Jump to content

rufus mosley

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by rufus mosley

  1. Hi studiot and genady.

    To tell the truth, I have not had time to read this forum. I did spend some time during my first days reading the Trash subforum, which gives me pause. I was not at all disturbed by the the OP's that ended in Trash. I don't know what the rules are, though the rules were referred to by number in Trash, and I have not met the mods. IUtil then, I would prefer to continue my thoughts here and pre-clear all of my posts and OP's. If someone finds something in this thread that they feel is interesting they can report it for further discussion. I would like to try a kind of easy and natural moderation. Perhaps I could get some posting partners and we can introduce my ideas slowly, filtering them into the mainstream conversation?

    The 1 + 1 = 2 topic is far from simple. What does that mean? We say "One plus one equals two" or "One and one is two." Can we say "One and one are two?" Where does the and come from in that sentence? And is not a property of any number or object. If an apple fell in the state of Oregon in 1925 and an apple falls in the state of Washington this autumn, is that two apples? They are completely separated by time and space. The and is coming into the equation by a function of the mind and has nothing to do with any apples. I can set up two apples (or two drops of water) in the "space" of my imagination and then fully conjoin them without augmenting their masses, volumes or weights. 

    Bertrand Russell says that of all the philosophical ideas, the One and Many is the most difficult to comprehend. The problem here is that if the symbol + is a conjunction, so to see two apples in my mind negates that conjunction. A full conjunction would result in the number 1. This is a disjunction, unless there is some logical loophole. 

    I saw a Chalkdust video on number theory and was surprised to see they covered this one plus one business. So, the work of Frege, Russell and Whitehead has finally made inroads into mainstream education. Wildberger puts up strokes on the board for each number so that the numbers look like this: 1 11 111 1111 11111 etc. But, he neglects to take account of the conjunction and.

    Let this be a rough sketch of the topic. I'd be willing to write an OP conjointly with another poster here, if that is possible. I do not mean that we would conjoin into one person but that we would conjoin our two or more viewpoints into one OP. This would be a positive approach to the moderation of our topics. Otherwise, I feel as if I could be meat for hungry wolves.

    So what are the rules and who are the moderators?

  2. On 11/24/2022 at 12:04 PM, studiot said:


    Hello rufus and welcome.

    Good, well founded discussion is always welcome here.

    I can assure you that whilst many scientists and mathematicians are too busy in their working lives to sppend much time on the history, this is not the case with all of them.

    Some even make a career out of it and I can recommend some top notch material as a result.

    For myself, as a retired applied mathematician I understand fully the pressures of 'getting an answer' in the working world.
    It is called "shut up and calculate"

    But since retirement I have been able to look around at the History and Philosophy of Science and Maths which has enabled me to fill in many gaps and achieve a more rounded view of it all.


    Please note (did you read the rules here?) that for your first 24 hours you can only make 5 posts  - so use them wisely  -

    This is a very effective anti spammer measure.

    Studiot - Thanks for your reply. I got very sidetracked in life just after posting this topic. That's why I was missing in action. I see you have an appreciation for the history of science. I am wondering whether a topic such as "Does 1 + 1 = 2?" is going to cause a problem here. As I said, I was banned in another math forum for asking what people think of this question. I remember being taught this first thing in grade school but the teacher never proved it. I'm finding it a great challenge to understand in what sense these symbols should be taken. A conjoinment of 1 with 1 would result with 1. If I add 1 drop of water to 1 drop of water, I have 1 drop of water. So, 1 + 1 = 1!

    I think this would be inconvenient for those who learn mathematics by rote. Math relies on convention and 1 + 1 = 2 is not only the most famous equation in the history of the subject but is a prerequisite for further development. The question belongs to mathematical philosophy and perhaps that is where I should be posting? In the Philosophy section. But many of the ideas that I have are so crackpot that I think I would be most comfortable posting in the Jokes thread or perhaps we could have a Jokes subforum where I can let my imagination run wild. I am finally turned on to mathematics now that I see it as an art form. Another good place for us crackpots would be a Science Fiction subforum. In Sci-Fi we don't have to prove our premises. We ask the readers for "suspended unbelief." In such a forum, I could posit as a first premise that there is no speed limit in the universe. What, then happens to the theory of relativity? That is for the smarter people here to answer. 

    I go into this because I am very concerned about having my threads locked or deleted and myself being banned for my imaginative pursuits in math and science.

    And what do the moderators think? I would like to ask for a cooperative effort in moderation. I can post sample OP's here in this thread and we can preview what I am thinking before I post these topics. I am fine posting in the Jokes thread, but then people will complain that my jokes are not funny. A Crackpot subforum might work.

