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The Mathematical Association of America Defiles the Altar of Math
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See also: “They Might As Well Put Bones Through Their Noses”— John Derbyshire On The Corruption Of Scientific America

Posting on the contents of my email bag earlier in the week, I mentioned that many, many listeners and readers had directed my attention to the October 2nd statement by a committee of the Mathematical Association of America, the MAA, urging “all members of our profession”—so I guess that means mathematicians—to embrace social-justice activism. I promised to pass comment.

Let me just clarify my own approach to math. I can pretty much do this in my sleep, as I’ve been doing it for seventeen years, since I published the first of my two books about math.

If you write books about math, you get regular emails—I’m still getting them—from people who want you to read and pass opinions about their eighteen-page paper on Chebyshev polynomials or Morse Theory (which, trust me, has nothing whatever to do with dots and dashes).

My boilerplate reply is: “I am not a mathematician, only journalist a with a math degree. Please contact the math department of your nearest university.”

There’s a bit more to be said than that. I love math, but it’s an unrequited love. Math doesn’t love me. I’m not much good at it. I discovered that when I took my degree.

Still the old affection lingers. I belong to both of the professional associations in Math, the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society. I mingle with real mathematicians any chance I get.

I still love math, although math still doesn’t love me back. I moon about in the street under her balcony, hoping for a glimpse, occasionally playing a mournful love song on my lute.

That’s how I feel about math. So now, this October 2nd statement from the MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics. Title: Anti-Science Policy and the Censure of Discourse on Race and Racism.

Members of the stone-kicker fraternity might respond positively to that heading. “The Censure of Discourse on Race and Racism” Hey, maybe the MAA is taking a stand against the suppression and outlawing of race realism! “Anti-Science Policy”? Yay, let’s have more respect for careful empirical inquiry, no matter where it leads.

You might object that math is a rational inquiry, not an empirical one; and that there is no need for the MAA to take any position at all on race realism. Sure, yeah, but the heading as it stands is open to a positive interpretation.

Vain are the hopes of man! In fact, the statement is mainly an angry denunciation of the Trump administration’s bans on the anti-white indoctrination of the federal workforce.

I’ll just quote the last paragraph to give you the flavor:

It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential. Reaching this potential in mathematics relies upon the academy and higher education engaging in critical, challenging, sometimes uncomfortable conversations about the detrimental effects of race and racism on our community. The time is now to move mathematics and education forward in pursuit of justice.

“Community” … “critical” … “conversations” … “racism” … “justice” … I don’t think they’ve omitted a single buzzword from the CultMarx lexicon.

And is it actually true that “mathematics is created by humans”? If the human race were to be wiped out by a rogue solar flare next Tuesday, would two plus two still be equal to four? If two stars in our galaxy went supernova, and then two more, would that be four supernovas altogether?

Some very smart people indeed have been ruminating on such matters for a couple of thousand years.

They still are: If you want to take up the topic, I recommend starting with Lakoff and Núñez’s 2001 book Where Mathematics Comes From.

One thing that is indisputably the case is that the math we have today was created by, or stands on foundations created by, persons of white-European or West Asian stock, well-nigh all of them male. I don’t think …

Sounds of screaming.

Sorry, sorry, sorry. Never mind.

So how do I feel about this MAA statement? For a person like me, who reveres math, it is crapping on the altar.

Or to revert to my original metaphor: Here I am in the street under the balcony of my one true love, playing a melancholy ballad on my lute in hopes of touching her heart.

And there she is in her chamber with a dirty ignorant hippie doped up on meth, some lowlife she picked up in a bar, and they are making the Beast with Two Backs.

That’s how I feel. I am seriously contemplating canceling my MAA subscription.

A footnote to the preceding: A friend to whom I showed the MAA statement spotted a thing I’d missed. Of the eighteen signatories to the statement, twelve are female. (It looks like thirteen at first glance, but “Kamuela” is a male name, from Hawaiian.) Twelve out of eighteen: A little math tells me that is precisely two-thirds. Draw your own conclusions.

More demographic info on the signers

Math Community Members:

White Females

Anne Dudley, AMATYC Executive Director (White Female)

Carrie Diaz Eaton, Chair, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics (White Hispanic Female, father from Peru)

Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer, Senior Director for Programs, MAA (White Female)

Francesca Bernardi, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics (White Northern Italian Female)

Jenna Carpenter, Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (White Female)

Jennifer Quinn, President-Elect of the MAA (White Female)

Kathryn Kozak, AMATYC President (White Female) [AMATYC is the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, I.E. community colleges]

Margaret Reese, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics (White Female)

Marilyn Elaine Mays, Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (Female, Probably White, almost unknown and probably retired)

Nancy Sattler, member AMATYC, MAA, TPSE, & Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (White Female)

White Males

Christopher Goff, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics (White Male, Assistant Provost for Diversity at his university)

Michael Dorff, President of the MAA (White Male Mormon with five children)

Michael Pearson, Executive Director, MAA (White Male)

Victor Piercey, Chair of the Michigan Section of the MAA (White Male)

Sort-of Minorities

James A. M. Álvarez, MAA Board of Directors & MAA Congress Representative for Minority Interests (Mexican-American White Male, family Texan since 1890)

Kamuela Yong, [Pictured right] Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics (Male, First Native Hawaiian PhD. In applied Math)

Omayra Ortega, [Pictured right] Editor-in-Chief of the NAM newsletter and NAM representative for Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (Panamanian-American black Female)

Yun Kang, AMS representative for Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences (Asian Female, Mainland Chinese)

 

So the only people on this list who would actually qualify as minority are Kamuela Yong, the Hawaiian, and Omayra Ortega—unless you’re unaware that many white people in Spain, Italy, and South America have vowels on the ends of their names . Yun Kang, from Mainland China, is a minority in the US general population, but not an underrepresented minority in math, or in the world: there are currently 1,439,323,776 people in China.

James A. M. Álvarez [Pictured right] has a story of historical discrimination on his MAA page:

James A. M. Alvarez was born in San Antonio, Texas. He grew up near Saspamco, Texas, on a farm originally purchased by his great grandparents after they immigrated to Texas in 1890 from Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. His pursuit of higher education was encouraged by his parents, in particular by his mother Olga Mendoza Alvarez and his father Jonas Alvarez. His mother grew up in an era of intense discrimination against Mexican Americans, but managed to graduate from high school at the age of fifteen, eventually receive both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, and teach elementary school for forty years. His father, who immigrated to the United States in 1963, is also a teacher.

What it amounts to is Alvarez’ family has been in America since the 19th century, they owned their own farm, both his parents were teachers, and you can’t tell from his picture he’s Mexican.

The MAA Congress Minority Interests people need to try harder.

 

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. What If says:

    Very good article, but not a surprise. It has been like that for a quite while.

    Where I work, it has become a norm that technical questions are approached in democratic way. If we decide that 2+2 is not 4, but 5 or 3, as long as we agree and are being nice to each other, cherish diversity and collaboration, it is all well, 2+2=5 or 3, whichever.

    It was not like that. It kind of started in recent 5-6 years. I am engineer by vocation, working in computers for a government (no jobs for engineers, eh) and I feel similar to Mr. Derbyshire. I am white, male, married with adult children, not Anglo-Saxon ethnicity, otherwise I would have been 100% politically incorrect. Well, nobody’s perfect, so I am only 80% non-PC.

    People in business and governments generally ignore exact sciences, but when it becomes necessary we vote and mathematics ends up a looser. However, everybody believes they are experts in statistics, since they know to calculate average value if given set of numbers, only to complain how 1/2 of the sample is below average, then we all look for creative solutions. Recently, we were asked by a manger, PhD in Statistics, to reduce racism in our department by 80% in next 4 months. Beats me how is any “ism” measured so we can reduce it by given percentage. But, what do I know, I am just Eastern European engineer, five years on the level below masters, thank you very much.

    However, one day, my country entered European Union and everything had to be synchronized with EU, education system as well. Then we learned that according to EU rules (Bologna Convention), everybody with 4 or more years of university is entitled to Masters Degree. That is how I became a master. If that is normal, then nothing really should be a surprise.

    Oh, I forgot, where I work people create questions for math and language tests. For last 20 years we have been balancing test questions – equal number of boys, girls, all skin colors plus native American population (Indians and Inuit). Math? Nobody cares about math. Perhaps in near future we will vote democratically to abolish Pythagoras’s theorem. Squares and roots are complicated to calculate, and do not allow expression of identity.

    Then we hear how USA will bring back factories from China and be great again. I don’t think so, but I may be overvoted or vetoed.

    • Replies: @jacobs-adder
  2. El Dato says:

    It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases.

    This is evidently a call for the next step beyond Brouwer’s (entirely proper) call for a mathematical logic that doesn’t posit that all statements be either objectively true or false in some Platonic universe out there that led to Intuitionistic Logic(s)

    It could be called Wokationistic Logic.

    • Replies: @HallParvey
  3. I assume it’s relevant that Kamuela Yong’s PhD is in APPLIED math.

    Several years ago, they had a women of color article at work (a very large engineering company). The black women’s achievements were in things like “engineering management” and “engineering planning”. The Asian women’s achievement’s were in hardcore engineering like electrical engineering. The article said it was “smashing stereotypes” but it confirmed my stereotypes.

  4. Can someone point out the human bias in 2+2=4?

    I can’t seem to recognize it.

    • Replies: @Getaclue
  5. hagyos says:

    A total destruction of the society. Women in positions of power, effeminate men. We are witnessing the end of a period. Mathematics is not invented, can not be invented. Only in blind or self-centered minds this thought can arise. These days can be said to be characterized by “The rise of the idiots”, or “The rise of the mutants”. If they succeed in destroying the European culture, the darkness will be deep, very deep. To he eastern European that discovered that his 5-year degree was equated to a masters degree, do not feel bad about it. It is right. In 5 years in the mathematics lectures of those universities you learned more than even many math Phd’s in the USA or Canada, not all of course, but in general, I have been a witness to that. Why do you think that PhD = Kandidat Nauk, while there was never equivalent to Doktor Nauk?
    Many mathematics departments now are flooded by homos, lesbos, applicants to that, feminists, effeminate men, etc. No surprise then that Mathematics would go woke. But it will be reborn. Notice how some of the links in the article to the woke idiots take you to degenerates. This comment is written by a white man of Spanish heritage.

    • Replies: @James N. Kennett
    , @Rahan
  6. Anon[324] • Disclaimer says:

    Kamuela Yong? Yong isn’t a Hawaiian name. Did “first native Hawaiian with a Ph. D. in applied math” just happen to sound better than “first Chinese with a Ph. D. in applied math”?

  7. dearieme says:

    His pursuit of higher education was encouraged by his parents, in particular by his mother Olga Mendoza Alvarez and his father Jonas Alvarez.

    How many parents did he have, then? Is counting parents a tough technical task?

    • LOL: martin_2, lavoisier
  8. If you can’t do, teach. If you can’t teach, say that it’s racist. In today’s America, you’ll get farther than if you could actually do in the first place.

  9. TG says:

    I agree with the essentials here, and yes the increasing “wokeness” of math and the hard sciences is absurd. However, I could not resist adding the following quote:

    “God created the integers, all else is the work of man.” (Leopold Kronecker)

    Indeed if the human race is wiped out, 2+2 will still equal 4. But will the square root of negative 1 still be around?

  10. Seneca44 says:
    @TG

    “i” can only imagine that number

    • LOL: Realist
    • Replies: @Ray
  11. jamie b. says:

    “…acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans…” / “Of the eighteen signatories to the statement, twelve are female.”

