Math, my admiration and gratitude grows by leaps and bounds. (It increases geometrically, one might say.) You worked with Bob Moses? Wow.
I love your history of algebra. By coincidence, we were just talking about algebra on another site where I was chatting. But this conversation here is much more exalted. The whole phi ratio is amazing, and its many appearances in nature are as beautiful to me as any rainbow or cloud formation. In fact, the page in The Da Vinci Code where the main character talks about phi and the Fibonacci numbers is the single most interesting section of that book for me. I was disappointed that there wasn't more of that to the story. I didn't care a whit about the supposed lineage of the French royal family. I wanted more number patterns! And how cool to hear about how it helps people analyze stock prices, SkateFiguring. Hah! Learn Fibonacci and see the world.
I think most people take our numeral system for granted, and yet it's such a huge step forward. Never even mind algebra...that numeral system revolutionized what could be done with math in Europe, affecting architecture and other applied sciences. The Roman system was not a place value system. The number XLVIII, or 48, looked larger than the number M, or 1,000. Impossible to do any computation, even basic column addition, let alone multiplication and division. The idea of zero as a place holder (also used by I think the Mayans) was crucial. I believe the Europeans had to use little stones, called calculi (aha!), for actual computation.
I'm curious...anyone know the history of math and number systems in East Asia?
So much fascinating discussion from Michelle Kwan starting a second career.
Last edited by Olympia; 06-06-2011 at 08:30 PM.
Originally Posted by Seniorita
Alt 106 on my keyboard. But I can't see this on GS :( Maybe GS does not support this font?
Last edited by Mathman; 06-06-2011 at 08:22 PM.
leave no stone unturned
OK, I can see your phi but not mine. But I can copy and paste yours.
Hooray! I've heard of art by committee but this is the first phi by committee that I've ever encountered.
leave no stone unturned
Last thing, alt + 106 for me is letter j. Have you tried alt +1000?
we are OΦΦ topic.
Like subtlety in ice dancing
Mathman, you are a true hero! You are a civil rights pioneer and the efforts of you and those you worked with helped make this land a more perfect union. I'm sorry for and humbled by the fact that I've never heard of Fannie Lou Hamer until now, but reading up on her, what an amazing woman — she braved jail and violent beatings just to register black people to vote. Thank you for standing along side her and for all the ideals she did!
But the fight continues. Look what happened to ACORN. Or all the odious requirements and fees being added to voting in various states as we type. And I've seen first hand in Ohio how a polling place that serves two neighboring districts had an empty queue for the white majority district, while the black majority district was lined up around the block because they used the same number of voting machines for a far larger number of people. I've been threatened with cops, dogs and guns on my voter registration drives.
But we wouldn't even have these freedoms to fight for if you, Fannie Hamer, Bob Moses and other civil rights heroes didn't get us there in the first place. Again, thank you.