My Math Mind: Mistaking the Pedestrian for the Profound Since, er, Coupla Months Ago, Maybe?


I keep getting these insights that make me go “Wow!” and then two seconds later, or sometimes two days later, depending on the complexity of the idea in question, I go “Waitaminnit… that’s not really profound at all. It’s closer to pedestrian, and almost PROFANE.”

Okay, I don’t go that in so many words. You know what I mean.

Latest example is one of my opinions on “The Accursed Dyad,” the integer 2. At first I was all a-thrill, at least a li’l bit, to have come up with the perspective that unlike the odd numbers, the evens, being every second integer after 2, are all composite except 2.

You’re a smart person. You can see right away why this is nothing special. It is a particular example of the general principle: The set of every nth positive integer after (not even necessarily prime) n contains no prime numbers.

Heck, that’s how the Sieve of Eratosthenes works in the first place.


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