Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A gallery of mathematical cranks, wanks, and wonks

You wouldn't think that mathematics, as a field, would attract that many fringe-living crackpots - at least not as much as, say, medicine or space physics. In math, after all, either 2 plus 2 adds up to 4 or else it doesn't, and there's not much room for argument after that. But, oh, how wrong you'd be! Join me on this intellectual Tilt-A-Whirl as we explore the home pages of some extremely unhinged amateur mathematicians:

Zim Mathematics

The startling page layout is just the appetizer to Zim Olsen's theories. However, Zim doesn't really seem as out there as some, merely extremely eccentric. On the crank side, there's the ranting philosophy of how we should think of mathematics, which reads like a better-educated Time Cube manifesto. On the other hand, we have the following masterpiece:
The Lord’s Prayer in System(s) Mathematics

Our Father who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name;
(1) + - × ÷ = (0) + - × ÷ = (1+0) + - × ÷ = (1,0) + - × ÷

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
(1) +, -, ×, ÷ = (0) +, -,×, ÷ = (1+0) +, -, ×, ÷ = (1,0) +, -, ×, ÷

Give us this day our daily Bread.
Y(A,B) + - × ÷ => X(1,0,Y(A,B) +, -, ×, ÷)

Forgive us for our sins,
X(1,0,Y(A,B) +, -, ×, ÷) + - × ÷ => Y(1,0))

As we forgive those who sin against us.
W(A,B,Y(1,0) + - × ÷) => W(1,0)

Lead us not into temptation
X(1,0,Y(A,B)) + - × ÷

But deliver us from evil.
X(1,0,Y(A,B) +, -, ×, ÷) + - × ÷ => Y(1,0))

For thine is the Kingdom, the Power,
and the Glory, forever and ever.
F(1,0) = ___, ___, …___
OK, anybody who can engage in such whimsy has my benefit of the doubt.

Diamond Theory

Here again, I don't think Steven Cullinane is really unhinged per se. At the very least, his geometric study is fun to play with, particularly when you find this toy. And I'm not really sure that anything he says is wrong per se. But you might find yourself asking "So what?" or more to the point, "Why is this supposed to be the central theory to explaining life, the universe, and everything?"

The Correct Value for Pi

OK, here at last is somebody I can pin to the board. This Iranian scholar can't stand it that Pi is infinite, and insists that its true value is actually 3.125, so there! Wrong sir! Thank you for being up front and not burying it under 100 pages of dense "proof."

Impossible Correspondence

Ah, we love the argumentative ones! This colorful Mad Hatter uses amusing George-Clinton-type coinages like "supraconsciousness" to insist that everybody else is wrong, dammit, especially that Albert Einstein. Go on, pick a page, any page - the "Analysis of Maths by Theosophical Reduction" argues that we only need nine digits to define the universe and then wades into the I-Ching and something called the Mayan "Tzolk'in"... uh, this:

...guaranteeing that this refugee from Klingon astrology will lose the hell out of you before you can even suss out what he's rambling about. Oh, and there's a great bit of numerology about the Quran, and a piece on market cycles and Fibonacci done with no sense of irony for Darren Arinovsky's film. And hey, there's this:
"In his stand against the ether, Einstein had argued, "we should not speak of things that can't be measured." Probably the number one reason for saying that was to insure the job of measurements. Today, the Aether not only has been experimentally shown to "exist", but the reversed, subluminal group wave Aether and the superluminal phase wave Aether could also be measured once it was defined as the existent medium."
Treasures, treasures I tell you!

C.F. Russel - Cubed

This is impossible. I take back everything I ever said about the Time Cube guy; THIS is the craziest web person with a cube-centric theory! Oh, the pages start out tame enough,

but it gets crazier...

and crazier...

and CRAZIER!!!

God, thank you, man! I made it up to page 16 before I couldn't hang on any more and blew my load! And THEN I found this dingus. Take me! Take me away to your crazy, right-angled world forever.