OpEd: Crazy Math


By Keith Tucker

Guest Columnist

It could be said that math runs the world. I remember the first time Mrs. Brooks told me that “x” can be any number I guess I was hooked on math. When I attended UT Martin some years later, I ran out of math courses to take. So, I took the history of mathematics. I was disappointed to learn not much happened until the last few hundred years.

The implications of some of math’s concepts go way beyond math itself. Infinity for example is just a shade different than eternity, which is a well-used Bible term. The electricity we all use every day has characteristics that cannot be solved without the use of imaginary numbers.

Regular math just won't do the trick. Without ballistic tables, artillery rounds would never hit their target. And by the way, the maximum distance is achieved when the barrel is at 45 degrees above plane. The moon shot really did need high level math degrees to get us there and back. There are many yet unsolved problems that our minds have not been able to develop a way to process a solution. One word we hear often overused is algorithm.

As in Facebook, puts us in jail because a word we used violated an algorithm. What that really means is there is a mathematical formula embedded in a computer program that looks for certain criteria.

When it finds it, it triggers a response. Don't think people are putting you in FB jail. It's simple math. Math is also full of paradoxes. Like why can't I divide by 0. Or how can buzz lightyear go beyond infinity? Or is the father, son and holy spirit equally divided into one third each or can they add up to more than 100 percent? I guess my most pressing question is why is the speed of light coming from the sun and the speed of electricity traveling in a wire exactly the same number.

Keith Tucker is a resident of Greenfield and owner of The Marble Shop.