Mathematics: ultimate super power

Someone recently asked the question about what superpower their friends would like to have, could they have just one.

It seems like the majority of responses were about wanting to read the thoughts of others. I wanted teleportation, I think.

I’ve thought about it a bit since, and I think reading the thoughts of others is a terrible idea. I can barely put up with what people say, out loud, on purpose. I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had to put up with their unedited thoughts, or even the thought process that led them to say such stupid, un-insightful, or insensitive things.

Teleportation would be kind of neat. But what I really, realistically want, is to be really good at math. Really really, really good at math. RFG at math. Like, to multiply two ten digit numbers in my head, and know logarithm tables to three or four digits. And to read proofs, skimming the first few pages and able to recognize it as boilerplate, and then read the real meat of the proof and able to agree or disagree with the thesis of the proof — or to suggest better ways to make the same proof, or think of different arguments. That good at math.

That’s what I’d want.






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