Tag: mathematics

  • Mathematicians are machines that are unable to recognize the fact that they are machines

    I am reading a Russian book about the “no computer thesis” based on the Gödel theorem. In the book there was a nice quote – see below – that somewhat close to what Bruno says. “And if such is the case, then we (qua mathematicians) are machines that are unable to recognize the fact that…

  • Mathematics as Escape

    Quotes from Edward Dolnick, The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, Chapter Twenty-One “Shuddering Before the Beautiful” ‘For the mathematically minded, the notion of glimpsing God’s plan has always exerted a hypnotic pull. The seduction is twofold. On the one hand, delving into the world’s mathematical secrets…

  • Weyl on mathematics vs. reality

    From Bas C van Fraassen Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective p. 208 “Herman Weyl expressed the fundamental insight as follows in 1934: ‘A science can never determine its subject-matter expect up to isomorphic representation. The idea of isomorphism indicates the self-understood, insurmountable barrier of knowledge. […T]oward the “nature” of its objects science maintains complete indifference.’…

  • Free Will and Mathematics

    Alekandr Lokshin has a book Free Will and Mathematics (in Russian) http://publ.lib.ru/ARCHIVES/L/LOKSHIN_Aleksandr_Aleksandrovich/Lokshin_A.A._Svobodnaya_volya_i_matematika.(2012).pdf.zip and he has started a discussion on the everything list with an abstract of the book in English http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list/t/276f7dffa1c88b0a Alekandr Lokshin, 27.05.2012 20:51: Alexander A. Lokshin FREE WILL AND MATHEMATICS Moscow, MAKS-Press, 2012 , 40 pages (abstract) The general idea of the booklet…

  • Two Mathematicians in a Bunker and Existence of Pi

    Below there is a problem that I have formulated in order to understand better what is mathematics. There are two related dicussions: http://groups.google.com/group/embryophysics/t/419d3c1fec30e3b5 http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list/t/b8d7efb597b2349a I will start first with the final version of the problem (Bruno’s comments were very helpful) and after that I will present my messages that led to the problem and the…

  • Science and Mathematics

    David Lindley, The End of Physics. The Myth of a Unified Theory, 1993. Prologue. The Lure of Numbers. In 1960, the Hungarian-American physicist Eugene Wigner published an essay entitled “The unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.” What puzzled Wigner puzzled many others, including Albert Einstein: “How can it be that mathatics,” he once…

  • The Emergent Age

    Chapter 16 from A Different Universe by Robert Laughlin. Ironically, the very success of reductionism has helped pave the way for its eclipse. Over time, careful quantitative study of microscopic parts has revealed that at the primitive level at least, collective principles of organization are not just a quaint side show but everything – the true…

  • Why it is difficult to learn mathematics

    One more citation from Peter Woit, 2006, Not Even Wrong, The failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law (Chapter On Beauty and Difficulty, p. 201)  Mathematicians don’t make things any easier, since readable expository material about much of modern mathematics is sorely lacking. The culture of mathematics values highly precision, rigor,…