Sunday, May 16, 2004

I popped up a review for The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio. Considering that Livio spent a great deal of effort in his work debunking the mysticism associated with the study of the golden ratio, the introduction of Platonic mysticism in the last chapter really stood out. Of course, Platonic mysticism tends to jump out of science in the same fashion. At its most severe, Platonism elevates mathematics itself to a religion. For that matter, one can find a great deal of Platonic notions in Christianity the many religions that preceded Plato.

In the last chapter, Livio introduces Benford's Law as an example of a secret hidden, unintuitive law that is behind mathematics. Benford's Law really is the observation that in a random selection of integers, more numbers begin with the digit "1" than with the digit "9." Personally, I don't see why this is seems to me that it is a direct result of way natural numbers work. Any way, I tossed up a a quick article on Benford's Law.

No comments: