Vincent Tran

A high schooler who's aspiring to be a mathematician. I'll be documenting my journey for future ideas, reference, and self-reflection/analysis. I'll also be blogging about my philosophy (probably predominately). #100Days Daily Streak Length: 100 Mastodon here: https://scholar.social/@vincenttran Image below: https://openclipart.org/image/800px/224299

Sartre's "The Look"

I have recently learned about Jean Paul Sartre's idea of "The Look", and it kinda bothered me. Sartre's thought experiment was to imagine a person who was just stuck to a door - looking through the peep hole and listening in. They're just watching, expecting something to happen, but then they hear a creaking noise behind them. They suddenly realize that other people exist. In general, imagine you were some being with no interaction (real or imagined) with other people. Thus you wouldn't use words like "I" or even have a concept of the self, as there is no other perspective that could be "not-self". So you live your merry life, not knowing others exist. But then you gain consciousness of other people (real or imagined).

First off, we can realize that language as we know it simply can't exist without others existing. The concept of the self is quite integral to philosophy and just common use of language. Thus my idea that we could exist by ourself and think to the level of a socially integrated being yet not have language now seems impossible.

This idea also has ramifications on our authenticity. The key idea is that the realization of the self as an object in another's perspective causes a fundamental shift in thought. The realization that another could be watching makes one self-conscious of your actions. Thus the ability to act authentically, in the Catcher in the Rye sense, the conscious sense, kind of authenticity is forever compromised. I saw this webcomic [1] that I feel like encapsulates this loss of authenticity.

The thing that bothered me that the source of this realization. It can come even if there isn't actually another being there, so clearly it must be coming from ourself. But then what is stopping us from making the realization of the self ourself without believing there is other people? Furthermore, the ignorance of the mind before making the realization suggests there could be things we haven't realized that become fundamental after realizing it. Like the person without a self, we could be completely ignorant to some major idea that could fuel a lot of new though and just not know it. It also bothers me that there is such a clear distinction between pre and post realization in their mental capacities. This would then provide a clear differentiation of intellect.

But the idea of a clear marker for intelligence is at odds with my idea of a continuous free-will corresponding to intelligence. Some resolutions that come to mind are through continuity of language, the non-existence of a self, or through the failure of the idea of "The Look". The former resolution is that if we think of language as a skill that one has continuously and then having the ability to think of the self as a part of the skill of language, instead of intellect. Thus by divorcing the ability to think of the self from intellect, relegating it instead to language, free-will and intellect don't have to correspond to it. But this kind of feels like kicking the can down the road, since now we have to deal with language being a continuous property, when it intuitively seems like it should be a discrete one (i.e. fluent or not). It also implies a bound on idea generation ability, namely that no amount of creativity can come up with the idea of the self without this realization. However, this resolution is nice in that it builds on the idea that humans like to attempt to make the world (like language) discrete, when in reality it is continuous. This theme leads into the idea that there is no discrete self, as if there was no discrete self then the binary/discrete realization of the self is only perceived to be so by humans, when in reality it is continuous. Thus the sudden insight of the "self" gained through the perceived existence of others could simply never happen, instead it could be a sliding along the language spectrum. But this resolution means that there is no discrete self, a concept that is essential in my philosophy as the self is the free-will you have. I think my idea of the self as free-will could be salvaged if instead of having the free-will of the particles composing our body be bundled together as a single sum as the self, we have the self be a loose collection of the free-will of the atoms. But TBH, the non-existence of a discrete self is profound, so I'll probably explore this idea in a different post.

Another disturbing factor is that in order to have this realization, you must be able to distinguish between non-consciouses and consciouses. What I mean is that when you hear the creaking noise, you assume that it is caused by another, forcing the realization to dawn on you. But this gives other beings a concrete property that they must have in order to be consider other beings in your mind. This creates a connection between physical properties (like creaking a board when you step on it) as being essential for being considered a consciousness (and thus for the other to have a self). This is disturbing in that it grounds the concept of the self in the physical world. This wasn't as much of an issue in my philosophy, as the self emerged as a random collection of atoms' free-will, and not from a cultural perception. Imagine instead that we realize the other person's existence with sight instead. Then imagine that the lighting is very dim. Then if a person steps in front of you, that could be the trigger to self-consciousness. But if that person was black, then you might not be able to see them. This imbues the idea of self-consciousness with racism, as now you can't recognize the other, black, person as another being unless they trigger the self of self-consciousness. Thus in the perspective of the self-consciousless being, the black person isn't another being. Furthermore, it implicitly needs the idea of tribalism, as the other being needs to have some property that is shared with yourself in order for the "self" to recognize it as another being, leading to a necessity of a "tribe" of shared culture. Quite disturbing

