Thursday, April 7

Abstruse Goose Click for more info

At first glance, today's Abstruse is a little tame:

But it's actually the words behind the comic which are potent:

Don't just read it; fight it! Ask your own questions,
look for your own examples, discover your own proofs.
Is the hypothesis necessary? Is the converse true?
What happens in the classical special case? What
about the degenerate cases? Where does the proof
use the hypothesis?

— Paul R. Halmos

The real magic here is that this doesn't just apply to maths - or thought of another way it does if you consider most things to be reducible to maths; critical and exploratory reasoning can be applied to anything really, and is something that can help to either realise, strengthen or develop an opinion.

It's often pointed out that I have an annoying habit of turning everything (even the trivial) into a debate. And while I do acknowledge this can be seen as irritating, I do think that overall it's put me (if not others) in good stead in knowing clearly what I think. And this doesn't just happen in the presence of other people, but also in those discussions and debates I have with myself.

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