not photos from the book

The mathematician Paul ErdÅ‘s had a saying: when he came across a particularly beautiful proof, he’d say “That’s one from the book,” meaning the book that God kept all the best proofs in.

Although an agnostic atheist, he spoke of “The Book”, a visualization of a book in which God had written down the best and most elegant proofs for mathematical theorems. Lecturing in 1985 he said, “You don’t have to believe in God, but you should believe in The Book.”

He was really a fascinating fellow; really, go read the wikipedia page about him. Fun fact: if Hank Aaron has an Erdos number of 1 because of a signed baseball, mine is four, because of a project I owned, and passed on to an academic.

The book I’m talking about, though, is just the one I’m meant to be working on. In a world filled with wonders like Erdos numbers and cloudy skies and busy life all around, is it any wonder I get distracted?

Posted by Matt on 2014-02-27 07:04:05 +0000