...a companion blog to "Math-Frolic," specifically for interviews, book reviews, weekly-linkfests, and longer posts or commentary than usually found at the Math-Frolic site.

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"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty – a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show." ---Bertrand Russell (1907) Rob Gluck

"I have come to believe, though very reluctantly, that it [mathematics] consists of tautologies. I fear that, to a mind of sufficient intellectual power, the whole of mathematics would appear trivial, as trivial as the statement that a four-legged animal is an animal." ---Bertrand Russell (1957)

******************************************************************** Rob Gluck

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Wrap-Up


A varied mix of links that caught my interest in the week gone by:

1) Another interview with Jordan Ellenberg here (LA Times):
http://tinyurl.com/o63qxnx
For any who missed my review, last week, of Ellenberg's book "How Not To Be Wrong," it's here:
http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2014/06/how-not-to-go-wrong.html

2) A couple of quickie problems from Futility Closet:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/06/15/milestones/
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/06/17/pointing-fingers/

3) A May talk (~1 hr.) by Marcus du Sautoy on the aesthetics of mathematics is now online:
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-secret-mathematicians

4) If you're interested in chess, a long, but interesting post about cheating in chess, and about Ken Regan (co-author of one of my favorite blogs, "Gödel's Lost Letter..."), who investigates such behavior (I'd never even considered the likelihood of cheating in professional chess!):
http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12677/763
...and R.J. Lipton takes up the same subject here (at the above blog):
http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/the-problem-of-catching-chess-cheaters/

5) Another podcast interview from Sol Lederman, this time with Al Cuoco, author of "Learning Modern Algebra: From Early Attempts to Prove Fermat's Last Theorem," from MAA:
http://wildaboutmath.com/2014/06/14/al-cuoco-inspired-by-math-36/

6) A piece that isn't mathematical, but so interesting (provocative) about the superficiality of philosophy, I thought it ought be passed along (h/t Melody Dye):
http://tinyurl.com/nb6d3py
It's a long interview with philosopher Peter Unger about his new book "Empty Ideas." [There are some narrow aspects of philosophy that interest me, but otherwise I agree with much of what Unger says/implies here.]

7) And also speaking from a sort of quantitative-philosophical bent, the ever-interesting Scott Aaronson posts this very long, creative piece (h/t Cathy O'Neil) on "eigenmorality" (yeah, you read that right), a sort of crossing of philosophy, computer science, and complexity, involving Moses, Jesus, Rebecca Goldstein, Plato, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, et. al.:
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1820
[set aside some significant time to read and digest!]

8) Lastly, for the self-referentially-inclined:
First this:  https://twitter.com/michaelshermer/status/478681928703295488/photo/1
and then this (h/t John D. Cook): https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnthonyScopatz/posts/cCAhUSkRgTR



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