# Frasi di Paul Erdős

## Paul Erdős

**Data di nascita:** 26. Marzo 1913**Data di morte:** 20. Settembre 1996

Paul Erdős, nato Pál Erdős , è stato un matematico ungherese.

È stato uno dei matematici più prolifici ed eccentrici della storia. Ha lavorato e risolto problemi legati alla teoria dei grafi, combinatoria, teoria dei numeri, analisi, teoria dell'approssimazione, teoria degli insiemi e probabilità.

## Frasi Paul Erdős

### „Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low.“

— Paul Erdős

Context: SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low."
Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows:
If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points.
If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point.
And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point.
And the aim is to keep the SF's score low.
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qeWugmiGt4 Paul Erdős - SF means Supreme Fascist]

### „And the aim is to keep the SF's score low.“

— Paul Erdős

Context: SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low."
Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows:
If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points.
If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point.
And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point.
And the aim is to keep the SF's score low.
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qeWugmiGt4 Paul Erdős - SF means Supreme Fascist]

### „I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke.“

— Paul Erdős

Context: SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low."
Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows:
If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points.
If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point.
And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point.
And the aim is to keep the SF's score low.
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qeWugmiGt4 Paul Erdős - SF means Supreme Fascist]

### „A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.“

— Paul Erdős

Widely attributed to Erdős, this actually originates with Alfréd Rényi, according to My Brain Is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos (1998) by Bruce Schechter, p. 155
Variant: A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.

### „God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with the prime numbers.“

— Paul Erdős

Referencing Albert Einstein's famous remark that "God does not play dice with the universe", this is attributed to Erdős in "Mathematics : Homage to an Itinerant Master" by D. Mackenzie, in Science 275:759 (1997), but has also been stated to be a comment originating in a talk given by Carl Pomerance on the Erdős-Kac theorem, in San Diego in January 1997, a few months after Erdős's death. Confirmation of this by Pomerance is reported in a [http://empslocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/mrwatkin//kac-pomerance.txt statement posted to the School of Engineering, Computer Science & Mathematics, University of Exeter], where he states it was a paraphrase of something he imagined Erdős and Mark Kac might have said, and presented in a slide-show, which subsequently became reported in a newspaper as a genuine quote of Erdős the next day. In his slide show he had them both reply to Einstein's assertion: "Maybe so, but something is going on with the primes."

### „Another roof, another proof.“

— Paul Erdős

His motto, as he roamed about the world, as the guest of other mathematicians, as quoted in A Tribute to Paul Erdős (1990) edited by Alan Baker, Béla Bollobás, A. Hajnal, Preface, p. ix

### „I'm not competent to judge. But no doubt he was a great man.“

— Paul Erdős

Response to a question by an agent of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1954 as to what he thought of Karl Marx, often cited as an indication of his detachment from political sensibilities and the situations of the McCarthy era. He was afterwards denied a return visa for re-entering the US until 1959, after attending the International Congress of Mathematicians in Amsterdam; as quoted in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers : The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth (1998) by Paul Hoffman, p. 128

### „Finally I am becoming stupider no more.“

— Paul Erdős

A suggestion for his own epitaph, as quoted in Variety in Religion and Science: Daily Reflections (2005) by Varadaraja Raman, p. 256

### „The first sign of senility is that a man forgets his theorems, the second sign is that he forgets to zip up, the third sign is that he forgets to zip down.“

— Paul Erdős

Though Erdős used this remark, it is said to have originated with his friend Stanisław Ulam, as reported in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers : The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth (1998) by Paul Hoffman
Variants:
The first sign of senility is when a man forgets his theorems. The second sign is when he forgets to zip up. The third sign is when he forgets to zip down.
As quoted in Wonders of Numbers : Adventures in Mathematics, Mind, and Meaning (2002) by Clifford A. Pickover, p. 64
There are three signs of senility. The first sign is that a man forgets his theorems. The second sign is that he forgets to zip up. The third sign is that he forgets to zip down.
No sources found for Erdos stating this, but if he did it is an expression made by many others before him.
An example of a common beginning of talks or letters by Paul Erdős; but this is a common mathematical expression. -->

### „Suppose aliens invade the earth and threaten to obliterate it in a year's time unless human beings can find the Ramsey number for red five and blue five. We could marshal the world's best minds and fastest computers, and within a year we could probably calculate the value. If the aliens demanded the Ramsey number for red six and blue six, however, we would have no choice but to launch a preemptive attack.“

— Paul Erdős

As quoted in "Ramsey Theory" by Ronald L. Graham and Joel H. Spencer, in Scientific American (July 1990), p. 112-117

### „Television is something the Russians invented to destroy American education.“

— Paul Erdős

As quoted in Comic Sections : The Book of Mathematical Jokes, Humour, Wit, and Wisdom (1993) by Des MacHale

### „The SF created us to enjoy our suffering. … The sooner we die, the sooner we defy His plans.“

— Paul Erdős

SF was an abbreviation for "Supreme Fascist" — the term Erdős often used to refer to God, as quoted in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers : The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth (1998) by Paul Hoffman, p. 4

### „If numbers aren't beautiful, I don't know what is.“

— Paul Erdős

Frequent remark, as quoted in My Brain Is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos (1998) by Bruce Schechter, p. 14

### „This one's from the Book!“

— Paul Erdős

Said in regard to any particularly beautiful or elegant proof, referring to a mythical "book" in which God wrote the proofs for all theorems, as quoted in Philosophy of Mathematics (2008) by John Francis, p. 51

### „Some French socialist said that private property was theft … I say that private property is a nuisance.“

— Paul Erdős

Referring to a famous statement by the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon that "Property is theft!", as quoted in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers (1998) by Paul Hoffman, p. 7