Bruno and Kim,

enjoyable discours by two math.-ly impaired minds (excuse me Kim!) - I met
several youngsters (up to 70 y.o.) who simply had no 'pitch' to math - yet
were good smart artists, even business(wo)men, parents and technicians (not
so with politicians, they are not what I call 'smart').
I was deemed at 15 "the best mathemathician in the school", because I was
lazy to do my homework and was summoned to recite the cosin rule (whatever
these terms are in English) and I invented a (not quite fitting?) other one
on location.
Then I continued 'not learning' and fell back in college, where my elective
for a chemical Ph.D. was math.
People are different, Fermi 'dreamed up' a complete electric circuit without
the designing work, Mozart popped out a full piece of performable music,
Napoleon "just knew" how to win a battle, Michelangelo "saw" the Moses
statue within the block of marble, to just chip off the excessive material.
Most of them had no comprehension to math problems (may be Fermi had?).
It is like a musical gift, or even a good pich. BTW, many mathematicians
have a good musical talent, too, beside many have a little 'twitch' in their
mind for common things.
When Goedel had to apply for US nationalization, he was thoroughly "trained"
by friends not to say "anything" except for the shortest reply to the very
questions (knowing him...). The examining US attorney asked him a question
about the Constitution. Goedel: (after a little musing): "well, I can tell
you what is wrong with the Constitution..." - The attorney (who was friendly
warned) laughed and let him pass.
Happy New Year!

On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 11:28 AM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:

> Hi Kim,

> On 20 Dec 2008, at 06:06, Kim Jones wrote:  Hmmm... My diagnostic is that
> you are suffering from an acute form of math-anxiety.  I can cure that!

>   Looks like I have to say "Yes, Doctor" again!

> Good!
>    Tell me first if you have been once mentally or physically raped or
> tortured by a mathematician.
> Yes. When I was in first class, the school teacher said "Stand up and
> recite your 7 times table". I became anxiety-struck, got sweaty palms and
> sat down. I think I may have cried. I think I should find this person and
> bring them to justice, what do you say?
> The 7 times table? It is a real bastard! If this was a bit systematic, you
> can bring him or them to justice. Only be sure the judge will not ask you to
> stand up and recite the seven times table ...
> Of course there is nothing wrong that a teacher ask a student to stand up
> and recite the seven times table, but from what has followed and from your
> previews posts and from my experience I can guess it was a bit more than
> that.
> Later on, it was discovered that the part of my brain that does mathematics
> had somehow mapped itself to the musical part, possibly even at that very
> moment - so that the musical perception became more finely-grained while the
> maths-perception missed out

>   I kid you not, a psychologist told me
> I believe you.

>   Friedrich Gauss said that math is the most easy of all the sciences, and
> I think he is right.
>  Yes, but he and you probably were not physically abused or tortured by
> your primary school maths teachers the way I was
> Actually, I could say that I have been more, and less, lucky.
> More lucky because in primary school, and in high school, I have been in
> front of real gentle and good mathematicians almost all the time.
> This has given to me a solid base.
> Less lucky because I have been tortured at university, once by a logician
> in 1977, and again by the same manipulator in 1994, (with a geometer and a
> philosopher, who were strictly speaking just other victims of that
> logicians, (actually a brilliant and ingenuous manipulator).
> You can imagine the scandal. It is so big, that they use, still today a lot
> of energy to hide it. for just one example which is verifiable on the net,
> when I got the price of the best thesis in Paris in 1998, see
> they have succeeded, from Brussels, to make that price (money+the
> publication of the thesis+ promotion of the thesis) disappear. I don't even
> figure in the list of ancient laureates, see
> Instead of promotion I got life long defamation and calumnies. The only
> explanation I got from Paris has been: c'est la vie!
> I am more lucky than you, Kim, because I was an adult, and all in all, they
> have only succeeded in deepening my research, in broadening my inquiry, in
> motivating me eventually to address myself to the most impartial judge ever,
> the universal machine. They have not succeed to break down my enthusiasm for
> long, and they have made me eventually an infinitely patient teacher.  I
> have a very positive nature in life, which makes me extract the positive
> things even from the worst.  I have still a little handicap for finishing
> paper, though, or deciding when a text is finished, and that is why I like
> oral or electronical talk. Tom Caylor asked me why I don't submit papers,
> and the reason is there.
> It is probably not obvious to find something new in math, but it is easy to
> apprehend the discovery of others. That needs only work and patience, and
> some taste, but you are musician and I am sure you have the taste for at
> least some part of math.
    The part that where they drop a silicon chip into my brain with the
> whole of mathematics and computational science on it, plus the mental
> software to run it - and I simply understand all of it without going to the
> monumental effort of learning it.
> How far off can that be?
> The pleasure is in the (long) path (I'm afraid). Note that a math book, a
> course or a conversation is already a good approximation of this.
>   Math is very large. Almost all tastes can be recompensed. Baroc,
> Classical, Jazz, Pop, Techno, Melodic, High, ...
> All geometers like beauty. All logicians like mystery (but only one half of
> the logicians admit the fact).
> Mathematicians of different sensibilities can be terrible among themselves
> and with their students. It is very sad!
> Like the one I copped when I was in first class who publicly humiliated me
> and shorted my math motherboard
> no wonder I need a new, fully digital, artificial brain. This one comes
> PRE-loaded with the whole of mathematics!!
> In that case your head will explode into a multiverse. It could be a good
> thing, but let us proceed more carefully.
> I will do KIM 2.2 asap (= tomorrow, or Sunday, or Monday). It introduces
> the key difference between first person and third
> person experiences/discourses.
>   We cannot really know what a person experience is, so we will contend
> ourselves for a time with their discourses (including silences).
> This sounds like the fun part
> You are very kind and sensible, it seems to me,  like most victim of (math)
> harassment. Harasser acts by jealousy and sadism, they want to destroy what
> they hoped to be but believes they can't be, in general because they have
> been themselves victim of harassment.  I am sure in this list some other
> have been trapped in similar circumstances. It is widespread with varying
> degrees. I think the circumstances unite so we can help each other,
> Best,
> Bruno

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to