Let ε < 0.

01.24.09

Odd primes

Several people are asked to prove that all odd integers greater than 2 are prime.

  • Tenured mathematician: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not prime. Ha! A counterexample.
  • Untenured mathematician: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime… so by induction, all subsequent odd integers are prime.
  • Statistician: Let’s verify this sone several randomly selected odd numbers, say, 23, 47, and 83.
  • Computer scientist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, segmentation fault?
  • Computer programmer: 3 is prime, 3 is prime, 3 is prime, 3 is prime…
  • Physicist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is an experiemntal error, 11 is prime…
  • Mechanical engineer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is approximately prime, 11 is prime…
  • Civil engineer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime…
  • Biologist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is… still awaiting results…
  • Psychologist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime but suppresses it, 11 is prime…
  • Economist: 2 is prime, 4 is prime, 6 is prime…
  • Politician: Shouldn’t the goal really be to create a greater society where all numbers are prime?
  • Sarah Palin: What’s a prime?

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