Skating and theorems

I slept next to Destroyer all night, which is to say I didn’t get much sleep, but despite this I seemed to get quite a bit done; I was feeling perky and there were things to do. Maybe it was all the coffee.

The sun came out, it was another lovely day, and I finished by driving La Serpiente down for another rollerskating lesson, in which she learned a little about how to turn 180°, how to brake just with her wheels and not with the brake on her skates, and to try to pay attention to her coach by having him throw a ball at her to catch. This last technique didn’t reckon with La Serpiente’s instinct to throw the ball back as hard as she possibly can; it’s lucky she didn’t decapitate him or smash a window.

I distracted her on the drive down by talking about transfinite calculus, because she told me one of her school friends has a father who is an engineer, and he told his son that there aren’t an infinite number of infinities. (I think that’s because I told La Serpiente some things about Cantor, and then she told the kid.)

However, as La Serpiente hasn’t encountered fractions or negative numbers yet, let alone decimals or irrationals, it was a bit hard to take her through Cantor’s proof, but I now imagine there’s a grumpy parent complaining about the nonsense they teach children in schools these days. To throw petrol on the fire, I tried to explain the Baruch-Tarski Theorem to her – roughly, there’s a way to cut up a rubber ball to make two rubber balls, equal in size to the original. That should keep them busy in their art class…

1 thought on “Skating and theorems

  1. Glad to read of your amazing mathematical conversations with your daughter. (Incidentally how do you cut a ball. And get two ? Is it about peeling off the outer crust ?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.