by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

March 29, 2007

Origin of Mathematics in Aesthetics

From Richard Hamming's essay The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics:
Geometry seems to have arisen from the problems of decorating the human body for various purposes, such as religious rites, social affairs, and attracting the opposite sex, as well as from the problems of decorating the surfaces of walls, pots, utensils and clothing. This also implies the fourth aspect I mentioned, aesthetic taste, and this is one of the deep foundations of mathematics. Most textbooks repeat the Greeks and say that geometry arose from the needs of the Egyptians to survey the land after each flooding by the Nile River, but I attribute much more to aesthetics than do most historians of mathematics and correspondingly less to immediately utility.
He is also paraphrased:
There are wavelengths that people cannot see, there are sounds that people cannot hear, and maybe computers have thoughts that people cannot think.
From my friend Nix. Posted by spot at March 29, 2007 12:21 PM
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