Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Batya taught me that I do not need titles for my post. I am fully aware that the Matriarchs watch over me.
It looks like Site Meter has recorded 1000 hits. As Maxim pointed out, many of them are mine (he said that they are all mine, which is only close to true) but still it is a warm feeling. So thanks to those who click on this thing who are not me.
Maxim got the latest issue of Notices last week, and there was one article I am still going through. It is about diffeomorphic spaces in R5 and their folding tendencies... er no.
It is actually a list of the canonical math jokes in the business, of which I heard half from Yehuda already. The link is here, and I recommend all ya'll print yourself out a copy and have a good laugh (I only get a few at best, but at least they are funny- to my head).
Here are my favorite:
Q: What’s purple and commutes?
A: An abelian grape. (Yehuda's favorite)

Q: What do you call a young eigensheep?
A: A lamb, duh! (I actually get that one- how sad)

Q:What do you get when you cross a mountain goat and a mountain climber?
A: Nothing—you can’t cross two scalars. (or any variation thereof)

How to prove it. Guide for lecturers.

Proof by vigorous handwaving: Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.
Proof by forward reference: Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author, which is often not as forthcoming as at first.
Proof by example: The author gives only the case n=2and suggests that it contains most of the ideas of the general proof.
Proof by deferral: “We’ll prove this later in the course.”
Proof by reference to inaccessible literature: The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found in a privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian Philological Society, 1883.
Proof by importance: A large body of useful consequences all follow from the proposition in question.
Proof by accumulated evidence: Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample.
Proof by cosmology: The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or meaningless. Popular for proofs of the existence of God.
-And my favorite-
Proof by intimidation: “Trivial.” (Thank's Ilya)

1 comment:

ginsbu said...

In a related story, some 'proofs that p' jokes about famous philosophers:

Morganbesser: If not p, what? q maybe?
(Hint: He grew up on the lower east side.)

Katz: I have seventeen arguments for the claim that p, and I know of only four for the claim that not-p. Therefore p.

Colin McGinn: Someday someone might discover that P, and I want to get the credit. Therefore P.

John Searle: The argument for not-P has seven steps, and I'm way too old for that. Therefore P.

David Chalmers: These considerations tend to suggest something in the vicinity of the ballpark of P. Therefore P.

Churchland: Certain of my opponents claim to think that not-p; but it is precisely my thesis that they do not. Therefore p.

Enjoy more at: