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Pretty Math Tony 
Posted by: Tony at 1:32 PM EST on 3/22/2003
File Under: Whatever

Recently I have been drawing...things. I really don't know what they are. Anyway, my interest in both math and art has always been high. Just recently I discovered the main reason I like math. At first it was just a simple unnoticed conflict in my mind. "I hate arithmetic, but I love algebra and calculus and all those higher things." At first, I thought, "It must be the levels of abstraction and the resulting generality of applicability present in the higher mathematics." Then, I realized that while solving calculus problems, I enjoyed solving them more than what they meant. I reduced that to "I enjoy solving problems because I am eliminating things." Kind of like shooting games where you have to destroy an enemy's henchplanes before you can easily hit the main enemy. This half-truth kept me from the full truth for a few years. Until recently. I began drawing with my hand and arm lifted above the paper. This is something that artists do to create better-looking curves, especially larger curves that cover a lot of paperspace because the artists do not need to repeatedly reposition their hand. To get better at it, I also wrote like that. AND I did my math like that. When I saw the beautiful art I could make in math with all the letters, integral symbols, numbers, arithmetic symbols, Greek letters..., I knew without a doubt why I love high-level mathematics problem-solving so much: Drawing. I enjoy drawing math because what I draw is very quick and has immediate meaning. I can look at it and say, "Yes, I see what that is saying. Very nice." Very similar, I think, to the joy that artists feel when they look at their own art and say, "Yes, I have been successful in my goals for this drawing. Very nice."

So you could say that many mathematicians are in reality just pathetic artists.
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