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On V. I. Arnold's website you can find the following text:

All mathematics is divided into three parts: cryptography (paid for by CIA, KGB and the like), hydrodynamics (supported by manufacturers of atomic submarines) and celestial mechanics (financed by military and by other institutions dealing with missiles, such as NASA.).

Cryptography has generated number theory, algebraic geometry over finite fields, algebra \footnote{The creator of modern algebra, Vi`ete, was the cryptographer of King Henry~I/V of France.}, combinatorics and computers.

Hydrodynamics procreated complex analysis, partial derivative equations, Lie groups and algebra theory, cohomology theory and scientific computing.

Celestial mechanics is the origin of dynamical systems, linear algebra, topology, variational calculus and symplectic geometry. The existence of mysterious relations between all these different domains is the most striking and delightful feature of mathematics (having no rational explanation).

Why did Arnold say that and what exactly did he mean with it? Is it historically justified to claim that these three topics were the only propulsions for any higher mathematical developments?

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closed as not constructive by Pedro Tamaroff, Henning Makholm, Will Jagy, Jasper Loy, Old John Apr 7 '13 at 22:52

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"...what exactly did he mean with it?" That is something you should ask Arnolds. OK, with a Ouija board. –  Pedro Tamaroff Apr 7 '13 at 22:18
Arnold said a lot of things. Especially during the last decade of his life. –  Artem Apr 7 '13 at 22:19
Maybe he meant "all mathematics funding." –  Alexander Gruber Apr 7 '13 at 22:20
It's ridiculous to say celestial mechanics is the source of all linear algebra, too. Seems like just a stupidly over-broad statement. –  Thomas Andrews Apr 7 '13 at 22:22
@Dominik: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouija –  Zev Chonoles Apr 7 '13 at 22:25