(Roughly) Daily

“Who questions much, shall learn much”*…

 

From the practical and concrete (“How does WiFi work?”) to the philosophical (“How am I able to ask this question?”), explanations for humans…  For example,

“What does math not explain?” 

Math doesn’t explain why math works. And it never, ever will.

In the late 1800s, mathematicians were doing some soul-searching. They’d been solving problems and proving theorems since forever, but none of them really knew why these methods worked. And this was getting kind of awkward.

See, math is just a bunch of rules for turning true statements into other true statements. Assume some stuff, follow the rules, prove other stuff. And the crazy thing is: the stuff you prove is always, always true. Or at least, it’s never once been wrong.

Why?

Proving that the rules of math work was, for a while, one of the biggest unsolved questions in math. In 1900, David Hilbert made a list of the problems he wanted everyone to focus on for the next century. He had 23 problems, and this was one…

Read more of this answer, and others– “complicated stuff explained at a 12 year-old level”– at Romy Asks.

* Francis Bacon

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As we satisfy our curiosity, we might send gleeful birthday greetings to Joseph Lee; he was born on this date in 1862.  The scion of a wealthy Boston family, Lee introduced the first contemporary neighborhood playground in the U.S., then supported the spread of the playground movement across the country.  He is, thus, known as the “Father of the American playground movement.”

 source

 

Written by LW

March 7, 2015 at 1:01 am

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