I had never seen either Pi or A Beautiful Mind before this class, and I thought they were very appropriately paired together. There are many similarities in the lives and work of Max and the fictionalized John Nash. Most obviously, they were both crazy mathematicians. There have been many blog posts, and collaborative papers about crazy mathematicians in literature and pop culture, but personally, I don’t believe it was the math that drove either one of these men crazy. My mom always told me (and my mom is always right) that all things are okay in moderation, and that an excess of any given thing will often cause problems. Both John and Max were obsessed with their mathematical work and neglected other aspects of their lives. I believe that this sort of obsessive behavior in any field is sure to cause mental sickness. I also found it interesting that both John Nash and Max were working on mathematical problems concerning the economy. Math is relevant everywhere, but it is interesting that these two men chose to use their knowledge of math in the economy. Lastly, both men were perceived by society as geniuses for their work. Max was approached by Wall Street executives to help decipher a pattern in the stock market while John Nash received the Nobel Prize. I enjoyed watching both movies (minus the part where Max drilled a hole in his brain) and it’s always fun to see movies about a subject that you are personally interested in.

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I totally agree, and this is what our group paper was about. And your mom is right, this applies to everything, not just math. Is an excess of improvement bad though?

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