[ExI] 2^57885161-1

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 9 03:47:37 UTC 2013

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM, Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com> wrote:
> But your proposed practical application of large primes doesn't answer
> the question about their mathematical importance.

What do you consider important?

Suppose you collect matchbox cars.  Suppose you enjoy this hobby so
much that you spend weekends going to flea markets and estate sales
and other rummage-y type places.  In you whole life of collecting you
have read books about the rarest models and you're on the lookout for
a good find.  I think these unwieldy primes are the same kind of
"find" - they're cool in their own right.

Is the set of prime numbers important?  Is there value adding a new
member to that set?  There's some notoriety being recorded as the
discoverer of the 48th Mersenne prime, even if the name associated to
the discovery is merely the owner of a small part of humanity's
number-finding machinery.  Why does humanity devote so much resource
to finding these numbers?  What is the importance of any of humanity's
findings in this or any other domain?

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