My Life, The Universe and Everything

Truths I learn. Barriers I seek to break. Let me scream.

Keep It Complex

Posted by themischord on May 2, 2005

While writing my previous post, it occured to me why people like to use graphs, equations, notations or anything mathematical to formally illustrate ideas. It is certainly an effort to make simple things look complicated. But why is it really done? The human psychology may be the reason for this. We never ponder upon a simple fact stated simply. But when it is stated in a more obscure fashion, we spend time in trying to understand it. We try to think of its ramifications. This leads to corollories and new ideas.

How would you then define Mathematics?

Simple abstraction of Complex ideas
or
Complex abstraction of Simple ideas

While most people would agree with the first statement, my guess is that math-phobics and mathematicians would prefer the second.

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7 Responses to “Keep It Complex”

  1. Joe said

    “While writing my previous post, it occured to me why people like to use graphs, equations, notations or anything mathematical to formally illustrate ideas. It is certainly an effort to make simple things look complicated. ”

    I totally agree, being a math phobic (or may be a mathematician without my knowledge). True to it’s last word, this has made life so complicated, which would have, otherwise, been an easy task.

  2. Kiran said

    ofcourse joe, you were a mathematician in your previous birth. and now you are suffering for the sins that you have done.. I think you should have invented something like riemann calculus or lie-algebras or something equally esoteric.

    Or were you Godel himself born like this ?

  3. Pavan said

    Hey abt graphs being used to explain simple things, dont you remember the most frequently repeated proverb in IIIT
    ‘ One picture is worth a thousand words ‘.

    Probably, that’s why most ppl use graphs, it’s easy to explain stuff relative to the x and y axes . Btw, thanks for the insight in the graph post.. it was useful.

  4. Rajan said

    Should we call it the “Paradox of Toolsets”.
    Basically maths started as a tool to represent reality( which we see & experience) in forms which were concise and easily to handle and manipulate but the very tools which were laid out to make it all simple inverted and made it all look complex and we people just get entangled in these tools itself.

    Are you wondering why I call it as toolsets paradox , well for another example replace “idols” in the place of maths and “consciousness” in place of “reality” you will see it.

    Who else other than Vakiba can speak colloqiually of Godel & Reimann Zeta functons. !!!!!

    I am aware of the oft quosted quote that mouli just said “A Picture is worth a thousand words” but whenever I listen to that I reminded of the opposite quote that the revered Djikstra made “Picture is for the weaker minds”

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  7. mnssk said

    no way joe! if i accept your words, it must be because you are joe! and since you are joe, i accept! :))

    math rocks! and it makes life easy!
    math is simpler than girls! :))

    (joe rocks too!)

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