Additional Math Pages & Resources

Monday, April 19, 2010

Numbers for Names, Part 1

Can you think of characters from literature (okay, movies are good too) who were given numbers instead of names? If you are a math whiz, and you have a child on the way, perhaps he or she could use a number-name. Here are a few for you to chose from:

Number One was the name given to Majel Barret in the pilot for Star Trek (the first series).

Later Star Trek character William Riker was called Number One by Captain Picard, but that was his title, not his real name. Number 1 was also a title used by Ernst Blofeld, a James Bond villain.

Number 2 is the second-in-command to Doctor Evil, in the three Austin Powers movies. And second-in-command in the Prisoner (see below).

Johnny 5 was a robot in the movie Short Circuit.

Fifth is the name of a character in Stargate SG-1.

Number 6 is the only name given to the Prisoner, in the Sixties television series.

007 of course. Need I say more?

Seven of Nine is the name of a lady captured by the Borg in Star Trek Voyager

Nine is a little rag doll, created in the movie named Nine

Thirteen is the name used by a woman who works with Doctor House in the House TV series.

Agent 99 is the assistant to Maxwell Smart, in Get Smart

One Eight One (181) is a prisoner in Peter Seller's comedy Heaven's Above 

Most of these numbers are used for prisoners or secret agents or aliens - all hiding (or having hidden) their true selves. Are names, not numbers, the best means to express a person's true humanity?

Numerologists would probably say no. They are people who find mystical or esoteric meanings in the relationship of numbers to physical objects or people.

Numerology is to mathematics what astrology is to astronomy, or alchemy is to chemistry. As science began to be applied to a subject, the pre-scientific approach was often branded as questionable and arbitrary - something only to be regarded with suspicion.

I'm skeptical of that suspicion. Let's see now, does doubly negative suspicion equal support?

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