0435: "Purity"

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Typicalities
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Typicalities » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:08 am UTC

A philosophy professor of mine in college showed us this. He was a physicist turned philosopher and wanted to remake the comic to have a philosopher in the next panel saying "hey where did everyone go?" I completely agreed

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Pfhorrest
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:34 am UTC

I like that, Typicalities. Especially as all of the sciences started off as branches of "philosophy", so it makes sense that while the philosopher has his nose down working out the details of various pure and eternal truths, everyone else has wandered off to take what they got out of philosophy and do something more 'applied' with it. So when the last philosopher looks up from his work... hey, where did everyone go?

(Incidentally, your handle sounds like it could be some philosopher's name. Typicalites[sic], ancient Greek father of the school of common knowledge. Good friends with Testicles [tes-tih-kleez], the father of modern male thought).
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pillanche
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby pillanche » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:48 pm UTC

Okay, first post of mine. I'll try to stick to the rules.

I was going to post something about Philosophy being more pure than mathematics, but after reading most of most replies with that key word I came to think like this...

the comic is about purity in fields, not sciences. most of who say philosophy is more pure do it on the basis that philosophy is the field of thinking, logic, unveiling the truth, and those who refute it do it based on I would say historical evolution of the field, different movements across history of philosophy and how philosopher do their thing individually with different quality.

I do think however that one of the first post about why isn't it mathematics thats to hold the utmost right place is this one
GodShapedBullet wrote:Math is just applied language arts.

Using our powers of semantic representation to add stuff together.


which is also more pure than philosophy.


lets go further right, the sub-field of Observation... watch, identify what surrounds us as separate and/or interconnected phenomenons.

observation is essential for defining, defining through language for describing, to make assumption you need definitions. thus mathematics is a field depending on language and a language in itself.

:arrow: I'm thinking out loud here but I would say that language is just applied cognitive thinking.


:idea: I think Meditation should be the purest field, yo do not need other people, objects, most of your brain is unnecessary to (it actually gets in your way), you can even do it without most of your body, only the essential to be alive (unless you believe in non physical existence)


OK, that was my post, I hope it doesn't look like a hungry troll or something

P.S. English is my 2nd language

muzzle
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby muzzle » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

Image

Found this arount the intertubes (actually in a 27c3 presentation http://events.ccc.de/congress/2010/Fahrplan/events/4098.en.html)

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Re: "Purity" Discussion

Postby Dvandemon » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:50 pm UTC

pliny wrote:
mopatop wrote:This comic = made of truth


But truth is just applied thought.

zOMG sigged!
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from canada, SirMustapha etc. WHO THE FUCK SAID YOUR OPINION MATTERS???!?

MrConor
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby MrConor » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:33 pm UTC

Image

I'm not sure how you can argue that any field is 'purer' than any other. If, for the sake of argument, we accept a strictly mechanistic interpretation of the world then theoretically all aspects of human behaviour can be explained mathematically. Why should that mean mathematics is 'pure'? I doubt that one would try to argue that (bear with me here, I'm not a mathematician) that multiplication of numbers is 'more pure' than the 'application' of multiplication in trignometry. Nor would a mathematician that restricted themselves to using only whole numbers and the simplest mathematical functions be viewed as a purer mathematician, and certainly not a better mathematician, than a mathematician who used calculus.

(My apologies for the captions on the lower image. As you can probably tell, I did this on the spur of the moment and couldn't think of anything particularly clever to say about each field.)

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Dvandemon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:10 pm UTC

I think it could be related to how "base" a field is and how much it can apply it all the others (i.e. math shows up everywhere)
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from canada, SirMustapha etc. WHO THE FUCK SAID YOUR OPINION MATTERS???!?

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:14 pm UTC

MrConor wrote:(My apologies for the captions on the lower image. As you can probably tell, I did this on the spur of the moment and couldn't think of anything particularly clever to say about each field.)
Actually, this is pretty good. Can I repost the lower one elsewhere? I think some of my friends on FB would appreciate it.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby MrConor » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

Dvandemon wrote:I think it could be related to how "base" a field is and how much it can apply it all the others (i.e. math shows up everywhere)


If mathematics could be used to explain all the other disciplines, then each change of category would denote a significant increase in scale of the mathematics. They're all still mathematics, however, and thus equally 'pure'.

bigglesworth wrote:
MrConor wrote:(My apologies for the captions on the lower image. As you can probably tell, I did this on the spur of the moment and couldn't think of anything particularly clever to say about each field.)
Actually, this is pretty good. Can I repost the lower one elsewhere? I think some of my friends on FB would appreciate it.


Go ahead.

Turing Machine
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Turing Machine » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:07 am UTC

MrConor wrote:Image

I'm not sure how you can argue that any field is 'purer' than any other. If, for the sake of argument, we accept a strictly mechanistic interpretation of the world then theoretically all aspects of human behaviour can be explained mathematically. Why should that mean mathematics is 'pure'? I doubt that one would try to argue that (bear with me here, I'm not a mathematician) that multiplication of numbers is 'more pure' than the 'application' of multiplication in trignometry. Nor would a mathematician that restricted themselves to using only whole numbers and the simplest mathematical functions be viewed as a purer mathematician, and certainly not a better mathematician, than a mathematician who used calculus.

(My apologies for the captions on the lower image. As you can probably tell, I did this on the spur of the moment and couldn't think of anything particularly clever to say about each field.)


yes we get it you do not know what purity is in this context

therefore it does not exist

YTPrenewed
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby YTPrenewed » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:38 pm UTC

Physics isn't just applied math. It involves the USE of math, sure, in its more quantitative varieties, (so do economics and other fields not in the physical sciences) but also involves concepts that math in and of itself does not lead to. (Ie. Forces, energy, etc...)

I think this scale would have been more accurate if it stopped at physics.

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davidstarlingm
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby davidstarlingm » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:26 am UTC

YTPrenewed wrote:Physics isn't just applied math. It involves the USE of math, sure, in its more quantitative varieties, (so do economics and other fields not in the physical sciences) but also involves concepts that math in and of itself does not lead to. (Ie. Forces, energy, etc...)

I think this scale would have been more accurate if it stopped at physics.

Yes, that's what the alt-text is for.

karlzt
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby karlzt » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

where does art belong to? :?:

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MathGirl
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby MathGirl » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

YTPrenewed wrote:Physics isn't just applied math. It involves the USE of math, sure, in its more quantitative varieties, (so do economics and other fields not in the physical sciences) but also involves concepts that math in and of itself does not lead to. (Ie. Forces, energy, etc...)

I think this scale would have been more accurate if it stopped at physics.


Er, not really. The same argument could be made for each of the disciplines, but as you dig deeper you find math at the base, next to physics, next to chemistry, etc. Your forces and energies are just math...with applications. See?

And as for the philosophers? I'd put them outside the comic, somewhere to the side. Categorizing the purity of philosophy is like determining if 2n <= apple.

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Pfhorrest
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:59 am UTC

MathGirl wrote:Er, not really. The same argument could be made for each of the disciplines, but as you dig deeper you find math at the base, next to physics, next to chemistry, etc. Your forces and energies are just math...with applications. See?

And as for the philosophers? I'd put them outside the comic, somewhere to the side. Categorizing the purity of philosophy is like determining if 2n <= apple.


The math gives you models. Without some way of choosing which model is the right one, what it even is for a model to be "the right one", you've still just got math. It's not until you say "this math is homologous with something REAL" that you get physics and all the physical sciences built on top of it.

Philosophy gives you a concept of what makes a model "the right one", gives you something to mean by "real", and lets you start actually doing science with all that math.
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MrConor
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby MrConor » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:04 am UTC

I couldn't resist...

Image

An alternative definition of 'purity'. The worst part is, "No time for that, I've got a lab report due!" is a genuine quote (in the same context) from a second-year biochemist I know. Needless to say, his girlfriend was displeased.

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:23 am UTC

MrConor wrote:I couldn't resist...

Image

An alternative definition of 'purity'. The worst part is, "No time for that, I've got a lab report due!" is a genuine quote (in the same context) from a second-year biochemist I know. Needless to say, his girlfriend was displeased.


Heh heh! :lol: You beaten me to it, I thought pretty much the same thing when I saw this comic strip.
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Rieta
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Rieta » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:27 am UTC

I wrote that strip on my last math test. The teacher gave me a + 0.5 for that.

Thank you xkcd.

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby DVC » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:49 am UTC

MrConor wrote:I couldn't resist...

Image

An alternative definition of 'purity'. The worst part is, "No time for that, I've got a lab report due!" is a genuine quote (in the same context) from a second-year biochemist I know. Needless to say, his girlfriend was displeased.


Except that the male to female ratio in physics is much worse than mathematics, so the majority of physicists have less chance to interact with the opposite sex and are therefore further to the right on your diagram.

Salient
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Salient » Mon May 09, 2011 11:25 am UTC

So I posted this comic on a conservative religious forum, and one of the replies was:

biology as nothing more than applied chemistry rules out evolution because chemistry is nothing more than applied physics which means the laws of thermo dynamics applies to biology.


Hours later, my eyes are still bleeding.

Mental Mouse
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Mental Mouse » Wed May 11, 2011 1:18 am UTC

Salient wrote:So I posted this comic on a conservative religious forum, and one of the replies was:

biology as nothing more than applied chemistry rules out evolution because chemistry is nothing more than applied physics which means the laws of thermo dynamics applies to biology.


Hours later, my eyes are still bleeding.


OK, that's a nasty run-on, but it's a perfectly reasonable argument. (Lucky you!) Wrong, of course; Earth is not a closed system, and evolution's increase in complexity, along with most of the biosphere, is more than powered by the sun.

ChemistByDayProgrammerByNight
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby ChemistByDayProgrammerByNight » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

I remember when I first saw this, I just fell in love with it, it's still set as one of my images on myspace (my[____]). Something many of you need to remember is that this is arranged by "purity" not awesomeness.

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Lululess
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Lululess » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:20 am UTC

Several people have mentioned the placement of the artist in this....I have no opinion on the role of art in terms of "purity" of these disciplines. However I've always believed that for a surprisingly large number of physicists and/or mathematicians, art either completes or begins the circle so to speak. For many fields of science a well above average ability toward abstraction is needed as it is with many types of the arts. Skills of observation, an inquisitive, open mind-- and perhaps surprisingly to many who aren't artists, a certain degree of mathematical ability is required, even if on a purely intuitive basis. For some artists mathematical abilities virtually define their artistic talents. I know several physicists and mathematicians who either sculpt or paint beautifully with quite an eye for composition; The Masters of the Renaissance have certainly shown us there's an overlap (or further refinement/use of) common gifts and skills.

Many of us in both fields have to learn to think with few or no boundaries or prejudgments when forming hypotheses, creating, or just going through all of our "what if's". And as a side, anecdotal note...many of us who practice in both areas seem to be rather deep thinkers leading to many quirky, obsessive, euphoric and often depressive personalities. We have passion and are often "intense". Again, just anecdotal observations I've found.

Purity?? I suppose it depends upon the angle from which one approaches my "circular" belief (if at all) as well as the the ability and devotion toward either field. However I think one could certainly argue many qualities and abilities of an artistically, (certainly musically), gifted mind are great assets and likely important prerequisites for successful physicists and mathematicians alike (even if they have no clue they have artistic abilities--musically or otherwise). So perhaps artistic intelligence would be a very high runner in terms of purity!

I've never posted on, nor have I read this board before but I've often thought these are so closely connected--such different yet similar parts of the mind meeting to form a circle with some perfect continuum between right and left hemispheres. So I really noticed when several other people seem to have suggested similarly. I'm pursuing both science and art and am aware of the complimentary mindset I need to maintain in order to excel when going right from one to the other--especially directly from an art project to research. I find it really seems to benefit me.

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby doggitydogs » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Why has nobody made an ultracomplex hierarchical XML version of this yet, which includes both a zoomable three-dimensional rendering (parsed with a combination of Python, JavaScript, HTML5, and Flash) and exactly 3,679 different fields?

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Alltat » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:41 am UTC

DVC wrote:Except that the male to female ratio in physics is much worse than mathematics, so the majority of physicists have less chance to interact with the opposite sex and are therefore further to the right on your diagram.

The whole point of the line is that how many people of the opposite gender you interact with isn't directly proportional to how likely you are to have sex. Your protest is only meaningful if you assume that putting two mathematicians of differing genders in a room will result in babymaking. The joke was that it won't.

Regginyag
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Regginyag » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:44 am UTC

Mathematics is just applied sociology

Turing Machine
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Turing Machine » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:58 am UTC

Regginyag wrote:Mathematics is just applied sociology


Nope.avi

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby DarCK » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

Given fields are human constructs and purity is a human construct.

I would say there are two ways to think of purity. Real and Truth. Physics is closest to whats real. Math and probably even more so philosophy and logic are closer to abstract truth.

I think of math as a descriptive language that has very strict definition of ideas. So pure math and philosophy seem to have a lot in common.

Ideal art is pure creativity in reality it's limited.

Just one engineers perspective.

