[rescue] FrameMaker FYI

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Mar 26 12:14:47 CST 2004

On Mar 26, 2004, at 5:20 AM, Joost van de Griek wrote:
>> 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.

   Well perhaps I should have said "pages of numbers, variables, and 
equations".  Most people don't make a distinction between arithmetic 
and mathematics because there's simply no point.

> 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.

   No, computer science isn't mathematics...applied or otherwise.  YOU 
CAN EXPRESS most (all?) elements of computer science 
mathematically...but you can also express my ass mathematically, and 
that doesn't make my ass "applied mathematics".

>> 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).

   I'm not boasting.  I'm ashamed that I'm crappy at math.  I've just 
decided there's nothing I can do about it, and I've moved on with my 
life.  That was twenty years ago, and I can even tie my shoes by myself 

>  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.

   Well, this particular moron is doing just fine, thank you.  If I were 
a math-head, it might have helped me a bit in one situation or another 
in the past, but the tools of my trade are solder, component databooks, 
and source code...rarely mathematics of any more complexity than RC 
time constant calculations and adding up gate propagation delays.

   From your statement above, I gather you're one of those people who 
thinks it's cool to reduce everything to mathematics because you can.  
But you should probably be aware that being a math-head has absolutely 
nothing to do with understanding the world we live in.  In fact, the 
people I've found to be the least in-touch with reality (and indeed, 
the least useful to humanity) have been mathematicians or other overly 
mathematical people.

   But as I've said before, I'm glad they're out there...because much of 
my work over the past fifteen years has been coming in behind them and 
redesigning their stuff so that it actually works in the real world.

   (I'll refrain from ending this email with "Asshole.", because I'm in 
a good mood today.  But it was my first inclination.)


Dave McGuire          "PC users only know two 'solutions'...
Cape Coral, FL          reboot and upgrade."    -Jonathan Patschke

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