Friday, April 25, 2008

what makes mathematicians crazy

Though fiction works do exaggerate the eccentricities and overall craziness of mathematicians in order to add to the drama of their works, i do think that mathematicians do have the tendency to be somewhat off the wall --whether it's that math contributes to their eccentricities or that eccentric people are attracted to math is the question. I think it's a little of both. The ways that people's minds work make people better at certain things. Certain people have more mathematical views of the world than more and perhaps eccentricity is simply a by product of that view.
I do see how constantly performing high level mathematics all of the time could
cause abnormalities in behavior as well, though. Mathematicians are constantly looking for patterns. Perhaps after so much time spent looking for patterns cause
some mathematicians to start seeing patterns that aren't really there which could lead to forms of schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive behaviors. Also, mathematicians are required to hold a substantial amount of information in their head at one time. This, I'm sure puts a ton of stress on the mathematician which could cause mental deterioration.

1 comment:

Ellen M said...

I think that anyone who obsesses about one particular thing will be mentally unstable. Mental health is all about balance, and these "crazy mathematicians" refuse to balance their thoughts and activities.