[1] https://existentialcomics.com/comic/114

A Poem Blackouted from Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye"

Blackouting a poem is when you take a piece of existing text, and blackout text from it to create your own text. Here is one I tried to imbue with meaning and made in English a few days ago (grammar slightly edited), as best I can recall it.

It had begun with Christmas
Mother wanted me great pleasure
It resisted my flesh.
I had only one desire
to find Beauty
"Here" they said, this is beauty: love
it was
dying
rusty
sawdust
Grown people frowned
What's the matter with you?
Outrage
Authority
Years of unfulfillment

If you want to know what I was trying for, here: https://listed.to/p/vUv3wnmcVT

If you want to let me know your thoughts on my poem, the a link to the Guestbook (basically the comment section) is in the header.

Update 6/28/22, 100th day 🎉🎉

Today we landed in Boston. Our plane was delayed by an hour, so we got 30 minutes more of sleep (my dads policy for some reason). I forgot how loud a plane ride was, so I wasn't able to read much. I had downloaded some of Camus' work, but I disliked his writing style. When we got here, we lost a lot of time getting our car rental and in the mall. We had a scare earlier when my mom thought my sister was with me and my dad, and we thought she was with my mom. It turns out, my mom just left the area where my sister told her to wait when she went to the restroom. I also tried some Cuban food today, but due to my horrible ordering skills I got veggies, rice, and plantains (although it was vegetarian as I planned). We also got roommate assignments for my summer camp. Also, 100th day straight of daily posting!!!! 🎉

Update 6/27/22

Today felt pretty productive. I did some work on college apps (although I didn't finish a first draft like I wanted) nor did I finish applying for the Swarthmore fly-in program. For the latter, I'm having trouble thinking of a start, although I have an idea of what to write about. For the former, I'm having trouble conveying what I'm trying to say. Today my uncle came over, so I lost a lot of productivity in preparing for his arrival and working in a different environment. Our flight is tomorrow at 9:10 am, so I'm going to be waking up around 5. RIP 8 hours of sleep (rn it's ~9:30). I also apparently missed a gym form for PROMYS (a math summer camp), although I thought I did it so idk. I just redid it anyways.

Update 6/26/22

Today felt pretty good. I got a lot of things done. Although, my dad made me wipe our window blinds - which is such a waste -, which kicked up a lot of dust. I think thats why I've been having a runny nose for most of today. I really should fix my sleep schedule though. I got up at 1 today. I also finished packing (minus masks) and planning for the vacation today.

Update 6/25/22

Today was mediocre. I didn't really waste a lot of time, but I didn't spend a lot of today working on my goals. I was talking with my sister about vacation planning, helping her kill a fly (it was stuck in the window blinds and kept flying up), and her future. After that I talked with my parents about college. Before, they were sus towards UChicago because they'd never heard of it before, but I think they're ok with it now. I also did some vacation packing. I also sent some long overdue emails. IDK why, but I tend to really procraste email sending. I think I'm just very nervous and perfectionistic. I also found more fly-in programs, but most of them aren't as bad as Swarthmore in terms of due date and work. I also was working on a post defending affirmative action, but it just felt too contrived and forced, so I'm going to rethink my position/argument.

Update 6/24/22

Today was a pretty bad day. I woke up at like 8 in a cold sweat for some reason. Then I wasted a bunch of time on YouTube. I was watching the Minecraft series Double Life. Then I got a headache. I haven't written anything for the Swarthmore thing and only got a couple of sentences on my personal statement. Oof. I got my debit card today, which probably arrived on like Monday but we just haven't checked the mail in a week.

Update 6/23/22

Today I spent a lot of time planning for my upcoming family vacation to Boston. I wasn't very efficient while doing it though - I was rewatching the Office with my sister. I also did spend some time working on math, and I saw that my past idea for a proof didn't pan out. Then I went to pickup my new glasses. The frame has pretty big lens, but I didn't have that many options at the glasses store, and I wanted bigger lens this time around. I wanted less area of my vision that wasn't covered by my glasses. Unfortunately, they hurt my head when I wear them. I'm not sure if its just my eyes adjusting to my new glasses or something being wrong with the lens. Yesterday, I thought I had proved the thing I'd been working on for a while, but later I realized it was a circular argument. I also started rewatching atla. Tomorrow I plan on doing a lot of writing.

An Example of Wittgenstein's Private Language

Wittgenstein's idea of private language (as I have interpreted/learned it from [1]) is that language must rely on a shared basis for it to be useable, but that it is possible that we share no fundamental thing that all language is based upon. I saw this report on a different approach to math education, during the New Math era (an era of education that focused more on self-discovery of math, and less on rote memorization), [2]. I didn't realize it at the time, but it really seems to support Wittgenstein's concept of private language. Basically, in this paper (based off their summary/conclusion) they talked with a person, Benny, who had been doing good with the IPI system. This system was one that made individualized problems to address an individual's weaknesses while being mostly self-paced. But instead of converging to the modern math system, Benny created a his own system of rules that would produce right answers, but not be conceptually correct. Furthermore, there did exist counter-examples and inconsistencies in his system that he wasn't know how to fix (but did realize). Thus the instructors wanted Benny to observe the modern math system and what was correct, and produce by himself the correct rules. Thus Benny's math system can be seen as the private language, and as Benny didn't know what the shared aspects that formed the basis of the modern math language, he wasn't able to actually use math properly.

[1] https://iep.utm.edu/wittgens/#H6
[2] https://people.wou.edu/~girodm/library/benny.pdf

Update 6/21/22

I had planned on finishing the project today. I had planned out a way of organizing the user interaction part, and a way of using the NCES data. But, for some reason my code keeps giving me errors that don't make sense. I keep telling it to get the n-th entry of a list, and n is like 200, but then it says I can't access the 39th entry. I printed the size too, and it checked out. At this point, I feel like it might be some sort of memory problem. I think I'm just goiong to giv eup this project and focus on my other stuff. I also didn't get a lot done today because I just wasn't very productive.

Update 6/20/22

Today I really didn't accomplish much. I thought that pulling out all of the colleges from the College Express lists would take me an hour, but it ended up taking almost all day. Part of the reason why was that I didn't realize the lists in html form took so many different forms. Some of them had colleges and their names as links, others had numbers, others had colleges and no links. It took quite a bit of work to realize and fix these cases. Maybe I even missed some. After all, there is no guarantee the college names are uniform. I noticed that some state schools with various locations (like University of Alabama at Birmingham vs University of Alabama, Birmingham) had different name formats. I fixed this case, but maybe others are like that. Another complication was that randomly in the evening, my source code for the list parsing was overriden with something. For a few minutes I panicked, thinking I had lost the entire day's work. I didn't have a backup of it on GitLab, as it was made today. But, I had the compiled binary of the code, and there was a decompiler I found on the internet that worked. I probably should contribute some lines of code to that project [2] in appreciation. I still have some big parts to do, like integrating the IPEDS data and making it intractable. I think this latter part will be especially hard, because I have to figure out a way to organize and value the colleges based on criteria.I did try and start making it on Heroku, but I realized that web hosting was far over my head as I would need to learn css/html, Java networking, and how to get it to work with Heroku. I think I'm just going to put it on Replit. I plan on asking a friend for a time estimate for me to do the web app, and if it is too high I'll just go with the Replit route. I also found this [1] all-expenses-covered fly-in program for Swarthmore, one of my top colleges. But, it is due on July 7th, so I think I need to finish it this week. There is a lot of stuff I have to finish up this week though: I want to get a rough draft of my personal statement for the Common App done, some random projects, prove a conjecture/internet theorem I have, college search project, and now the Swarthmore stuff. I also still need to pay for ACC classes, but the instructor hasn't been revealed yet.

[1] https://www.swarthmore.edu/admissions-aid/discover-swarthmore-fly-program
[2] https://github.com/mstrobel/procyon

Update 6/19/22 (Ignore word count)

Recently I found this site [1] with lists of colleges and attributes. I found some lists for attributes that I wanted in the colleges I apply too, but I didn't want to waste a bunch of time manually tagging schools with their attribute and ranking them. So I decided to make some code to automate that stuff. I figured it would be a real quick and easy project. I wasn't able to get it done in the couple of hours that was the rest of the night (that was yesterday). I then spent all of today working on it as well. Basically what I did was take in all the lists that I wanted (I wanted scholarly, high PhD producing, intense, idea-passionate, excellent in math, and liberal-educationy schools), then make a more general things to hold a school's name and attributes, then process and filter out garbage in the lists, create the general thing, and then assign them values based on their tags and rank them. The hard thing for me was working with the files and thinking of an apropriate data structure/approach to this problem. If you want to see the code, it is here [2]. I also put the output below, and it actually is shockingly-well aligned (the lower score the better) with my past manually made college list [3]. Admittedly, when I first thought of this using-lists idea, I realized I could generalize it to a comprehensive college search program. Thus that may have slowed progress yesterday, and it definitely did today as I got data from the IPEDS and downloaded every list on College Express. I want to generalize this, so this "quick and easy" project is going to actually be a lot of work (and already has been). Next I'm going to integrate all the data with my current code, make my program interactable to users, and then try to get it on Heroku (a web-hosting service). What makes this even harder is that this is basically my last week of summer, as next week I'll be on vacation and then I have a summer camp. I also need to try out/think about different weights for the non-ranking lists on College Express and schools not on a list (rn if you're on a desired list, that uni goes up 5, if not they go up 30). Hopefully I can really help some people. Also, this post is going to be the one to go past 50k words 🎉.

[1] https://www.collegexpress.com/lists/
[2] https://gitlab.com/partridgetraitoruntangled/CSearch
[3] https://listed.to/p/4TRO8r6kU3

