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Angry and frustrated

25 February, 2010

… with people attracted to “cool mathematics” seeming to misunderstand it, misapplying it, and then getting cross with those of us who find the vagueness and “rule of cool” frustrating.

They also serve who only stand and wait. We’re not artists; we’re not visionaries; but we take people’s orders, we smooth over the odd knot in the logistics, and we *do stuff that works*. We try to know what we’re doing, in short.

Not that we always succeed. But, like sub-editors, we might occasionally be given credit for knowing more than we vaunt.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Philip Brooker permalink
    2 March, 2010 1:11 pm

    Hi Yemon,
    Nice Milton reference. I have not yet really had to deal with people in other areas of academia and industry to help them out/set them straight with some mathematics, but I can imagine it is frustrating at times.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that you have my sympathy. It’s probably a good idea to vent on your blog, so that you don’t end up having to take the Amy Bishop course of action instead 🙂 .

    • 5 March, 2010 5:05 pm

      Hi Philip,
      Thanks for the nice comment, glad to see someone got the reference (that is pretty much all the Milton I know, and only because I saw it years ago in an Isaac Asimov short story).

      I wrote the post in a bit of tizzy/strop while stressed about something different, so feel a bit guilty at any sympathy gained. But thanks all the same 🙂


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