[rescue] FrameMaker FYI

Joost van de Griek jvdg at sparcpark.net
Fri Mar 26 04:20:46 CST 2004

Dave McGuire wrote:

> On Mar 25, 2004, at 8:08 PM, Joshua Boyd wrote:
>> In a way, aren't they all math and physics?  The study of
>> algorithms has long been an area mathematicians, long before
>> computers came out, and it is only fairly recently to my
>> understanding that people distinguished between math and
>> physics.
>> For some reason, understanding math and algorithms seems to
>> have little effect on how one understands a computer though,
>> for some reason.  At least, thus has been my experience.
> No, it's pretty simple...think of it this way.  It's possible
> to  reduce pretty much anything to mathematics.  Physics,
> electronics, computer science, chemistry, biology...anything.

That depends... Are we talking mathematics, or arithmetic? Most people don't (can't) distinguish between the two. Seeing as most high school curricula teach arithmetic yet call it mathematics sure doesn't help, either.

As for the case presented above, I would venture that it comes down to intuition. Yes, computer science is all (applied) mathematics. No, being good at one doesn't imply one is also good at the other.

> Just because one *can* reduce something to mathematics, however,
> doesn't mean one *should*.

True. However, it still amazes me how many people can actually boast being bad at math (and science in general). People look at me as if I'm some kind of freak if I tell them that I don't have a drivers' licence, yet it is quite acceptable to announce that you are bad at math, for some reason. Strange. I would think that being proud of lacking a fundamental understanding of how things (things pretty much meaning: the world you live in, in this case) would sort of classify one as a moron. But maybe that's just me.


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