Anorak News | Street Wisdom

Street Wisdom

by | 17th, September 2004

‘TO the untrained eye, most graffiti appears to be both an unintelligent and unintelligible scrawl.

Linus Pauling was ‘ere

But that is precisely because our eye is untrained – hidden among the daubs on the side of buildings up and down the country are complex mathematical proofs, musings about astrophysics and thorny philosophical problems.

The Times may claim that the person who painted a complicated molecular formula of one of the four constituent parts of DNA on a Cambridge street is “the country’s cleverest vandal”, but we know differently.

Ten years ago, for instance, we found a proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem sprayed on the back wall of Anorak Towers – a full five years before it was eventually solved by Andrew Wiles.

The first mathematicians learned that a proof to the Poincare Conjecture may be imminent was when they saw the workings on a bridge across the M1.

And the back streets of Manchester are littered with answers to centuries-old philosophical posers.

In fact, it appears that while most of the country’s scientific establishment are busy throwing thousands of bits of buttered toast up in the air and working out the formula for the perfect strawberry daiquiri the serious intellectual work is taking place on the streets.

Sometimes literally…’

Posted: 17th, September 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink