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Friday, November 05, 2004
  tax headache--but in this case that's a good thing : I've got too much tax crammed into my brain right now. Just learned all about the Alternative Minimum Tax (s. 55 et seq.) and it happened before I had the old system down (before I knew there was an alternative!). I am fine with it, though. The reason I like my tax class so much is that my prof, the man himself, finds ways to give us a structure to hang it all on: the story behind the code. (Don;t you know there's always a story?) Compare alt. min. tax as a policing mechanism, pre-1986, with alt. min. tax as a revenue generating mechanism, present-day. When you've got a structure provided for you, it becomes easier to parse through the code, and a bunch of disparate sections start forming into patterns before your very eyes. Sometimes the pattern is ugly, as the law often is, but it's cool to get a look at it.

I'm still waiting for that Russell Crowe moment in "A Beautiful Mind" where the lights go dim and I start seeing patterns in numbers, cue the Ron Howard signature musical score. Keep in mind though that while mathematics may be beautiful, this is the law we're talking about. The law has all these odd growths and deformities that math doesn't have. If you look at the subject matter, a law degree is more analogous to a degree in linguists than mathematicians. Which is all just to say, the Russell Crowe moment I'm, imagining would have to be called "An Ugly Mind" moment. I doubt it would do well at the box office.
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