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Not-so-math and Really-not-math things you could talk about

Abstruse Goose (So many questions)

Abstruse Goose (So many questions)

A few days ago, my friend Alokananda and I had a discussion about not-so-math topics we could write notes about. Here are the ideas we came up with in no particular order:

  • How the physics/chemistry/math/anything syllabus is impractical and what could have been a good way to improve it?
  • Do students have a cognitive limit, i.e, can anybody learn anything arbitrarily hard?
  • What is the dissimilarity between life and mathematics that makes most people think life isn't solvable?
  • What is beauty? Is there a thumb rule for defining beauty? Can we explain beauty in terms of simpler things?
  • Is there something asymmetric that is beautiful? What makes it beautiful?
  • Why we need more doctors than mathematicians or vice-versa?
  • Why mathematics is(n't) meaningful?
  • Why or why not there is a life after death?
  • Why astrology is(n't) justified and if the butterfly effect is relevant?
  • Does everything that happen happen for a reason?
  • Experiences you look forward to as a doctor
  • Why or why not the math class is boring?
  • How the entrance exams could have been improved, if hypothetically, you were in power
  • Is morality subjective or absolute?
  • What you think infinity is? And if there is something that we cannot comprehend about it?
  • What is the right way to deal with unfair situations or people? And more importantly what is unfairness?
  • What is knowledge? And can we know anything, at all?
  • What is truth?
  • The Fundamental Existential Problem: Why does anything exist at all?
  • No matter how strong the expressing power, can there something conceivable, that a language cannot define
  • Fun cooking recipes that you know that'd help being productive as a mathematician

Note by Agnishom Chattopadhyay
1 year, 7 months ago

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  Easy Math Editor

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The Fundamental Existential Problem: Why does anything exist at all? "Nothing" is a concept, it's a thing. So, if nothing exists, we have "nothing", right? "Nothing", by the way, has an entropy of \(0\), which some argue represents the highest possible order! So, it all starts with God, which is perfect order, which is nothing?

Michael Mendrin - 1 year, 7 months ago

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Are you invoking the Anthropic Principle?

Agnishom Chattopadhyay - 1 year, 7 months ago

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Actually, no. The Anthropic Principle is loosely based on the idea that the universe that we see is the way it is, otherwise we wouldn't be sitting here talking about it, i.e., of all the possible universes with different laws and conditions, we're going to find ourselves in those universes that permit such ourselves with our ability to observe and think about it. For an notable example, for us to even remember anything, there has to be some irreversibility in the direction of time---not necessarily always the case. But my comment about nothing is nothing about that.

In a nutshell, what I am arguing is that to speak of "nothing existing at all" could be a meaningless concept. What exactly does that mean, and how that can ever be tested? How do we even know that it is possible that there can be such a thing that "there is nothing that exists"? No matter how much you try to achieve "nothingness", you fail and you end up with something that has properties---such as zero entropy, a very special attribute to have.

Michael Mendrin - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Michael Mendrin So then is "nothing" a relative term, in the sense that it can only be defined as the absence of "something"? Or does it have to be so binary; can there be a "state" that is neither one of "nothingness" nor "somethingness"?

Brian Charlesworth - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Michael Mendrin That makes sense. Nothingness is probably not that well defined.

Agnishom Chattopadhyay - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Agnishom Chattopadhyay An analogous problem is trying to define "perfect disorder" Go try it. The more you try to create the greatest possible disorder, the more order you'll find in it statistically. Look up "pseudorandom generators". Not easy---it takes a lot of work to create true randomness. It doesn't come easy.

Michael Mendrin - 1 year, 7 months ago

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I'm sorry to disagree with you sir but I feel that something of perfect order is something we haven't found not God

Anirudh Chandramouli - 1 year, 7 months ago

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Fear not, Aniruth, it wasn't really a commentary about the attributes of God anyway. I invoked it to make a point. See my reply to Agnishom.

Michael Mendrin - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Michael Mendrin Now I get what you wanted to say

Anirudh Chandramouli - 1 year, 7 months ago

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My classmate once said this to me when he was really tired:

"What is tuna?" "Is Tuna even real?"

Julian Poon - 1 year, 7 months ago

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Were you also tired? What did you tell him. This is interesting

Anirudh Chandramouli - 1 year, 7 months ago

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I was tired too, so I I told him to shut up...

Julian Poon - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Julian Poon You spoilt the fun you should have let him continue his rant

Anirudh Chandramouli - 1 year, 7 months ago

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\[\huge \text{What is "what" ?}\]

Samuel Jones - 1 year, 7 months ago

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\[\huge \text{What!?}\]

\[\large \text{Who is "who"? When is "when"? Where is "where"? Why is "why"?}\]

Brian Charlesworth - 1 year, 7 months ago

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Who is "who" ? Ans - Dr. Who

Samuel Jones - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Samuel Jones Or perhaps the World Health Organization .... but I prefer the one with the TARDIS. :)

Brian Charlesworth - 1 year, 6 months ago

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"Hwat?" says the proto-Germanic, to which he immediately hears from his neighbors, "hwut?", "wuht?", "hwot?", "hwu-UH...?"

Michael Mendrin - 1 year, 7 months ago

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@Michael Mendrin Was in aller Welt?

Brian Charlesworth - 1 year, 7 months ago

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