Interesting…..as pointed out in the article, most people defer to the eminence of the individual and not to the substance of the message…..and then there is the criminal obfuscation of Wall Street.

Neal Koblitz: “Mathematics as Propaganda”

This is an excerpt from Volume III of *Mathematics: People, Problems, Results* that had to be shared.

Johnny Carson was in top form, but the show could have bogged down if his guest had delved into subtleties or overly serious discussion. However, Ehrlich had the perfect solution. He took a piece of posterboard and wrote in large letters for the TV audience:

## D = N * I

“In this equation,” he explained, “**D** stands for damage to the environment, **N** stands for the number of people, and **I** stands for the impact of each person on the environment. This equation shows that the more people, the more pollution. We cannot control pollution without controlling the number of people.”

Johnny Carson looked at the equation, scratched his head, made a remark about never having been good at math, and commented that it all looked quite impressive.

Who can argue with an equation? An equation is always exact, indisputable. Challenging someone who can support his claims with an equation is as pointless as arguing with your high school math teacher. How many of Johnny Carson's viewers had the sophistication necessary to question Ehrlich's equation? Is Ehrlich saying that the “I” for the president of Hooker Chemicals is the same as the “I” for you and me? Preposterous, isn't it? But what if the viewer is too intimidated by a mathematical equation to apply some common sense? Ehrlich knew how to use his time on the show well.

## Political Theory

Of course, it will surprise no one to find low standards of intellectual honesty on the “Tonight Show.”

**Phi Beta Iota: ** Novices argue about data; journeymen argue about models; masters discuss assumptions. Everything comes back to one word: INTEGRITY. In both the emphasis placed on eugenics by the elite, and in the Wall Street crash discussed below, it is none of these — it is the consistent lack of INTEGRITY in the holistic sense, that brings ruin to the human community.

**See Also:**

Black-Scholes: The maths formula linked to the financial crash

Journal: Politics & Intelligence–Partners Only When Integrity is Central to Both

*THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust*