Empire’s Terrence Howard Thinks 1×1=2

Terrence Howard is either mentally ill or extremely ignorant, or a master troll, it’s hard to say which, but all probably deserve a bit of sympathy.  If he didn’t come across as so smug at the same time, he might get it.  Instead, he’ll be universally mocked for his ridiculous ideas, including that 1×1=2 in what amounts to a basic, fundamental misunderstanding of what that “x” represents in mathematics. 

How serious is Howard about his math?  He literally dropped out of university over it.  He was a chemical engineering student and dropped out after arguing with a professor that 1×1 must equal 2.  Let’s try to follow Howard’s logic.  According to him, it must equal 2 because the square root of 4 is 2.  Thus, the square root of 2 should be 1.  But instead, according to him, we’re told it’s 2.  This is not correct, incidentally.  The square root of 2 is 1.414213 and so on.  A square root is a number that produces the specified number when multiplied by itself.  So the number that produces 2 when multiplied by itself is 1.414 etc.  The number that produces 4 when multiplied by itself is 2.  How Howard got to college with this flawed understanding of math is bizarre since, by his thinking, the square of 8 should be 4.  It’s not just doubling numbers, Howard.

This sounds like a joke, a silly one, but apparently he’s totally into this idea of his that he’s revolutionized math and that 1×1=2 and we’ve all been doing it wrong for years.  He’s working on a system, naturally called Terryology, that would blow the mind of historical mathematicians like Pythagoras and Tesla.  Terry, the X means times.  The first number as many times as the second number.  Which is why anything times 1, including itself, is itself.  Because you only want that number one time.  That’s what it means.  That’s why 1×1 has to equal one.  You’re literally saying “Dear Mr. Math, please give me the number one, but just one time.”  For God’s sake Terry, you were in school!

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“I will now prove that 5×5 is potato!”

If you’re thinking this is a weird, out of context thing, remember that Terrence Howard is historically ridiculous.  Remember how he was in the first Iron Man movie but no other Iron Man movies?  That was because no one liked working with him.  He was difficult on set and so they scaled back his role and reduced his pay for the sequel.  That made Terry angry so he dropped out and later blamed Robert Downey Jr for it.  This was after he explained how he got Robert Downey Jr. the role, and Don Cheadle had wanted it before him anyway, and it was an amicable split.  You can read the timeline of him kind of making it up as he goes along here

In another example of his math gone awry, he’s sticking to his guns about Downey ruining his Marvel career and then outright says Downey cost him $100 million because the franchise would have been his.  Except that he played War Machine, not Iron Man, and Don Cheadle is not making $100 million on these movies.  Downey might be, but not Cheadle, so Howard was never, ever going to make $100 million as the sometimes sidekick character, regardless of what Downey may or may not have done to get him kicked out. 

It’s also worth noting that if Downey held out for more money and the studio opted to cut Howard to give that extra salary to Downey and then hired Cheadle for less, it’s still kind of not Downey’s fault.  It’s the studio that didn’t want to pay for a guy who doesn’t understand math and may have ego problems.

Fact is, Howard has a pattern of being an asshole in real life too.  He’s been arrested a number of times for assault, generally on women, in the past (that number is 6) and seems to be pretty unstable, as far as humans go.

In any event, Howard spends hours a day now cutting out pieces of plastic to build sculptures that will prove his mathematics and somehow change the world?  Hard to say, since he’s crazy.  Or, you know, just cursed with some brain bugs.  But hey, people like that Empire show.  That’s something.