# Maths made simple

Mathematics is just too complex isn’t it

For instance, can you work out the answer to the displayed equation

I can’t do it either...~~ ~~So instead of trying to work it out, lets simplify things, and see what happens

Numbers can only ever be **Big** or **Small**.~~ ~~And we’ll let them be added and subtracted from each other.~~ ~~But that’s all that’s allowed.~~ ~~Anything else will be too complex

Big+Big=BigBig+Small=BigSmall-Small=SmallSmall-Big=Small

So far, so simple.~~ ~~But what about when we do **Small** + **Small**?~~ ~~If **Small** is 6 and **Big** is anything over 50, then:

Small+Small=Small

But if **Big** is anything over 10, then it’s going to be:

Small+Small=Big

Oh dear, we don’t know which one it’s is, we’ll just have to say:

Small+Small=Unknown

Aswell as:

Big-Small=UnknownBig-Big=Unknown

Normally when you hit an **Unknown** you’re stuffed.~~ ~~But our algebra is unusual, we can do:

Unknown+Big=Big

And just to finish things off, so you have that warm cozy feeling of working within well defined mathematics:

Unknown+Small=UnknownUnknown+Unknown=UnknownUnknown-Big=UnknownUnknown-Small=UnknownUnknown-Unknown=UnknownBig-Unknown=UnknownSmall-Unknown=Small

So there you go.~~ ~~But is it of any use?~~ ~~Let’s try it out on a series of questions previously thought difficult to impossible in modern mathematics

#### How big is the universe?

Answer: **Big**

#### You have 50 apples, you give Ahmed 48 and start eating what’s left.~~ ~~How many apples do you have left?

A **Small** number

#### If an elephant, wearing a superman cape jumps off the Eiffel tower while blowing a kazoo, how long will it take before it hits the ground?

A **Small** amount of time

#### Exactly what kind of noise will it make when it hits?

A **Big** noise

**Small** - **Unknown** + **Small** + **Big** - **Unknown** + **Small** + **Big** = What?

...~~ ~~Can you work it out?

We considered adding in negative numbers, but it might get too complex

## Can we do any better?

That was great, we simplified things alot.~~ ~~But can we simplify them any more?~~ ~~The first question we tried to answer looked something like this **→**

And my answer to it, at least, was:~~ ~~“I don’t know.”~~ ~~That’s actually quite a good response.~~ ~~I’ve used it a lot over the years, and whenever I do, people walk away with no further questions left to ask

So let’s formalize that into mathematics:

Any equation = I don’t know Any equation + I don’t know = I really don’t know

It’s like saying: “Where were you on the night Jim Robinson stubbed his toe?”~~ ~~“I don’t know.” “You don’t know?~~ ~~What do you mean ‘you don’t know’?~~ ~~Tell me, where were you, what were you doing, and what colour pyjamas were you wearing?”~~ ~~“Look, I really don’t know”

It’s cute, it’s simple, and it works...~~ ~~Or does it?~~ ~~If we were writing in a different language, we would replace ‘I don’t know’ with something that looks like jibberish, and it would still mean the same thing.~~ ~~So lets replace ‘I don’t know’ with **0**.~~ ~~And ‘really’ with **1 +**

So now:

I don’t know =0I really don’t know =1 + 0I really really don’t know =1 + 1 + 0

And what about ‘I really really really don’t know’?~~ ~~Maybe we could call that **3**

I’m reliably informed, that from ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I really don’t know’ we can re-create the whole of mathematics

Scary isn’t it