  3. 51 minutes ago, mistermack said:

    That's interesting. How do they maintain the copyright privileges if books are available in a pdf? 

    I haven't read a book for years, my eyes are pretty crap so all my reading is done on a big screen. I did find a source for free books a few years ago, and started reading one or two but my attention span snapped.

    I like reading classic literature, philosophy, science, math and history. So, most of what I am interested in is in the public domain. It's also good to pick up a recent title evry now and then. My current read - The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper, was published in 1934. If you look at any of my lists, the vast majority of what I read was written not less than a century ago.

  4. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History - Stephen Jay Gould

    Origin of Species - Darwin

    Principles of Geology - Lyell

    Elements - Euclid

    Introduction to Arithmetic - Nicomachus

    The Geometry - Descartes

    Complete Archimedes

    Treatise on Light - Huygens

    Genetics and the Origin of Species - Dobzhansky

    Analytical Theory of Heat - Fourier

    Complete works of Freud

    Science and Hypotheses - Poincare

    An Introduction to Mathematics - Whitehead

    Relativity: The Special and the General Theory - Einstein

    Physics and Philosophy - Heisenberg


  5. I use PDF downloads of books I find on gutenebrg and archive.org. Sometimes I read online or open PDF's on a computer. Lately, I am splitting PDF's into image file and loading them onto my big screen TV. Insted of watching television shows, I read a book on the TV. This is really nice for browsing and previewing books.

  6. Rules for the Direction of the Mind and The Geometry - Descartes

    Complete Plays of Shakespeare (This is the BBC video edition with subtitles, so I can watch the plays and read the text. I'm about 2/3 of the way through)

    Foundations of Arithmetic - Frege

    How to Read a Book - Mortimer Adler

    10 Philosophical Mistakes - Adler

    Analytical Art - Viete

    Genetics and the Origin of Species - Dobzansky (I'm also reading all of the supporting documents found in the bibliography)

    Elements - Euclid (just browsing but may commit to rereading this)

    Introduction to Arithmetic - Nicomachus (same situation as per Euclid)

    Chapter 37 IDEA (from the Syntopicon in the Brittanica set of Great Books of the Western World)

    Some other stuff...


  7. 13 minutes ago, Sensei said:

    Woah! That was a great reply, Sensei. I didn't expect that. I was just looking up stuff about triangular numbers and the sexigesimal system. I wonder if triangular numbers would make more sense using that system? What is your favorite triangular number? Don't say 666! Discovering that number while I was working out a table of the triangles makes me wonder whether there was not some extremely major historical conflict in the dark past between the cultures that developed the sexigesimal and eventually the decimal systems. I mean, why didn't the triangle make it as the first power? Why is the first power the square? It would seem like x3  could have been the trinagle rather than the cube. Then the square could have been xexcept these systems are incompatible. You can't make a cube out of triangular pyramids, except with right angled ones. But triangular numbers are equilateral.

  8. Some books I've read recently (in the past two years.) This is all over my head! Well, not all all. I don't know if all of this could be pigeonholed as "philosphy." it's philosophy in the old sense of Natural Philosophy, Natural History and Natural Theology. I think this is what were the names of the earlier sciences.

    Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy - Russell

    Principia Mathematica - Russell & Whitehead (but I'm only through the introduction and the part of the Theory of Deduction)

    Introduction to Arithmetic - Nicomachus

    Genetics and the Origin of Species - Dobzhansky

    Principles of Human Knowledge - Berkeley

    Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding - Hume

    Essay Concerning Human Understanding - Locke

    Physics and Philosophy - Heisenberg

    Geometry - Descartes

    Some of these I've read multiple times but hardly understand a thing. I've read the entire set of the GBWW, but don't quiz me on it! I think I'll get a very poor grade. Conversation might help put my thoughts together. I am an expert at crackpot theories, though! Is that going to help me? :)



  9. Hi. You have a lucky face.

    Is this a good place in the forums to introduce myself? I am reading the Great Books of the Western World, which has a lot of important books in the history of math and science. But the strange thing is that the great books people that I've known are not really proficient in the grammar and therefore cannot talk to me much about the issues of sciences and maths. The other thing is that when I want to talk about these things from an historical perspective, the scientists and mathameticians kind of think it's a waste of time to talk about a 100 or 500 year old piece of writing. So, I'm wondering if I can communicate here? Lately I have been study some philosophy of mathematics, and when I posted in a math forum the topic "Does 1 + 1 = 2?" I was immediately banned for life!  Ha! The fact is (I think, anyway) that philosophers and mathemeticians have never been able to prove that 1 + 1 = 2. At least Frege couldn't. 

    But I see that there is a lot of banning here, and I am not looking for trouble, but I must warn you that I am sort of a kook! Are we going to get along?

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.