Math Hate Matics

Pure Mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas – Prof. Albert Einstein

I used to love Mathematics for its own sake, and I still do, because it allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness – Henri Beyle

I have read several (OK very many blogs) and a few (ok, several) posts about ‘A Letter to 13-year old me’. One thing is certain about most bloggers and writers is that they had a thing for writing/reading at an early age. It was their first love. But not ME! I guess I am just weird as everyone says…..or I am cut from a different cloth. While I loved reading and writing (I still do), my first love was Mathematics. And even today, if I am asked to choose just one…..writing will be the mistress. So today, I will do a post on Mathematics (for the sake of the people who love maths and more so if one day my boss decides to google my name and stumbles upon this blog).

When I learnt how to prove that 1=2, I immediately added the label genius to the guy I had learnt the trick from. Here is what one Mulati came up with. I will put it in a way that any Dick, Tom and Harry with no mathematical background will understand:

Proof that 1=2

Let a=1 and b=1;

Then a = b;     multiplying both sides by a gives

aa = ab;           subtracting both sides by b-squared (bb) gives

aa-bb = ab-bb          Solving, we have

(a+b) (a-b) = b (a-b)     dividing both sides by (a-b) gives

a+b = b            but a=1 and b=1 so we have

2 = 1 QED

Back when I was 15 and intelligent blood still flowed through my veins (Damn the Doctors for transfusing me with bad blood and reducing my IQ by a whole 53 points), I came up with this theorem that I called The Greatrnk’s Nine Rule. You should take note that I was 15, living in a third world country and studying at a school best known for burning dormitories and fighting with other high schools than its academic achievements.

Here is what I wrote about it to some fellows (not those of the Institute of Actuaries but guys who had some little knowledge of mathematics) :

…While it is highly possible that it has been documented before, I am yet to see of the same. I beseech you to do atleast one of the following:

1. Read through it.
2. Critic
3. Suggest an alteration or improvement to it.
4. Inform me if you have seen it in any book before.
5. Give any limitation of it. I know two.

I will try going through this in a manner that, according to me, someone who would rather take a bullet than understand Mathematics will grasp.

If we multiply any number, say n, by 9, then the following formula can be used to get the product:

9n = 10(n-1)+(10-n) e.g for n=5, we have
9*5 = 10(5-1)+(10-5) = 10(4)+5 = 45

If we again multiply any number, say n, by 99, then the following formula can be used to get the product:

99n = 100(n-1)+(100-n) e.g for n=2,we have
99*2 = 100(2-1)+(100-2) = 198

again, the product of any number, say n, and 999 can be found by:

999n = 1000(n-1)+(1000-n)

this can go on till 999999999999999………..

If mathematics is not your cup of tea, then its okay to understand upto this place.

So if m and n are integers greater or equal to 0, then

{(1*10^m)-1}n = (1*10^m)(n-1)+{(1*10^m)-n} <——- The Greatrnk Rule.

I later (8 years later) learnt that this thing already exists in the ‘Games’ part of Mathematics and ever since, I have not tried to come up with anything new! What was I thinking???


Quote: I’ve dealt with numbers all my life, of course, and after a while you begin to feel that each number has a personality of its own.  A twelve is very different from a thirteen, for example.  Twelve is upright, conscientious, intelligent, whereas thirteen is a loner, a shady character who won’t think twice about breaking the law to get what he wants.  Eleven is tough, an outdoorsman who likes tramping through woods and scaling mountains; ten is rather simpleminded, a bland figure who always does what he’s told; nine is deep and mystical, a Buddha of contemplation – Paul Auster.

Facts: The sum of the first n odd numbers is equal to n-squared.

Three people are to buy three things costing Ksh 10 each. They send Greatrnk who manages to buy all the three things for Ksh 25 thereby saving Ksh 5. Greatrnk gives each of the three people a shilling and he remains with Ksh 2. Now, logically, the three people spent Ksh 10-1=9. Multiplying 9 by three is 27. Subtracting 27 from 30 gives Ksh 3. But greatrnk was left with Ksh 2, where does the shilling go to?

Please Do Not Try This At School: One of my roommates in college was burning the midnight oil. In the process, he was making new ground and discovering things undiscovered before, or so he thought. After playing around with the discovery till 4am (I think it was towards 5), he woke me up shouting ‘Eureka, Eureka!’ He had found a new formula. It is when he opened the next page of the book he was reading that he found the formula he thought he had discovered on the very first line. He switched off the lights for some sleep, and like me, he has not tried to discover anything new!

Disclaimer: My apologies to those who hate mathematics with a passion!


21 thoughts on “Math Hate Matics

  1. Nice try.True, 9*3 is 27 and 10*3 is 30. the three guys got a shilling each back. that only leaves 27. greatrnk gets 2 leaving 25 which he spent on the three things.

    The sad part is thats the most challenging problem I’ve had to deal with in the recent past.

  2. I liked maths in pri when i used to score 90 then form 2 happened, i got an E! Maths and i have never been the same again. Brilliant title.

  3. I’d be interested to go through your music collection. It is proven that music and math speak the same language..therefore a probablility matrice probably sounds like a reggae/rock mashup..ama?

    • My music collection has little soft rock and old school reggae. But I listen to a little bit of almost everything.

      Love doing my maths with some music in the background (or rather I love listening to my music while doing some maths in the background)

  4. This is the most interesting blog you have posted this far. I guess it’s because of my passion for Mathematics… Bram: When you work backwards, it totals to 30 bob. But approaching it from the angle Great Rnk did, then we lost a shilling…
    Congratulations. I wish you could do more of these…

    • Thanks Lucy!

      I am diversifying. I will do a post on astronomy soon for those who love astronomy, hehe.

      Thanks to a great mathematician named John, there is a flaw in the proof of 1=2. I am sure you would be interested to know about the flaw…

  5. I think there’s a lie on the 25 bob story.
    If greatrnk used 25bob and gave each person 1bob back, that makes it 28 and he remains With 2bob. It’s wrong to say each person used 10 minus 1, because 28 is not perfectly divisible by three. Therefore maybe one guy actually paid 10bob

  6. Pingback: The Best of The Greatrnk « The Greatrnk

  7. Concerning the 1=2.
    Thou shall not divide by (a+b)(a-b)=b(a-b)
    dividing both sides of the above equality by (a-b) or zero is ‘illegal’ since 0/0 is ‘indeterminate’ and 1/0 is ‘undefined’.

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