….there was a department lunch with corn on the cob…. everyone was eating the corn in one of two ways. One way was to munch over the length of the corn in a straight line, back up, turn slightly, and do another row across. Kind of like how an old typewriter goes. The other way was to go around in a spiral. All of the analysts were eating in spirals, and the algebraists in rows.
I am not a professional mathematician, but I quite interested in the field and have studied more than enough algebra and and analysis to understand the differences. I prefer analysis, and I eat my corn in spirals.
I’ve noticed the difference cropping up in programming….
Going out on a limb, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that where people fall in the emacs/vi debate is correlated with how they eat corn. I wouldn’t predict a very strong correlation, but I’d expect that emacs is likely to appeal to people who would like algebra, and vi to people who like analysis.
I prefer vi, although I have to note that in my first few years in the Unix world that was the only serious editor I had access to.