“Silence is golden, mean,” redux

The math-challenged GOP presidential field reminded me of a famed mathematician, a pioneer of probability theory along with Pascal, who also had the good sense to keep things to himself once in a while.

Pierre de Fermat, born Aug. 17, 1601

Pierre de Fermat
We salute you. Proof it’s good
To blow some things off

“Pierre de Fermat”
That’s French for “Big math tease” or
“Guess my solution”

You helped develop
All sorts of math, theory of

But you’re remembered
For what you didn’t produce,
A proof others chased

Scribbled in margin,
In Latin no less, you had
A killer math proof

No room to explain,
You explained, then never did
Explain it — ever

Math geeks went bonkers
For centuries until one
At last cracked the code

But Brit Andrew Wiles
Used techniques you couldn’t have.
Was his proof the same?

Jeez, Pierre, guess we’ll
Never know, but your silence
Guaranteed your fame

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