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Quote by Knuth

From: Christopher Dimech
Subject: Quote by Knuth
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2021 09:41:30 +0200

> Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 6:43 AM
> From: "Marcin Borkowski" <>
> To: "Christopher Dimech" <>
> Cc: "Emanuel Berg" <>,
> Subject: Re: Quote by Knuth
> On 2021-07-15, at 08:21, Christopher Dimech <> wrote:
> >> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 6:06 PM
> >> From: "Marcin Borkowski" <>
> >> To: "Emanuel Berg" <>
> >> Cc:
> >> Subject: Re: Quote by Knuth
> >>
> >>
> >> On 2021-07-15, at 00:53, Emanuel Berg via Users list for the GNU Emacs 
> >> text editor <> wrote:
> >>
> >> > But without the symbolic notation it isn't really math, is it,
> >> > because the natural language, no matter how careful one is,
> >> > can still be misinterpreted, interpreted in several ways, it
> >> > can be translated, made fun of ...
> >>
> >> Interesting, but false.  What Greeks did was most certainly mathematics
> >> even if they had little to none symbolism.
> >
> > We don't do greek mathematics anymore.  It was mainly geometric, which 
> > became
> > an ingrained technique that stall development until Liebniz introduced some 
> > useful
> > notation.  Magneto-Hydro-Dynamics needs compact notation.  Inverse 
> > Estimation
> > is another example.
> Well, don't we do the very same mathematics as ancient Greeks did, only
> expressing it in a different language?  (And of course, we now know
> more, since our knowledge grows.  OTOH, many things in contemporary
> mathematics are not very trustworthy due to the complexity and high
> probability of errors.)

I understand that.  About twenty years ago, I tried it.  It gets things
even more complicated than they are.  I rather have a number of small
well contained implementations.  I disagree with Knuth that a practitioner
of literate programming becomes an essayist, whose main concern is with
exposition and excellence of style, rather than how to perform the actual

The biggest problem has always been how to do something, rather than how to
describe it.  I gave up trying to put everything in one file.  What is need is
good categorisation of the different aspects involved.  Though, categorisation
is very time consuming.  I see many writing scholarly papers describing things
which are actually useless.  What happens is that the problem could get 

And if done by students the problems will became even worse.  Computation is 
still very far from the archaic system many mathematics departments operate.

I know a few professors myself claiming to work on the dynamic properties of 
and the bullshit they say they have developed.  They say they develop the 
they develop the computational algorithms needed, they do everything.  Until 
you do some
work with them and realise there's not much to their work.  Welcome to the 
world of academia
in the western world.

Consider Ramanujan and Perelman for instance.  Both have worked from some pit 
hole making
great soup.  Modern societies have started treating everything as in some state 
of illness.
The second largest industry on the planet is pharmaceuticals, which makes too 
much lousy soup.

You just have to look at how the development of the coronavirus vaccines are 
happening !
Everyday, you have to add something else to them, else they won't work.  If 
you're constantly creating nasty chemistry, how can life within you understand 
that you're seeking well-being?

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