## Maxime Bôcher (1867 - 1918)

... there is what may perhaps be called the method of optimism which leads us either wilfully or instinctively to shut our eyes to the possibility of evil. Thus the optimist who treats a problem in algebra or analytic geometry will say, if he stops to reflect on what he is doing: "I know that I have no right to divide by zero; but there are so many other values which the expression by which I am dividing might have that I will assume that the Evil One has not thrown a zero in my denominator this time."

*Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society* **11** 1904, 134.