Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Words, Love, and Mathematics

It might be the spirit of Valentine's Day, but today I question love. The world knows what to expect when artists fall in love. Poets compose sonnets about each other's hair, eyes, and navels. Painters will create each other's miniatures. Musicians compose to each other and in each other's honor, a la Fur Elise. But what does the world expect of the others? Do mathematicians compose proofs of eternal devotion? Do scientists name elements or animals for their significant others? Do engineers dedicate buildings to their loves? I can't imagine. Has history even the answer to the question? If anyone knows a mathematician or a scientist, ask.

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