Here’s a recently posted TED talk by Conrad Wolfram, of Wolfram Research and wolframalpha.com. I was hopeful about this talk, because I find great entertainment value in wolframalpha.com. I was a bit disappointed. I disagree pretty strongly with what he says, even though he makes a few good points. Math, in my opinion, is not at all about solving real world problems. It’s about formal systems that express relationships between “meaningless marks on paper” (Hilbert). And to quote Poincare, “The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it and he delights in it because it is beautiful.” Indeed. Math is beautiful and fun. The way Mr. Wolfram presents math doesn’t sound like very much fun to me.