Score: 24 | University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Score: 27 | Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)
Score: 36 | Pomona College (Claremont, CA)
Score: 49 | Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)
Score: 52 | Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
Score: 53 | Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
Score: 59 | Haverford College (Haverford, PA)
Score: 64 | Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)
Score: 66 | Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Score: 71 | Columbia University (New York, NY)
Score: 72 | California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
Score: 73 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
Score: 74 | Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Score: 75 | Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
Score: 76 | Bates College (Lewiston, ME)
Score: 76 | Rice University (Houston, TX)
Score: 78 | Reed College (Portland, OR)
Score: 92 | Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
Score: 97 | Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA)
Score: 100 | University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Score: 100 | Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
Score: 101 | Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME)
Score: 102 | Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Score: 102 | Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)
Score: 103 | Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, NY)
Score: 104 | Barnard College (New York, NY)
Score: 110 | Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
Score: 111 | Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
Score: 114 | Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Score: 119 | Brown University (Providence, RI)
Score: 122 | Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA)
Score: 125 | Washington University in St Louis (St Louis, MO)
Score: 126 | Lafayette College (Easton, PA)
Score: 126 | Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA)
Score: 126 | University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
Score: 126 | New York University (New York, NY)
Score: 127 | Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, NY)
Score: 127 | Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA)
Score: 127 | Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
Score: 127 | Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Score: 127 | Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
Score: 127 | Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA)
Score: 127 | Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
Score: 127 | University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
Score: 128 | Kenyon College (Gambier, OH)
Score: 128 | Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)
Score: 128 | Pitzer College (Claremont, CA)
Score: 129 | Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
Score: 129 | New College of Florida (Sarasota, FL)
Score: 129 | Tufts University (Medford, MA)
Score: 130 | Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, CA)
Score: 130 | Deep Springs College (Dyer, NV)
Score: 138 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
Score: 146 | Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)
Score: 151 | Hendrix College (Conway, AR)
Score: 151 | St Olaf College (Northfield, MN)
Score: 151 | University of California — Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Score: 151 | University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (Champaign, IL)
Score: 152 | CUNY — Baruch College (New York, NY)
Score: 152 | California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Score: 152 | Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY)
Score: 152 | Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO)
Score: 152 | Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
Score: 152 | Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA)
Score: 152 | Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)
Score: 152 | Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL)
Score: 152 | Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)
Score: 152 | Lebanon Valley College (Annville, PA)
Score: 152 | Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)
Score: 152 | Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
Score: 152 | Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, LA)
Score: 152 | Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
Score: 152 | Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
Score: 152 | SUNY — University at Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
Score: 152 | Seattle University (Seattle, WA)
Score: 152 | Texas A&M International University (Laredo, TX)
Score: 152 | University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
Score: 152 | Union College (Schenectady, NY)
Score: 152 | University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
Score: 152 | University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
Score: 152 | University of Michigan — Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
Score: 152 | University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
Score: 152 | University of Washington, Seattle (Seattle, WA)
Score: 152 | University of Wisconsin — Madison (Madison, WI)
Score: 153 | Beloit College (Beloit, WI)
Score: 153 | Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)
Score: 153 | Hampshire College (Amherst, MA)
Score: 154 | Colby College (Waterville, ME)
Score: 154 | College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA)
Score: 154 | Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA)
Score: 154 | Davidson College (Davidson, NC)
Score: 154 | Deep Springs College (Big Pine, CA)
Score: 154 | Denison University (Granville, OH)
Score: 154 | Earlham College (Richmond, IN)
Score: 154 | Goucher College (Baltimore, MD)
Score: 154 | Guilford College (Greensboro, NC)
Score: 154 | Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)
Score: 154 | Knox College (Galesburg, IL)
Score: 154 | Lawrence University (Appleton, WI)
Score: 154 | Quest University (Squamish, BC (CAN))
Score: 154 | Rhodes College (Memphis, TN)
Score: 154 | College of Wooster (Wooster, OH)
Score: 154 | University of King's College (Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAN)
Score: 155 | Ave Maria University (Ave Maria, FL)
Score: 155 | Baylor University (Waco, TX)
Score: 155 | Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, NC)
Score: 155 | Berry College (Mount Berry, GA)
Score: 155 | Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)
Score: 155 | Boston University (Boston, MA)
Score: 155 | Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
Score: 155 | Centre College (Danville, KY)
Score: 155 | Christendom College (Front Royal, VA)
Score: 155 | Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, CA)
Score: 155 | Duke University (Durham, NC)
Score: 155 | Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
Score: 155 | Fordham University (Bronx, NY)
Score: 155 | Gordon College (Wenham, MA)
Score: 155 | Grove City College (Grove City, PA)
Score: 155 | Hampden–Sydney College (Hampden-Sydney, VA)
Score: 155 | Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, MI)
Score: 155 | Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, VA)
Score: 155 | Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Score: 155 | Providence College (Providence, RI)
Score: 155 | Scripps College (Claremont, CA)
Score: 155 | Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)
Score: 155 | Sewanee
Score: 155 | Smith College (Northampton, MA)
Score: 155 | Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
Score: 155 | Catholic University of America (Washington, DC)
Score: 155 | King's College (New York, NY)
Score: 155 | Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Score: 155 | University of Dallas (Irving, TX)
Score: 155 | University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Score: 155 | Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Score: 155 | Villanova University (Villanova, PA)
Score: 155 | Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN)
Score: 155 | Wake Forest University (Winston Salem, NC)
Score: 155 | Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
Score: 155 | Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA)
Score: 155 | Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL)
Score: 155 | Cooper Union (New York, NY)
Score: 155 | United States Air Force Academy (USAF Academy, CO)
Score: 155 | United States Military Academy (West Point, NY)
Score: 155 | United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD)
Score: 155 | Bennington College (Bennington, VT)
Score: 155 | Eugene Lang College New School for Liberal Arts (New York, NY)
Score: 155 | New St Andrews College (Moscow, ID)
Score: 155 | Thomas More College (Crestview Hills, KY)
Score: 160 | New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, NM)
Score: 164 | Rose–Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN)

Some Funky Math Systems

Just thought I'd share some ideas that show how math isn't strictly the truth (I know I said I planned on posting updates, but my life isn't very exciting and I'd seems bad to email the subscribers of this blog just mundane updates considering my precedent).

It seems quite intuitive that if something is not false, then it must be true. However, some mathematicians don't think this is true. There are compelling examples supporting their view, like the liar paradox [1] (e.g. statements like "this sentence is false") and fuzzy logic [2] (i.e. there are degrees of truth). This is the view of the constructivist [3]. I read this introduction [4] to it, and I found it fascinating some of the proofs they reject. There are the more obvious stuff like how not not true = true isn't guaranteed, but also less obvious stuff like the Axiom of Choice [5] (this basically posits that there is also a way to choose objects from sets, i.e. choice) {note that rejecting the Axiom of Choice for things like the Banach-Tarski paradox [6] doesn't necessarily imply constructivism¹}. Although, the rejection of not not truths has big ramifications for a lot of proofs in math. Quite a number of proofs assume that if they prove an object can't be nonexistent, then it must exist. However, constructivists demand an actual example of the object existing for it to exist. They also don't necessarily accept standard theorems like the Intermediate Value Theorem in calculus (which is a very important theorem for all the other theorems in a standard calculus class).

Most people in the modern day are quite used to the concept of infinities, but some mathematicians like Norman Wildberger [7] reject the use of infinities in math. His main criticism is that sets are poorly defined and that infinity doesn't exist in the real world. This is the concept of finitism [8]. I don't know enough about set theory to comment on his first critique, but from consuming his content he simply asks whether sets can be made of real objects (like people) but assumes the viewer finds this idea obviously false (i.e. he doesn't say why). In the latter, I currently agree. The recent success of quantum physics suggests that reality is quantized (i.e. not infinitely small) as the once-considered-continuous light wave was quantized into photos. Hence the idea of a continuum may not actually exist. Consider what a lot of us think is continuous, like a line. If we draw a line, it is impossible to have it completely connected as there is always space between atoms, space inside atoms, space inside quarks, etc. He also raises points along the lines of "how can we be sure numbers like 10101010101010101010101010101010 exist or have factors?". He argues that since this number is larger than the current estimate of the number of atoms in the universe, it can't exist or describe something physical nonetheless have mathematical theorems guarantee a prime factorization. Thus this perspective takes quite a conservative perspective to mathematics. And indeed, he does seem to have some more conservative views, suggesting a pessimism on intellectualism's ability. I think he is wrong though. In my opinion, math is an attempt to describe an ideal, something more platonic then science and reality can ever achieve. Furthermore, basing math off of physics means that if some idea shakes physics' core, then math is affected as well. Also, limiting the future of math based on present day physical approximations seem to be purposefully limiting yourself. Tying math to physics suggests math is less true in an absolute sense.

¹Law of excluded middle [9] (basically that not not true = true) is a law of thought, ZF [10] (a lot of modern math) uses the laws of thought

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liar_paradox
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionistic_logic
[4] https://www.ams.org/journals/bull/2017-54-03/S0273-0979-2016-01556-4/S0273-0979-2016-01556-4.pdf
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_choice
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banach%E2%80%93Tarski_paradox or VSauce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s86-Z-CbaHA
[7] https://njwildberger.com/
[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finitism
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_excluded_middle
[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zermelo%E2%80%93Fraenkel_set_theory

Update 6/17/22

It's been a decent while since my last update, I've been feeling a little tired of the time constraints of posting philosophy daily, and I've got a family vacation to Boston coming up (6/28), so I think I'm just going to post updates from here forward until day 100. I checked with a number of days between calculator, and it turns out I've missed a day in my counter. Today I went to select my new glasses' frame. We could've chosen it yesterday, but my dad didn't like my choice and wanted to delay it a day. So I wasted like 2 hours because of that silly decision. He called a couple of places and found none could really service us. Hence us going back there today. And he had the audacity to, today, say that we had to delay it because of the staff when it was just his decision. A couple of days ago, there was a new section in the ACC class choices for calc 3, a virtual option. I haven't told my parents yet because I'm waiting for the instructor. I'm doing this because the time is during school, but I'm hoping to email the instructor and ask them if they take attendance or don't record meetings. Hopefully they don't do both (double negative + De Morgan's law). The ACC scheduling stuff has been a bit of a stress for me, as my parents really, really don't want me to do it but I really, really want to. I've also been working on college stuff lately. A friend told me that I needed more targets in my list, so I've added a list of some possible candidates (and some reach candidates) for me to look further into. I didn't realize how good some LACs were. Unfortunately they won't really be a very good option for me considering how many college math classes I'll (hopefully) have done by then. I've also been looking at UChicago more, and I am probably gonna ED there. I've also been reviewing my ecs/honors for the common app, and I realized how different they were from what I loosely planned in freshman year. I had envisioned a more focused and honors heavy app, but idt I'm gonna put 5 honors on it. Some other things I've been doing are stopping IYRI (this wasn't that interesting and took up time, but was notable as I probably should practice saying no more) and trying again at some conjectures/theorems I've been trying to prove (I've been emailing a researcher with ideas and for feedback, and he responded recently). It's kinda crazy how I'm almost at 50,000 words and am so close to 100 days. My original goal at the beginning was 50,000 words across the entire 100 days, at an average of 500 words per post. After the 100 days, I'll probably do weekly updates on Mastodon, and focus on making higher-quality, more evidence based, and more personally important posts here.

Dr Stone Review

Honestly, I don't think Dr. Stone was that good. The science was probably very accurate, but that alone doesn't make for an interesting story or plot. The first few episodes also felt very cringy as Senku was just flexing his knowledge on Taiju, which I don't believe science is about. Furthermore, he kept using science and technology interchangeably, when they aren't. For instance, he didn't have to use any scientific theories or the scientific method to make things like the hand-crank, he only used technology. Science is more about how we obtain knowledge, e.g. a thousand monkeys doing random things could eventually make any technology (given resources and time), but they wouldn't necessarily understand it. He also gives science a bad look - science has some implications of egalitarianism as replicability is very important - so his constant flexing on Taiju without actually trying to teach him to understand it. I already have some of these thoughts here, , so I won't restate them. I do think that the science-orientation to this anime makes it quite unique. In terms of character development, I think the show isn't very good. A lot of the episodes are very formulaic - they work on building stuff. Thus I don't really think much character development is made. IMO the most interesting part of this show was Tsukasa (although he felt very unrealistic in terms of abilities). He felt like a pretty fleshed out character given the number of episodes he is in. I also think he juxtaposes Senku really well. His motivation felt pretty real, his background felt complete with his philosophy, and his close-to-Senky intellect made him very interesting. I didn't really understand why their beliefs was contrasted so harshly though. The show makes it seem like they are very, very incompatible, yet it is clear that Senku can't just revive every single of the >7 billion people immediately. He has to prioritize who to revive, which falls in line with Tsusaka and Hyoga's philosophy.

Overall, this show felt pretty typical. RN, my anime rankings are:
Death Note
ATLA
AOT
Dr. Stone

Edutainment

I really hate edutainment. The main reason is that edutainment is very deceptive in that it creates a false sense of learning and authority.

Ultimately, the main purpose of edutainment is to entertain people, not educate them. This is the fundamental flaw in edutainment. If you delude people by presenting the content in a more entertaining way, then they aren't learning the subject out of a desire or necessity (with this case, it is just news, which shouldn't be entertaining because if learning it is necessary, then it should be taken seriously) to learn it - instead they do it for mere entertainment. Furthermore, by tying education's success to how entertaining it is, you create an evolutionary force that selects for the "fittest" media, the one that is most entertaining (since there isn't a known way of quantifying educational success AFAIK). Thus under no regulation (given the scale/diversity of edutainment, it would be impossible to regulate), it is inevitable that edutainment creators will begin to sacrifice education for entertainment. This degeneration of an ideal (like education) by a selection force under no regulation is explored more here [1]. For example, as YouTube can't regulate educational quality and rewards videos for views and likes, videos that entertain at the expense of education will be promoted and spread more than videos that focus solely on education. Thus channels that focus solely on education will have a much harder time sustaining itself amidst the other, more entertaining content.

This focus on entertainment also brings into question the information they give us. A benefit to traditional education like with school and textbooks is that those are created and often scutinized by experts. This can't be the case for edutainment. Naturally, edutainment creators will want to have diverse and a lot of content to appeal to the most people. This makes it impossible to have experts in that area as there are too many content areas and too little time to produce content that can parallel things like textbooks or the actual research papers. Furthermore, by focusing on making it entertaining, nuance is necessarily excluded to make the topic simplier. This could give the viewer a misconception of the topic. The nature of this format can also mislead, as the curation of content and sources present a more unified view of the topic, when it may not be that certain. When you search to learn a topic by yourself, you expose yourself to every perspective of that topic. This can't be true for edutainment, as the content is culled by a smaller team than the sources. Moreover, edutainment tends to be less engaging as traditional sources. Textbooks, school, research papers, etc. tend to engage the reader as we have exercises, homework, quizes, linearity/dependence of content on past content etc. Thus critical thinking and true understanding of the topic just can't be there.

While I don't think that we should try to make learning as dull as possible (as this could misrepresent the field), I don't think a focus on presentation or entertainment should be made. Even in schools, a focus on this could mislead people, as seen in the Dr. Fox effect [2].

[1] https://listed.to/@vt/33797/competition
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Fox_effect