Sunday, August 09, 2009

when mathematical explanations go awry.

a week ago, an artist friend of mine asked me about my research. rather than give a lecture, i gave analogies of (very) special cases and minutely related (but concrete) examples. [1]

afterwards he was reminded of how parables are used in explaining religion.

admittedly, it wasn't the reaction i expected.

i don't know when it happened,
but somehow i lost the ability to give simple answers to questions.

[1] when explaining non-euclidean geometries, it seems easier to explain spherical geometry than hyperbolic geometry. everyone knows what a sphere is and how to imagine equatorial circles.

in contrast, i've never successfully explained the poincaré disc model to a non-techie.

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