Ramanujan: A minor complaint

I debated as to whether this should go in the pit, MPSIMS or one of the other forums, but it’s a (reasonably mild) complaint so it ended up here.

Don’t you think your user name is a little tasteless? Giving yourself the name of a famous person, particularily one widely recognised as a genius, is more than a little pretentious. Were someone to give themselves the name “Einstein” I’m sure few would disagree that it was arrogant and, no matter how smart the poster was, unjustified. The only difference between that and your user name is that Ramanujan is a somewhat more obscure figure.

On the whole I don’t have any other problems with you as a poster - I don’t neccesarily agree with what you write, and there’s a certain absence of capitalisation that could use some work, but there are no glaring problems. Despite this every time I see one of your posts I get a mild twinge of irritation (from the user name) which causes me to judge them in a less positive light. Of course, it could just be me who feels that way.

If you don’t do anything about it I don’t really care enough to get upset. I shall merely continue be mildly irritated by you, secure in the knowledge that I have made you aware of the problem and it’s now not my concern. :slight_smile:


And what is up with posters i’ve never heard of attacking posters i’ve never heard of?

Oh, no. Call yourself whatever the fuck you wanna call yourself. Tamerlane wasn’t a great strategic planner? Diogenes wasn’t bright? It’s all acceptable.

The only user name I’ve ever had a problem with was Fecal Nugget. That made me queasy.

What the fuck is this rant lite?

Ramanujan was a famous Indian mathematican. He was a mathematical genius and mostly self taught.

I shall of course register right away for the “Posters Tars Tarkas has heard of” list. I hadn’t realised I wasn’t allowed to do anything before being on it.

News flash for the OP: I had to Google it, and I still never heard of him.


Famous mathematician. << shrug >>

Well, I guess everybody’s got their own personal High Horse–evidently “Math” is Kitarak’s… :smiley:

I don’t really get your complaint.

Lots of people on the board use fictional characters or famous people as their screen name. And using the name doesn’t necessarily suggest that you’re equating yourself to that person.

I’m not really Alice in Wonderland. I enjoyed the stories. I can relate to the character. That doesn’t mean that I think I AM her - know what I mean?

Also, if there was a poster who called themselves Einstein, I would expect them to be up on Quantum Mechanics, but I wouldn’t think they were arrogant.

Your rant makes no sense to me.

Simulpost! :smiley:

Is “Kitarak” a famous person, too?

Yah, and I’m not really either a duck OR a goose…

I imagine that if the real Ramanujan knew that someone had nodded his head to him by borrowing his name, he’d consider it a honorable tribute.

It’s not so much that Ramanujan was a real person that bothered me. I’m not objecting to the general category of the user name - want to name yourself after some mathematician? Fine.

The point is this. Were someone to name themselves “Genius”, “Really clever person” or anything like that then it would be irritating for exactly the same reasons. They may in fact be a genius, but that’s besides the point. The may say “Well, I don’t really claim to be a genius, it’s just my user name”. That too is beside the point. It’s still a pretentious choice of name. I don’t see how naming yourself after someone who is recognised to be a genius among almost everyone who has heard of him is any different.

DDG: Ok. Name a mathematician you have heard of? A public figure rather than anyone you personally know. Now name one who hasn’t been the subject of a movie or popular book recently.

Mathematicians tend to be somewhat obscure by nature - most people just don’t get what they do, so they don’t pay that much attention. Hence ‘famous mathematician’ means something slightly different from ‘famous film star’.

Alice: Actually, Quantum Mechanics is something I wouldn’t expect Einstein to be up on, but I see your point. :slight_smile:

Ah well. Guess it is just me after all. Now to send my e-mail to the admis asking for my name to be changed to “Amazing genius”.


You could be one of Hugo’s creations though. :stuck_out_tongue:

Did you ever think that maybe that’s REALLY HIS NAME???

I, personally, think it’s a nice name. I picked up on it because I was reading Feynman again.

On the other hand, I am not married to anyone with the initials HCE, nor do I have children by the names of Issy, Shem and Shaun.

I love it when people have unusual/obscure SNs…it’s the little “a-ha!” I get every now and then.


Well, my username is based on a genius, too. :wink:

I’m not sure that Ramanujan is going to read this, since he’s in New Orleans right now at a conference, but I just called him and told him he’d been pitted. He was highly amused.

Personally, I think this is a pretty stupid rant, but I’m sure he can speak for himself when he comes back or if he decides to post while he’s in N.O.

But word on the punctuation thing, kitarak. I’ve been gently suggesting the shift key for awhile now, but it’s been a losing battle. Eh. It’s up to him, I guess.

I don’t know about anyone else, but i’ll be really pissed off if i find out that Tars Tarkas isn’t a fifteen-foot tall green man with an extra set of arms. And if he and John Carter of Mars are not good friends, i’ll be even more annoyed.

Maybe it’s the person’s actual name. Are there any other Einsteins? Did his family change their last name once he became famous?

This is the lamest topic I have ever seen, and I am glad to be a part of it. But then again, I am a genius.

I am not gay, nor a poet, nor am I the embodiment of Kerouac’s fictionalization of Allen Ginsberg. Eh, whatever.

Kitarak–you’re probably one of very, very few people on these boards who would see the username “Ramanujan” and immediately think, “Ah ha, someone who’s calling himself a brilliant mathematical genius, how obnoxious…” Can you say, “Baggage”?

The rest of us just pretty much accept people’s nicks at face value, without devoting a lot of extra thought to what they’re calling themselves.

For example, since Google didn’t bring up anything obvious under “kitarak”, I mentally shrugged and moved on to something else. I don’t care what you call yourself. And, mostly, neither does anybody else here. And by the same token, neither does anybody else care what the Poster Known As Ramanujan calls himself.

And did you ever stop to consider the possibility that instead of connoting, “I’m an amazing math genius!” the username might have been chosen by somebody who was totally math-challenged as a form of self-deprecating humor?

And did you ever stop to think, besides the possibility that it’s simply his real name, that maybe it’s not “Ramanujan the Famous Mathematician”–maybe it’s “Ramanujan the Famous Poet and Folklorist”? No, because you’re evidently carrying around a lot of “math” baggage…