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On Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:11 pm, Andreas Rc3b6hler wrote: > > > On 30.06.2016 10:24, Steven D'Aprano wrote: >> On Thursday 30 June 2016 12:13, Rustom Mody wrote: >> >> >> The irrational and emotional psychological forces that inspire >> mathematicians can make interesting reading, but they have no relevance >> in deciding who is write or wrong. "Write" or wrong? Oh the shame :-( > Hmm, so math is not inspired by solving real world problems, for example > in physics or big-data? I didn't say that. Of course the work people do is influenced by real world problems, or their own irrational and subjective tastes. Why does one mathematician choose to work in algebra while another chooses to work in topology? As interesting as it may be to learn that (say) Pascal worked on probability theory in order to help a friend who was a keen gambler, the correctness or incorrectness of his work is independent of that fact. >> No numbers are real. > > Numbers express relations, which are represented as symbols. So far they > are real, as math exists, the human mind exists. They are real in the same way that "justice" and "bravery" are real. That is, they are *abstract concepts*, not *things*. -- Steven ?Cheer up,? they said, ?things could be worse.? So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.

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