Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Circle Versus Square

Surprisingly, I found myself without ideas for what to write today. This is the first time it happens to me.. This is not to say that I have nothing to write about, I have a post about solving third and fourth degree polynomials that I am slowly writing (it is hard to write in Latex), but it is not finish yet, and it is clear that I will not be able to finish it today.

However, lack of ideas never stopped me before so it is not going to stop me now. In other words, it is clearly the time to write about a webcomic I found some time ago. The comic is about a Circle and a Square. It is very simple, black and white. However, it is very funny to read.
The two main characters (circle and square) are in a constant fight with each other. The reason for fighting is that the square hates all circles without any reason. If they were human, the square would have killed the poor circle a lot of comic stripes ago, but since they both are geometrical figures this is impossible - in the comic number 5 you can watch them discover their immortality. My general impression from the comic is that the square is the one who attacks, while the circle "puts him in his place", however it is not clear from the first strips.

Posted with permission

By the way, the comic author, Wakcher, has recieverd threats for legeal action because of this webcomic. Suprisingly, there are people who find a fight between two geometrical figures "offending to all the mathematicians" and "consider aking for formal appology". I would not be suprised to find out that these threats, which he published on his website, are not real. The last one is just to razy to believe that anyone would write such a letter. However, the letters he published are hilarious, so if you want to have a good laugh go read them. It is not pirate bay legal page, but it is close (and without profanity).

Who knows perhaps that comic will cause people to think a bit more about geometry (and mathemaics as a whole)... Take for example the question of circle and square being immortal as concepts. If they are inded immortal, we can conclude that they were from the beginning of the world, if not before. But if they existed before and exist now, where are they? Does the concept of "Math Universe" have some basis? Is math invented or discovered?

Theses two question have no clear answer. It is more a matter of faith. There are mathmaticians who think that math is discovered, and there are those who desagree. I personally see a lot of reasons to think that math is discoverd, but this is not something that I can prove.

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