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As to longitude, I declare that I found so much difficulty in determining it that I was put to great pains to ascertain the east-west distance I had covered. The final result of my labours was that I found nothing better to do than to watch for and take observations at night of the conjunction of one planet with another, and especially of the conjunction of the moon with the other planets….

After I had made experiments many nights, one night, the twenty-third of August 1499, there was a conjunction of the moon with Mars, which according to the almanac was to occur at midnight or a half hour before. I found that…at midnight Mars’s position was three and a half degrees to the east.

Amerigo Vespucci

Good gosh. Can you imagine having travelled so far on the globe—without a swift means of return, of course—that you literally had no idea where you were?

And what’s more, science to save you. You can’t ask anyone around you for the answer. Many of the people around you not only have never heard of Europe, but can’t even conceive of such a thing.

Nobody knows the answer. ∄ books that purport to have the answer. ∄ communication channels back to home. You’re all alone, mentally. To figure out what’s going on all you have to go on is reason and facts. And if you get the answer right, whom are you going to tell?

(Source: Wikipedia)




The vast majority of you tumblr subscribers have not been with me since the beginning. Here’s a guide to what’s gone on so far at isomorphismes.

PURPOSE

Mathematics is really, really boring — to learn, in school. But it’s a pleasure to know. My goal is to share as much wisdom, perspective, intuition, and interesting tools for thinking about the world as I can, with a minimum of rigour, verbosity, and head-banging frustration.

I actually started this blog for a completely different reason: to prove to RGM Advisors’ HR department that one doesn’t need a fancy degree with letters after the comma to be as educated as someone whose name is followed by titles like PhD or MSc. But that’s neither here nor there. Nowadays I use this platform to share opinions, weird thoughts, art, and mathematical tools. Some of these are meant as aides for students, but most are meant as imagination-enhancers for regular people who don’t feel like poring over textbooks and lecture videos—who just want the takeaway.

What’s with the name? Isomorphisms map X onto a equivalent, but different-looking form of X. For example you can look at a function normally, look at its Taylor series, or look at its Fourier transform. All three are equivalent, but you see something different with each pair of eyes. Hence the subtitle, see things differently.

Here’s some of what I’ve written so far.

NUMERARY BESTIARY

WEIRD THOUGHTS THAT ARE ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH MATHS

OPINIONS

And, here are some inspiring / awesome quotes by Richard Feynman, Antoine St-Exupéry, Stephen C Stearns, Hal Abelson, Henri Poincare, Stephen J Gould, F J Anscombe, _why the lucky stiff, Ed Leamer, William Tyndale, Glenn Beck, Fidel Castro, Warren Buffett, Sergio the guy who runs the NewBalance factory, John Baez, Kent Osband, James Lighthill, Shing Tung Yau, 1 2 35 6 7 8 9