The dual-nerds in me smile

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Rarely is both the physics nerd and developmental economist nerd in me excited by the same incident. After all — there are no malarial bednet supernovas, Higgs Bosons at the bottom of the pyramid, or poverty action particle accelerators. This was truly a rare confluence of geekdom for me.

I was on the subway in Mexico City and, per the usual, someone entered the car to hawk some goods for 10 pesos (standard rate no matter what you are selling). This is often gum, music or DVDs.

The woman who entered my car in this time, however, had a stack of manuals. “Manual de Formulas Matematicas. Diez Pesos” she bellowed. My ears perked up and I had to buy one.

The manual (~8 pages) contained foundational formulas of Aritmetica, Algebra, Fisica, Quimica (organica y inorganica), Geometria y conversiones. Pretty heady stuff — and nothing that would have made any sense without the context of advanced study in those subjects.

I don’t quite know what to make of this, but there must be a market for this sort of thing (which is amazing). A couple questions pop to mind:

  • Who are the people who buy these manuals? Should we see this as encouraging?
  • What does this say about intellectual property rights in Mexico and elsewhere?
  • Why were they being sold in the subway and not at a university bookstore?

Anyone have any insight?

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One Response to “The dual-nerds in me smile”

  1. Re: dual nerds and illegal math « The Invisible Hand, in your pants Says:

    […] The Invisible Hand, in your pants our egos stroke themselves « The dual-nerds in me smile […]

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