2013-01-17

Math noobing

Euler's Elements of Algebra turns out to be excellent reading - for me. I guess it goes into such painful (?) details as, say, highlighting the fundamental difference between 1 and the other natural numbers. I wonder how many other ass-hats out there are postponing $-careers at the age of 30, to read arithmetic from Euler.

(As a result of reading up on Euler, I have been introduced to Diderot. Another fascinating chap, whose individualism and avoidance of institutional status is, I guess, mirrors my own, to-date, but perhaps not in the future. Or perhaps that is the eternal destiny of my career. Haha.)

I am gradually getting a appreciation for the distinguishing qualities of 0, 1, the primes, and the compound (natural) numbers. I keep reading. "Dividend, divisor, quotient," - I remember being estranged by these terms in college - I certainly hadn't learnt them in English, and I'm not sure if we ever referred to them in Malay. But the concepts were always easy.

In college, my bone with math was the language used to convey the concepts. I figured I would postpone studies of math till I had time to slowly iron out my appreciation of the language.

So here I am.

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