Mathematics vs. Computers

Here's a conversation which occurred in Elite Chat on 2006-02-02 which I thought was worth repeating.

Background: I have a degree in maths, but am currently doing lowly temporary data entry work while trying to find a "real" job.

Ngamer: oh, Sam, me and Neo were talking about you two days back
Ngamer: and I explained about your temp job
Ngamer: and then we were saying, degree in math from such a good school, sad that they have him doing that work now
SamSim: uhuh?
Ngamer: and then NEO said
Ngamer: "it's the Computer Age, dude. math isn't exactly in high demand"
Ngamer: and I thought that was a strong point
SamSim: Excuse me?
SamSim: You think a computer can do mathematics?
Ngamer: yeah, we do
SamSim: All a computer can do, and let me be VERY clear here, is ARITHMETIC
SamSim: adding up numbers
SamSim: that's *it*
Ngamer: it can multiply them!
SamSim: maybe draw graphs fast as well
SamSim: why do you think we invented them?
Ngamer: to do our math for us
SamSim: so we could get on with the stuff which wasn't banal, tedious and trivial
Ngamer: so you're saying math is strong as ever, because now it's a thinking man's game
SamSim: indeed.
Ngamer: PC have just taken out the mind numbing crunching
Ngamer: ok, that's a nice counter argument
Ngamer: I'll bring it up with Neo later today
SamSim: computers can't make leaps of logical deduction
SamSim: or, for that matter, program themselves
Come: Not yet, at least.
Ngamer: once they start, the world is theirs
SamSim: well, resurrect my cryogenically frozen head when they can


BloodE: years ago they used to have like maths, arith and stats all seperate or something
BloodE: and then they crushed them together
SamSim: they're all aspects of the same mighty deity.