friendship goods (there is some equation in that sentence, somehow). An attachment to things, for an attachment to people (and mathematical ideas). Which is why his life does seem so light and affable and other-worldly.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 16th, 2007 2:46pm
von Neumann is my hero.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 16th, 2007 2:50pm
Didn't he die a couple of years ago?

M. Mandelbrot is my favorite, un oych a lanzman.
Permalink LeftWingPharisee 
July 16th, 2007 3:00pm
I like how he called babies "epsilons".  I use that one now and again.

Nobody gets it, though.

I also think he was bad at simple arithmetic (maybe I'm confusing him with Einstein). It has been over two years since I read his bio "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers."
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 16th, 2007 3:01pm
> von Neumann is my hero.

Wasn't he the one that proved mathematically that the USA should nuke the Soviet Union?
Permalink Send private email Erik Springelkamp 
July 16th, 2007 3:15pm
The Man Who Loved Only Numbers is a good book about Erdos.
Permalink hello. 
July 16th, 2007 3:19pm
He might have, but I've never heard that one.

One of the stories about him:

There's that trick question about two trains moving towards each other at different speeds, a bird flies back and forth between them, turning around whenever it meets the next train.  What's the total distance the bird flies.  The hard solution is to write a complicated series that gives the distance the bird flies on each leg, adjusting for how each leg is shorter as the trains get closer.  Or, you can just work out the closing speed, divide the initial distance by it, then multiply by how fast the bird flies.

Supposedly someone posed the puzzle to von Neumann and he instantly came back w/ the right answer, so they said "oh, you must have used the clever trick," but after they explained the simple solution he said "no, I worked out the answer to the series."
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 16th, 2007 3:21pm
Well, the series solution is only 2 very easy formulas more work.
Permalink Send private email Erik Springelkamp 
July 16th, 2007 3:34pm
Unfortunately, Krauthammer is as full of shit as ever here.  "Mathematicians tend to bloom early and die early", he says, then goes on to list two--count 'em, two examples of mathematicians who died young. 

Jeeze I wish Chucky would 'leave' in the Erdos sense.
Permalink star wars kid 
July 17th, 2007 1:59am

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