S=(E-F)/T LO25453

From: John Zavacki (jzavacki@greenapple.com)
Date: 10/13/00

Replying to LO25439 --

Whether reductionist or not, I too, find the use of formulae to express
the relationships between and among human beings problematic. I have said
here before, that once I understood that mathematics is an interpolated
subset of language, I lost my fear of it. This is still true. I have no
fear of mathematics, yet the use of these atomistic symbols to describe
the complexity of human behavior (which has no "steady" state) makes it
not only difficult to understand the saying of the thing, but also, the
reason for its saying.

It is difficult on this list to say, "At, we got the point." as we would
in a meeting. Or to say, "John, let's put that on the parking lot, it's
interesting, but not germain." So this is not really a dialogue. Or is

I will assume it is and I will say that I find the use of atomistic
symbols to be no particular interest to me in this context. I use them in
the theory of language and the theory of cognition and find them useful to
describe the relationships among the phonemes and morphemes and other
"memes" which I encounter. But language is so much richer that the parts
of it (and these little symbols are a small part of it) that I wonder why
At, with his great gift for painting the rich picture with words would
present us with only this thumbnail sketch?


> In 1963 in my first university course in mathematics the wise old
> professor (Dirk van Rooy) said to me in front of all the
> students "Mr De
> Lange, if you cannot say in words what a mathematical formula
> means, you
> cannot work with that formula". I felt extremely embarassed and even
> angry, but eventually I became forever grateful to him for saying so.
> Since that day I began to discipline myself to say in
> ordinary language
> what is the meaning of every formula which I work with.


"John Zavacki" <jzavacki@greenapple.com>

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