Mathematics&Philosophy&Astronomy discussion

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message 1: by Joseph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

Joseph | 6 comments I am a math teacher in Washington DC.

I will just share my interest in the Phrase "two and two make five"

This phrase appears in two significant works of literature of which I am aware, 1984, by George Orwell...and Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky...

The discussions surrounding these phrases seem significant in an examination of the impact our rationality has upon the rest of our lives. I wrote a more detailed explanation in my review of Notes from Underground.

If you have any thoughts along these same lines I would be interested in hearing about them...


message 2: by Morteza (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:36AM) (new)

Morteza | 15 comments Mod
I'm Morteza. a student from Iran in majoring Mathematics and physics at highschool.
firstly, thats really intresting and irrationable phrase which you've mentioned it here "2 and 2 make 5" once we proved this problem in one of our Mathematics classes by denying some Math rules, which wasn't so remarkable for everyone and they would accept it as a real proof in Math, and I'll change the name of this group to "Mathematics,Astronomy,Philosophy" because, I myself like Math so much and i do not know why I've chose everything except Math for nameing this group.anyway, I hope the discussion wil go on very well. and I ask you Joe, can you explaine a little bit more about this, '2 and 2 make 5" obviously in which case you mean, because I still did not understand. I'll thank you for you explainations. and invite your friends to this group to be with us in discussions an have more idea's.
thank u

message 3: by Joseph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:37AM) (new)

Joseph | 6 comments Thats cool man. I know the fake proofs that you are talking about. Most of the time they require that you "divide by zero" at some point, but there are many different versions. The reference is not really mathematical, it is more philosophy or literary. Here are the exerpts I mentioned.

In the book 1984 by George Orwell the character Winston is being tortured by the government:

"'That is the fact that you need to relearn Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.'

He paused for a few moments, as though to allow what he had been saying to sink in.

'Do you remember,' he went on, 'writing in your diary "freedom is the freedom to say that two and two make four"?'

'Yes' said Winston.

O'Brien held up held up his left hand, its back to Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.

'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'


'And if the party says that it is not four, but five----then how many'


The word ended in a gasp of pain...."

So Winston is tortured by his government until he is willing to admit that "two and two make five" His rationality kept him sane. Living in America and watching us blunder around these days reminds me of Winston being asked to believe that 2+2=5.

Governments ask their people to accept things that cannot possibly be true.

Some other time I'll explain the one from NBotes From Underground.

message 4: by Morteza (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:42AM) (new)

Morteza | 15 comments Mod
The story was very exciting and funny, because O'Brien forced Winston to accept 2+2=5, which is not true.
nowadays we can see it in different aspects in most countries, which government ask their people to accept things, which are not true or real, so that’s just for their benefits, and keeping their diplomacy. Winston is tortured in that story because he didn't want to ignore reality. And the main problem with Winston was just his rationality. These days sometimes people must be blind idiot and sometimes open their eyes to reality, that became a rule in this world.

message 5: by Joseph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:46AM) (new)

Joseph | 6 comments About 30% of the United States population is made up of blind idiots. I saw in the news this morning that the United States is going to sell arms to Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman, in order to put pressure on Iran. What a terrible idea. It is crazy how much support we had after 9 11 and how we have almost none now. Unfortunately, crazy people are in control of our country, and they refuse to look at reality. Many people here feel like Winston these days, whenever Bush speaks, I feel like I am being forced to believe that "two and two make five".


message 6: by Morteza (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

Morteza | 15 comments Mod
yes Joe, we have such nerds in Iran too, they just want to cook, eat, drink, rest blah blah... . in this manner they do not think about anything, even to know what the reality should be, or to be curious about the situation of country, they just change their color for just have some benefits, which are all permanent, and they must change their color again to have benefits again. oh thats seems so crazy and unbleiveable. but sorry friend, its seems i've accepted "two and two make five", because we have lots of nerd king in Iran, who are controling the country by their ridiculous and strong power and i have to survive by accepting, pretending that.
and i thing nothing can be worst than this, to be an idiot guy or to make beleive you are such a mug guy in your country for your governers.
and Joe, have you got some new and intresting story or something else, which can be so funny? .


message 7: by Pooriya (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

Pooriya | 5 comments Its realy go funny some fool guys control our countries and they never want to stop their foolish acts tehy always want to bit eachother and they never think about the results of this policy
but I want to ask a question:
Do they understand logic?
it is quit clear It isn't the true way but how they couldn't undestand it
selling more weapons to Arabian countries means helping Al-quida to make himself more stronger and Islamic Republic never stand and watching this condition
be wise it doesn't take too much time to say 2+2=6

message 8: by Joseph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

Joseph | 6 comments right.

It isn't as if we haven't been down this road before as well. Also it is clear that our "nerd" over here does not understand logic. What is really terrible about the sale of weapons is that it seems to make the possibility of a region wide war more likely...but hopefully it will not.

and Morteza, the thing is that once the guys are in power there becomes little people can do but to accept things and survive it.

"and i thing nothing can be worst than this, to be an idiot guy or to make beleive you are such a mug guy in your country for your governers."

I am not really sure what you meant here, but I think I understand what you are saying. Maybe you will say more? I agree to an extent: if all you can do is talk about what you dont like, but not do anything about it, What is the point? IT IS TRUE THAT MY TAX DOLLARS STILL PAY FOR ALL OF THIS STUFF BEING DONE, and I hate that, but I still have to go to work and make money. (Actually we are borrowing most of the money from China, how strange is that?)

There are many people here that worry that our democracy is threatened because Bush stole the election in Florida in 2000 and although there is less evidence, probably used fraud to win in Ohio in 2004 as well.

Anyways... Mug is out.


message 9: by Deena (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:29PM) (new)

Deena | 7 comments Hi I'm also a student majoring in mathematics. As to "two and two makes fives" case, I had two similar cases..

Case 1. As I casually turn on the acknowledge page of an algebra book (I guess it's Artin's.. I forgot). I read these:
But Daddy..four comes after three..
But what if I want it to be five?..
As I intrepret it.. even when we receive an axiom to be true.. sometimes it's just in the way we defined it :)

Case 2. My 'non-mathematician' friend (infact she's major in International Relation) once asked me:
"When is 1 plus 1 is 3?"
I consider this as a non-mathematics question and never really think about it. Other friends has also gave their shot and we came to a point where we're just giving her sily answers and didn't really think of it throughly..

Suddenly, another quite, non-mathematician friend stands up and say:
"I know..1 plus 1 is 3 when it is not true!!"
Wow.. I felt a slap in my face when i heard the answer. Aparently it IS the right answer.

So.. you have to make sure you're using the same definition.. and after that.. even a wrong statement could be true :D:D

It's all in the way how you see things..

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