Coffee and Mathematics

I don’t remember who said it but someone (could be one of French mathematicians) said “Mathematicians are those who turn coffee into theorems“. It rings so true to me. I love coffee. I love its smell and taste. The smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning is the second best thing to the fresh scent of cool morning breeze and dew. But more importantly, it is a great brain stimulant. I can’t do math without having a (or two) nice cup(s) of coffee.

Ever since my wife was influenced by those damn Korean YouTube doctors who are bull-shitting that coffee is bad for cancer, I have been pretty much stressed out by her constant barrage of complaints about me drinking coffee. By the way, I thought good doctors would be too busy to make YouTube videos for taking care of patients, studying and doing research, no? Whatever truth there may be in their claims about coffee, the stress I am getting will be definitely worse for me than whatever bad coffee does to me.

If I can’t have coffee without freedom and peace, I might as well quit drinking coffee after all. Alas, here is another reason I may have to quit doing math.

Update: I just remembered this story. Both Ron Graham and Paul Erdös were working at the Bell Lab. Erdös was suffering from a depression after his wife passed away and he was prescribed methamphetamine. Worried about his addiction, Graham offered \$500 to Erdös if he could stop taking it for a month. (\$500 was a lot of money back then.) Erdös managed to stop taking methamphetamine for a month and after he took \$500 from Graham, he started taking it again. Erdös said during the time he stopped taking methamphetamine, he couldn’t do math. Every time he looked at a piece of paper, he only saw white blank space but nothing else. I think I can see what he must have felt, probably more or less the same feeling I had every time I stopped drinking coffee.

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