Monday, August 22, 2011

Numbers or Letters

For the record, this post was inspired by this video from the vlogbrothers who are, of course, made of awesome. Watch and enjoy.

In the video, John Green talks about this crazy idea that people have that literature is somehow easier than math or that math is this really complicated, incomprehensible thing, and how this just isn't true.

I have these memories of sitting at a table with some friends of my father listening to their son talking about the math he was studying at college and thinking, "Wow, he's really freaking smart." Because I did not understand that math he was talking about, but it sounded really freaking cool. And the characters I write tend to be math people, not literature people, which is weird, since I've always been a literature person.

Then again, my mother did advanced work in Chemistry, and she thinks I'm doing something really complicated by writing. And I've some friends who are math people who think literature is really complicated because it doesn't come with a set right answer.

You're probably asking why I'm rambling about all this. I guess it's just saying that sometimes it helps to remember that things are just hard, because you don't know how to do them, and just because something is hard to you or involves numbers or a foreign language or anything else doesn't make it more valuable than other things.

Boiling it down: Life is cool, and knowledge is beautiful.

So, how about you, numbers or letters or both?


  1. i have a friend who's really smart financially. He frequently told me he thought i was hella smart just because i'm so well read, and i had to remind him that being smart in a literature sense did not help me understand how to invest my 401K better...

  2. Falen -- It's definitely true, different kinds of smart are good for different things. They're all cool and good, just alternatively useful. :)