24 October 2008

Prayer request

I just submitted a prayer at the Prayer Request Site. It goes like this:

Please show me a zero of the Riemann zeta function that has real part not equal to 1/2. I know that my prayer will be answered soon, as you say, in less than a month. If within a month I receive no reply to my prayer then I will know that the Riemann hypothesis is true. And therefore I can go out and claim that God told me it is so. If people ask me for a proof I will refer them to your site.

If I get a response then I will know that the Riemann hypothesis is false. If I don't then I will know it is true. Either way, I'm a winner and, I suppose, I can publish a paper titled "the Riemann hypothesis via Prayer Request Site". I will let you know what happens in a month or so.

For your information, other prayer request sites appear here. An amusing one is by the Celebrity Spotlight Ministries. In it, it is claimed that "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective", followed by a picture of a mass-murderer. The most important message of the Celebrity Ministries prayer site is "PUSH". In other words, Pray Until Something Happens. (If this appears as an obvious tautology, it is because it really is.)

Update: As of to-date (11/11/08), my prayer has not been answered. So I prayed again:

I am really hoping it will be answered. The prayer request site
has direct links with the supernatural. You click it and then you communicate with the gods. Please go there and pray. It is fun! You don't need to work any more. Just pray for money. You don't need to worry any more. Just pray for happiness. In my case, I don't need to think about proofs any more. I will pray for theorems to be proved!Link


  1. Prayer works only if you deeply believe in what you are praying for. If prayer doesn't get answered it is because people carry a lot of sin. A sinner's prayer is in vain. I don't think you are very honest in your prayers. You don't seem to be a man of faith.

  2. I am truly wounded by your scepticism: it is not they way that fellow christians should act towards each other. I will be praying for your transgressions that have hurt me deeply.



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant