11/9 2016 in America

In his thirties, Blaise Pascal turned his back toward the study of pure mathematics and instead was determined to study humans, which he expected to be more promising, a much vaster and more fascinating domain, where the true infinity lies maybe (despite however, if I remember correctly, one of his main Pensées was that human existence is drab and dull and the ways most humans try to cope with that are equally drab and dull). – For some years I have now been speculating whether my own trajectory is the reverse of that of Pascal (or Grothendieck´s) since it is the study of humans which obviously does not pay off. Humans, on the whole, aren´t complex. They aren´t fascinating. They aren´t enchanting. The colourfulness of the many facets of the human experience derives from an original uninteresting white light source, egocentricity, including their neuroses, and the irrationality and unpredictability (by philosophers optimistically and overly empathetically dubbed „free will“) due to their incompetence of intellect and character. Maybe it is cooler to study minerals and mineralogy, it may basically be about the same subject, it may be less exciting though but also does not make you look at a seemingly endless chain of disappointments… So maybe I shut everything else down and switch enitirely to the study of pure mathematics.

Why Do We Pay Pure Mathematicians?

Philip Hautmann Although also pure mathematics is not where the magic lies, haha (in the end, so at least it might keep you entertained for some while).

The great mystery of mathematics is its lack of mystery