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steve waterman
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby steve waterman » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:11 pm UTC

Removed the poem from here...placed onto my home site...
http://www.watermanpolyhedron.com/art3.html
Last edited by steve waterman on Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:53 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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bubblewhip
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby bubblewhip » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:10 am UTC

As a student in university who moved from Engineering to Economics, I wanted to post my edited version of this spectrum.
Image

Turing Machine
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Turing Machine » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:56 am UTC

I take it you haven't graduated yet.

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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby J Thomas » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:58 pm UTC

DVC wrote:
MrConor wrote:I couldn't resist...

Image

An alternative definition of 'purity'. The worst part is, "No time for that, I've got a lab report due!" is a genuine quote (in the same context) from a second-year biochemist I know. Needless to say, his girlfriend was displeased.


Except that the male to female ratio in physics is much worse than mathematics, so the majority of physicists have less chance to interact with the opposite sex and are therefore further to the right on your diagram.


Ah, you're doing sociology. To meet women it helps to find out where the women are.
And the psychologists get a professional advantage because they hope to learn how women think and feel about things.
The biologists of course learn a lot about sex and reproduction.
I suppose the chemists might synthesize pheromones or something.
I don't see anything at all physicists could use from their specialty to help with mating and reproduction, except the money.

But I think you overstate the case about the lack of female physicists. Male physicists can meet women at laundromats, grocery stores, titty bars, and wherever else they go after work. They don't even have to say what they do for a living until they get asked. And they aren't subject to sexual harassment suits from women they don't work with, which is another big plus.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

J Thomas
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby J Thomas » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

bubblewhip wrote:As a student in university who moved from Engineering to Economics, I wanted to post my edited version of this spectrum.
Image


Economists typically don't make all that much money. They study people who make a lot of money.
Kind of like marine biologists can study whales without actually being whales.
And astrophysicists can study black holes without being black holes themselves.
And geologists unfortunately often do not own productive gold mines.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

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bananaKAY
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby bananaKAY » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:52 am UTC

I'm an amateur comic artist! :)
Here's my addendum to "Purity."
Ps. I'm weird and don't own a scanner...
I just take pictures of my drawings. Hehe.

Enjoy:

Image

jocvtrhythgd
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby jocvtrhythgd » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:02 am UTC

My number one aspiration when I post is to be sexy.

durval
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby durval » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:25 pm UTC

Hello folks,

My own take, from a phylosophy student's viewpoint: http://durval.com/20120620_-_dapres_xkcd_435.png
(sorry to post just the unlinked URL, but it seems both the "url" and "img" tags are disabled for me, ditto attached images).

Of course, as mandated by the "there's nothing new under the Sun" rule, I found afterwards (in this same thread) a very similar take:
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=23609&start=600#p2445565

But of course I think mine is neater ;-)

Cheers,
--
Durval Menezes.

RhoastNappa
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby RhoastNappa » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:25 pm UTC

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p204/lordike2/xkcd435Response.png
(IMG tags do not work for me, sorry.)
I made this to explain why fields aren't mutually exclusive affairs and why there's a sort of circular path to finding "the most pure" field.

My answer? There is none. From where we stand, the fields have influenced each other so much from thousands of years of development. Sure, maybe a solid base in Mathematics is the key to working properly in Physics, but aren't all mathematical symbols contrived and in reality mean absolutely nothing? This raises the Philosophy impacting all of the "Natural Philosophies." But Philosophers can only about the world they observe. In order to do so, they would have to study the Culture and the societies they live in as well (which would mean Art and Sociology impact Philosophers). Even if they didn't, they're still impacted it (you can't study philosophy in an unstable culture surrounded by war).

Of course we wouldn't know crap about any of this if History didn't record who did what, when, how, and why. Is History the most pure in this sense? Maybeo. It still performs it's original function of being the study of change (what do you mean it doesn't go hand-in-hand with Calculus?) but it draws heavily from the other fields for fuel.

Turing Machine
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby Turing Machine » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

RhoastNappa wrote: aren't all mathematical symbols contrived and in reality mean absolutely nothing?


No, Bertrand. This was demonstrated a while ago.

durval
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby durval » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:18 pm UTC

Turing Machine wrote:
RhoastNappa wrote: aren't all mathematical symbols contrived and in reality mean absolutely nothing?


No, Bertrand. This was demonstrated a while ago.


Care to point a reference to back your claim?

Cheers,
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Durval.

rcox1
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Re: 0435: "Purity"

Postby rcox1 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:34 pm UTC

I attended a presentation by Dr. Hawkins and this strip was featured prominently when he was talking about what and why he majored in college.


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