'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

"Elementary, My Dear Watson!"

Watson: Holmes, I have an issue with you!

(Holmes does not answer)

Watson: ... like why did you refer to the geometry I do as 'elementary geometry'?

(short pause, Holmes silent)

Watson: What I do is hardly kid stuff! I would prefer to look at my problem as pertaining to the very core of geometry, it is *elemental geometry*, if at all. To say it is merely 'elementary' ...

Holmes: ... My remark was made several days ago, and why now..?

Watson: Then I was probably too preoccupied, ... not in my element!

Holmes: And now I suppose you are... but Watson, the 'issue' has a very simple resolution... nothing you do goes beyond Euclidean Geometry.

Watson: No...

Holmes: And Euclidean geometry is indeed 'Elementary' in a very literal sence, it follows entirely from his 'Elements'. Of course, you could just as well say it is 'elemental'!

(Watson silent)

Holmes: So, the matter was indeed, as someone said I said, elementary, my dear Watson!

(A couple of days later)

Holmes: And Watson, just in case you care, Grand Master Felix Klein has written a book 'Famous Problems in *Elementary* Geometry' where he discusses such classics as Trisecting an Angle, Squaring a Circle and so forth; indeed the kind of company I gave you will take some effort to belong to!


Post a Comment

<< Home