TED Conversations

Ariel Ramirez

Frustrated psychologist,

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On Humorous Proofs

In my short stay here at TED Conversations, I have 'met' quite a number of people. Many of them were a joy to converse with. While some were... 'irritating'. I've seen a few debates sparked by these individuals because they had incontrovertible 'proofs'. I've seen an amusing list of 36 'mathematical' proofs that have similar jest. It's old but it should prove the point. These 'mathematical' proofs are not at all just applicable to math. I just thought that we should all avoid these 'proofs' in pursuit of more rewarding and progressing conversations. Just a thought!

http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMT668/EMAT6680.F99/Challen/proof/proof.html

Proof by iteration: "We have tried countless scenarios and all agrees"
Proof by reiteration: "If you say something seven times in a row it becomes true"
Proof by proof: "According to proof A and B, C is already proven"
Proof by google: "6 million hits can't be wrong"
Proof by wiki: "If it isn't true today at least it will be tomorrow"
Proof by ignorance: "Ignoring these facts this becomes obvious"
Proof by idiocy: "With the correct choice of logic everything can be proven"

from Klockan3
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/blogs/91014-36-methods-of-mathematical-proof

a little bit more for those who can't get enough
http://school.maths.uwa.edu.au/~berwin/humour/invalid.proofs.html

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  • Apr 7 2014: Hey Ariel,

    I'm not really getting what the idea here is about. Looks much more like a general comment about fallacious thinking.

    P.S. Oh. I've got it now.

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