...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, October 21, 2016

Some Miscellany From the Week


1)  This week The Aperiodical tweeted out that, "A little birdy tells us that Mochizuki's abc conjecture proof will be accepted into a journal "in the next few months". Hope it's not in The Journal of Irreproducible Results ;-)

Seriously, how does a journal even have room for such a proof, or do I assume they print summary and commentary, and give a digital link to the actual paper proof?

2)  Short Thomas Lumley piece on brute force in 'linguistics' computation (with interesting quote from Geoffrey Pullum):
3)   "Why Science Needs the Humanities" from John McGowan here:

4)  Fantastic followup on negative numbers from James Propp:

(and next month he'll be writing about self-referential sentences, one of my favorite topics)

5)  Andrew Gelman complains (I think rightfully) about Dan Gilbert's prior "inane" or "ridiculous" defense of social psychology's replication rate:

6)  I'm not one of them... BUT, if you're a fan of philosopher Alain Badiou, worth noting he has a new volume out, "In Praise of Mathematics":
http://amzn.to/2eyDkUg

7)  Wendy Menard encourages teachers to blog, and links to a lot of her own favorite math education resources/blogs here:
http://www.mathforamerica.org/news/enrich-and-enhance-your-professionalism-through-blogging

8)  Two of my loves in life are math and birds, so, hey, how could I resist citing a blog-post that combines the two:

9)  And there's always more weekly math-and-learning fare at Mike's Math Page:


Potpourri BONUS! (extra NON-mathematical links of interest):

1)  From last week's TED Radio Hour this (re-run) segment of Margaret Heffernan talking about the nature of work:

2)  And this is just one of my all-time favorite This American Life episodes ("The Family That Flees Together, Trees Together"), about the Jarvis family. It goes all the way back to 2001, and I find most people either missed it, or have forgotten it:



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