Thursday, October 14, 2004

Equations, TeX, and blogs

Jacques Distler, the hero and pioneer of blogs dominated by string theory (much like mathematics of the 21st century, as Witten predicted) asks on his blog whether the lack of TeX support on blogger.com will be constraining for my blog and some other blogs with the same defficiency.

The answer is easy. If an equation is important, then it can always be converted into a picture. You just hire several people who create a JPG picture of that equation. For example, imagine that one invents (or three invent) an equation whose value equals 1.3 million dollars. Such people can then afford to pay roughly up to 30,000 dollars per a character that will be added to a JPG picture. When everything is paid, the result will be more beautiful than on Jacques' blog, of course, and it will look like this:



In this case, I had to type the sequence of "1" and "0" digits, to construct the JPG picture, myself, but be sure that some people can do it for you if you pay them enough money. Concerning MathML, as Gell-Mann said in his commercial for Enron, we inherited some ideas that are unnecessary. We must jettison this excess baggage in order to make progress. And as Hawking has calculated, the number of readers of a book (or visitors of a blog) goes like two to the negative number of the equations in that book.

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