Susskind's answer
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Cito di Pense wrote:Why ask why?
Cito di Pense wrote:There's always that picture that Penrose drew in the first few pages of The Road To Reality.
Spearthrower wrote:
Do you mean the 3 intersecting spliffs of reality?
tuco wrote:The only thing that can be explained is how something works, not why.
aufbahrung wrote:Doesn't work except within a narrowly defined set of parameters. Most equations are duds. And even those with the 'right' answer could still cause a plane crash....in the wrong place.
Spearthrower wrote:aufbahrung wrote:Doesn't work except within a narrowly defined set of parameters. Most equations are duds. And even those with the 'right' answer could still cause a plane crash....in the wrong place.
Which basically agrees that there is something correct attainable by mathematics.
Of course, no one said that all mathematics is correct.
aufbahrung wrote:
Can we remove statistics from the realm of mathematics before leaving 'math is magic' for 'math is God' to begin with?
Spearthrower wrote:aufbahrung wrote:Doesn't work except within a narrowly defined set of parameters. Most equations are duds. And even those with the 'right' answer could still cause a plane crash....in the wrong place.
Which basically agrees that there is something correct attainable by mathematics.
aufbahrung wrote:Can we remove statistics from the realm of mathematics before leaving 'math is magic' for 'math is God' to begin with?
Cito di Pense wrote:
But what is that? There are equivalences between pairs or sets of abstract (mathematical) objects. "Correct" refers to a correspondence between a statement and 'reality' or else adherence to agreed-upon rules. After a certain point not long after you start, mathematics is constructed, although you can have arguments about that if filosofeezing is your thing.
newolder wrote:If mathematics didn't work at all then my current Posts count would be 987654321 and after I click "Submit" it would change to eleventy spark and later become 6000 for no reason at all.
THERE IS A story about two friends, who were classmates in high school, talking about their jobs. One of them became a statistician and was working on population trends. He showed a reprint to his former classmate. The reprint started, as usual, with the Gaussian distribution and the statistician explained to his former classmate the meaning of the symbols for the actual population, for the average population, and so on. His classmate was a bit incredulous and was not quite sure whether the statistician was pulling his leg. "How can you know that?" was his query. "And what is this symbol here?" "Oh," said the statistician, "this is pi." "What is that?" "The ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter." "Well, now you are pushing your joke too far," said the classmate, "surely the population has nothing to do with the circumference of the circle."
Most of what will be said on these questions will not be new; it has probably occurred to most scientists in one form or another. My principal aim is to illuminate it from several sides. The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it. Second, it is just this uncanny usefulness of mathematical concepts that raises the question of the uniqueness of our physical theories. In order to establish the first point, that mathematics plays an unreasonably important role in physics, it will be useful to say a few words on the question, "What is mathematics?", then, "What is physics?", then, how mathematics enters physical theories, and last, why the success of mathematics in its role in physics appears so baffling. Much less will be said on the second point: the uniqueness of the theories of physics. A proper answer to this question would require elaborate experimental and theoretical work which has not been undertaken to date.
tuco wrote:Now, can we imagine a universe where pi wasn't like the pi we know? Of course, we can.
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