The Place: | Channel 9.5 | |
The Time: | 6:30 A.M. Thursday Morning | |
Cast of Characters: | Sally James, Glamorous Anchorwoman
of the B.B.S Prof. D., Coauthor of best-selling The Mathematical Experience |
S.J. | Well, Professor, since I never could do math myself, why don't you begin by telling us what mathematics is. |
P.D. | Mathematics is a state of mind |
S.J. | Oh, I see. Just like Washington,eh? |
P.D. | If you like. But I should think that Washington is a state of nerves. Never mind. |
S.J. | Let's get down to the heart of the matter. Just what is the mathematical experience? |
P.D. | Well, Sally, I would say that basically the math experience is addition and subtraction. Occasionally a little multiplication. |
S.J. | What about division? When I was in the fifth grade, we drilled in long division. |
P.D. | Long division is out. Definitely. It's no longer experiential. |
"The birds don't do it. | |
The bees don't do it. ♯ ♪ ♪ | |
Some educated fleas don't do it. | |
That's what computers are for | |
Grocers don't do it. | |
Bankers don't do ... | |
S.J. | Hmmm. Shall we skip the soft shoe, Professor? |
It says here that your book has made waves in philosophy. Math and philosophy? Isn't that like mixing chocolate and sardines? | |
P.D. | You've put it very well indeed. After all, philosophy was invented by the Mediterraneans. |
But they do mix. Math is the most philosophical of all the states of mind. Math is true facts about imaginary objects. | |
S.J. | Imaginary objects? Like flying saucers, or the Monster of Loch Ness? |
P.D. | Precisely. After all, what true and indubitable facs do you know about the Monster? |
But if the Monster were a Mathematical Monster, we should have it tabbed and axiomatized down to its buttonholes and spats. We could then catch it. | |
S.J. | How? |
P.D. | In a mathematical structure. |
S.J. | (Spontaneously to the cameramen: The professor himself seems slightly axiomatized this A.M.) |
Thank you, Professor. And God speed your little book. And now for The Weather. Or, as the Professor just put it, let's hear some imaginary facts about true objects. |
THE END