January 3, 2015

"I know that 2 and 2 make 4 - and should be glad to prove it too if I could..."

"... though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into 5 it would give me much greater pleasure."

Said Lord Byron.

chickelit said...

I have been asked sometimes how one can be sure that elsewhere in the universe there may not be further elements, other than those in the periodic system. I have tried to answer by saying that it is like asking how one knows that elsewhere in the universe there may not be another whole number between 4 and 5. Unfortunately, some persons think that is a good question, too.

~George Wald

Bob Boyd said...

"if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into 5 it would give me much greater pleasure."

I guess it didn't occur to him to dominate, centralize and control his own narrative.

IgnatzEsq said...

I just assumed that 2 + 2 does equal 5. If 2 is sufficiently large that is.

Achilles said...

People writing the federal budget have already figured out how to make 2+2=5. This guy is way behind the curve.

D. said...

>though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into 5 it would give me much greater pleasure."<

be proggtarded like krugman et al. 'works' for them.

Michael K said...

Ada could have explained it to him.

Erich said...

Someone took him up from across the table and said, “Do you mean, Hardy, if I said that two and two make five that you could prove any other proposition you like?” Hardy said, “Yes, I think so.” “Well, then, prove that McTaggart is the Pope.” “Well,” said Hardy, “if two and two make five, then five is equal to four. If you subtract three, you will find that two is equal to one. McTaggart and the Pope are two; therefore, McTaggart and the Pope are one.” I gather it came rather quickly. -- R A Fisher on G H Hardy

MisterBuddwing said...

Lord Byron, meet Mr. George Orwell. Mr. Orwell, Lord Byron.

(Or should that be Mr. Eric Blair?)

Steve said...

I suspect that Byron was, in his own exuberant way, rejecting the rationalist way of thinking, by stating he would be glad to be free if the shackles that Rationalists place on how one may think. Rationalists fueled the French Revolution and were certainly no friend of the poets! A good perspective on that political clash is in the movie, "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," by the Monty Python group.

Wince said...

Sounds more like Ed Grimley, "I must say".

Fernandinande said...

matthew said...
If 2 is sufficiently large that is.

lim(2+2) = 5
2->∞

or

lim(2+2) = 5
2->2.5

Gahrie said...

Wait...have we finally discovered the wellspring of Obama's belief system?

Ambrose said...

Why stop at 5?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

2 + 2 have to want to be 5.

Kyzer SoSay said...

Y'all might wanna check this story out. It's one I found one day a few years back, bored at work.

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2000/20001120/secret_number.shtml

tim in vermont said...

If social justice demands that 2+2=5, then it whatever you haters say.

jr565 said...

this is a perfect encapsulation of gay marriage arguments.

Laslo Spatula said...

This is why you do not trust poets with money. Not uncoincidentally, it is also why the cash registers at Starbucks do the math.

I am Laslo.

ilvuszq said...

2 + 2 = 5 for large values of 2.

Bob R said...

It's actually pretty easy to lay out the basic axioms of number theory that are the foundations for basic arithmetic. Unfortunately, there is as yet no analog of non-euclidean geometry where you tweak one axiom and get an entirely new structure that is interesting and useful. And you can prove that certain types of structures are impossible.

So, sad as it may be, since there is a smallest natural number and that generates all the natural numbers, and since addition is associative, 2 and 2 makes 4.

Krumhorn said...

Is it disparate impact when 2+2=4? Is that conclusive and actionable evidence that the 5s have been excluded?

- Krumhorn

jimbino said...

x**+2x-8=x**2+3x-10
(x+4)(x-2)=(x+5)(x-2)
x+4=x+5
2+2=5

Big Mike said...

Interestingly enough Byron's daughter Ada Lovelace was an excellent mathematician and gets credit for being the world's first programmer (of Charles Babbage's machine).

Ada Lovelace argued that calculation was basically an exercise in symbolic manipulation. From her writings you can deduce that she would agree that 2 + 2 = 5, provided only that you agree that the first digits of our number system are 1, 2, 3, 5 ...

Howard said...

Buckminster Fuller proved that 1 + 1 = 4, which forms the basis of synergy.
Tetrahedron Synergetics

Bob K said...

Tell Lord Byron he is wrong. 2 and 2 does not make 4.

And is a logical operator, not a math operator. Therefore, 2 and 2 make 2. As a matter of fact, 2 and 3 also make 2, while 1 and 3 make 1.

If you have a calculator capable of logical operations, try it.