Programming the Hound

Mechanical HoundThis week’s topic will be Fahrenheit 451. I know that most of you are wondering how this novel is related to mathematics. I thought that the book couldn’t be related to mathematics in any way. However, after taking some time to think about it, I remembered that the technology in Fahrenheit 451 is related to mathematics because everyone who operates machines needs to know their science and science uses mathematics. I will be explaining why a person would need to know how to do their computations in order to operate the Mechanical Hound. I recommend that everyone who reads this blog post clicks on the Mechanical Hound shown above in order to see how the Mechanical Hound hunts its victims through the perspective of the Mechanical Hound itself. Click on Mechanical Hound in order to learn about the construction of the Mechanical Hound and how the Mechanical Hound attacks the people it was programmed to attack. Now that you know the Mechanical Hound’s appearance and how it hunts, I will explain how knowledge of mathematics is applied to operating the Mechanical Hound.

The Mechanical Hound is a robotic dog that “lives” solely for the purpose of tracking and attacking. I put the word “lives” in quotes there is more to life than just survival. Life is about survival and thinking for oneself. The Mechanical Hound isn’t really living because it is just doing what it is programmed to do, not what it wants to do. On page twenty-six of Fahrenheit 451, Beatty, the Captain of the firemen, explained to Montag that the Mechanical Hound is programmed to attack certain people by entering the correct amino acid combinations. The people who operate the Mechanical Hound need to know their science in order to enter the correct amino acid combinations (and chemicals like sulfur and alkaline). They need mathematics in order to make sure that they have the correct percentages of each chemical implemented into the Mechanical Hound’s memory.

I hope all of you liked this post about mathematics, science, and technology. I will be editing my whole blog this weekend and do what I can to improve. I will be seeing all of you readers next week.

The Furious Hound (Character Analysis by Ray Bradbury, the author)

©DaveParker(CC BY 2.0)


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