(a=b)\implies( f(a) = f(b) )

so. a poor workman blames his tools
and i’m about to get right back to it.

recap: i’m just as guilty as anyone else.

when there’s stuff i think i’d *like* to know…
but that i *don’t* know… there are probably
*reasons*.

for example: (1) maybe i *don’t* want to know
(“does she *really* love me as much as
she says?”, e.g.).

or this: (2) the possibility of consequences
too horrible to accept (“is this guy just
another macho windbag or is he actually
tough enough to *hurt* me?”, let’s say).

or it’s just (3) flat-out too much trouble
(“what’s my credit rating and who’s
looking?… and who should i believe?”)….

and one could of course go on.

but in our context. and, again, i’m just
as guilty as the next guy.

i might “want” to know…
without having to admit
that i’ve been *wrong*.

wanting what can never be: life on one’s own terms.
including, in this case, an apology from the universe-
-at-large for having pretended for so long that one
hadn’t long since *really* known the true heart
of the matter. (stubborn universe. oughta know better.)

well, it’s pretty pathetic stuff, heaven knows.
but like i say, i’m just as guilty as the others
(that i’ve been working with right in here) seem
pretty consistently to be. give or take.
your milage may vary.

so, now. damn it.

when you hate and fear mathematics.

what then are we to do?
************************************************************
well, *avoid* the SOB if you get a chance, obviously.
i hate and fear fighting with fists and have done
fairly well so far running away from every chance…
too well to learn anything *about* that subject
in any realistic way.

but that’s what *you* should do.

what then are *we* to do… when, in some strange
power’s employ… “you” and “i” have agreed to
work together on clarifying some of your ideas
about maths?

well, with any luck, *i* will be sensitive to
some the emotional baggage that typically goes
with *your* position. in dealing with some
intricate system of rewards-and-punishments,
you will have come up again and again against
some authoritative force telling you “you need
more math” (to acheive such-and-such a goal).

and, with any luck…

*you* won’t take it for granted that i’m just
another con artist out to get over on you
by pretending that making-it-look-easy
does anybody any service.

this is not fucking gym class.
maybe i’m willing to try to understand your point
of view; maybe i’d really like to help you get
closer to *your own goals*.

so, now. why? why? why?

why, *for the love of god*, will you look away
the second the words “do the same thing to both sides
of the equation” escape my mouth?

why, when i make it a point to get your attention
back to the work on the page and say it again,
will you *openly complain* that i appear to be
changing the subject (from “what’s my next move
in this particular problem” to “how does one
actually go about *solving* problems like ours”).

why, when i fucking *beg* you to take me seriously
(this *one* fucking time) and get over your infantile
insistence that *you* know better than every teacher
of the subject worth taking seriously (alive or dead),
must you have some fucking *problem* with that?

because, sure, *i’m* an emotional basket case.
but *i* passed this fucking class easily and
have gone on to learn *much* more about it,
whereas *you* are going to fail it badly
(and deserve to) because you don’t want to
consider that an expert’s opinion *might*
sometimes be more valuable than the ill-
-formed fantasies of some bare-beginner.
(your smug self-righteousness won’t weigh
much on the exam, most likely…)

go ahead, *hold* me in contempt.
you’ve paid for the privilege.
but, geez. this trying to *understand*
why you do it has me just about worn out.

so, you know what?

just *humor* me.

“do the *same* thing to *both* sides of the equtation.”

do the same thing to both sides of the equation
*on my authority* if it makes you feel any better.
(and *remain* a true-thinking math-is-nonsense
committed-to-ignorance equations-are-confusing
“normal” person… *blame me* if you have to…
“i’m not *really* pretending to be a math-head;
my teacher just *makes* me do it [like *all* teachers]
just to prove he can push me around”)…
i haven’t got the strength even to talk
about this any more.

because the *right* answer to “what do i do next?”,
after you’ve taken some perfectly good code
and munged it up by changing only *one* side
of an equation, is, and can’t ever *not* be,
“fix up this equation so it’s right”.

and if… never *mind* your reasons…
you’re not *having* it? well, it’s just
another one of those (many, many) problems
whose *solution* is “owen leaves the room”.

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  1. 1 after the con | a grader's notes

    […] « (a=b)implies( f(a) = f(b) ) […]




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