    It really does seem that women are far less likely to be Platonists/realists.

    • Agree: ivan
  12. Wyatt says:

    I’m not good at math, but I respect it for the ability to determine the mass of a speck in the sky based on how much its gravity warps light and space around it.

    Now, what I have learned from this article on math:

    White women are the AIDS that weaken the organizational body.
    Minorities are the flu that actually kill the organizational body.
    Jews are mushrooms.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  13. TGD says:

    Would Mr. Darbasher consider (((Grigori Perelman))) arguably the world’s greatest living mathematician to be “European white” or western Asian? And I don’t see a category for eastern Asian mathematicians like Terence Tao who holds the record for the highest IQ ever recorded. Come come Mr. Darbasher were you having a bad day when you wrote this column?

  14. anon[334] • Disclaimer says:

    Math and science are racist and sexist.

    Assuming that is true…

    So? What are they gonna do about it? What can they do about it?

  15. MarkU says:

    It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential.

    There actually may be some truth in this. I am quite prepared to consider the possibility that our system of mathematics is discriminatory against non-human students and non-humans in our community. I notice an apparent absence of non-humans on that list of members (though I cannot be certain on that count) surely the hypocrisy revealed by that should be addressed promptly.

  16. This interesting article comes up at the right time.
    We feel that the system has became so absurd and lying, that inevitably one day or another there is to be a confrontation with the last sanctuary of common truth : maths. A square has four equal sides is an eternal truth in a way, because it doesn’t need reality or time. The said sides have no need to be measured (that last aspect will always result in interpretations and conflicts if the stakes are high). It’s just a definition.It is perfect in itself. And numbers also (even 1, 2 …) are pure and “eternal”, because they are abstractions.
    BTW- but maybe it was implicit for all- , 2+2 = 5, “say it or i torture you with electricity in room 101”, is a the scene from 1984 (Orwell).
    The paradox is that the machines, which the evil system is so fond of, works accordingly to 2+2=4.
    So there is an internal conflict in the system, a source of violence and madness.
    Maybe Christ was also refering to some simple things like 2+2=4 when he said “I came ta make a testimony for truth”…
    Religion goes along with math better than what some think…

    • Replies: @jamie b.
  17. Ray says: • Website
    @Seneca44

    You deserve an up-vote or something for that . Of so “i ” would “i”magine.

  18. fondolo says:

    Just a first impression, but the list of names doesn’t seem to include a lot of Jewish Ph.D.’s. Usually one would expect them to be in the forefront of a social justice program. And how about Asian males. When I think of math stars, I think Jewish and Chinese. Is there any sort of ranking system for academic mathematicians? Somehow I don’t think there are any superstars in this constellation.

  19. martin_2 says:
    @TG

    You’re wiping the human race out but you’re still keeping the Universe and inhabiting it with a mind that thinks. Suppose there were nothing, that is to say, no Universe even. Would 2 + 2= 4 then?

    Furthermore, Godel proved in the 1930’s that under reasonable assumptions The Continuum Hypothesis is true, and Cohen proved in the 1950’s that under reasonable assumptions The Continuum Hypothesis is False. AFAIK we are no nearer getting to the bottom of that.

    (The Continuum Hypothesis is the assertion that there is no infinity that lies between the infinity of the integers and the infinity of the points on a line.)

  20. @El Dato

    or in the world: there are currently 1,439,323,776 people in China.

    In the time it takes to read that number out loud pronouncing every word, about 6.5 seconds for me, 3 babies are born in China and three senior citizens die. Assuming an average age of 78 with no allowance for any inrease in the number of Chinese. And they probably all have higher eeks than members of the MAA Committee.

    But then it’s all just mathilogic isn’t it.

  21. jamie b. says:
    @martin_2

    Conversely, could there be minds without mathematical truth?

  22. jamie b. says:
    @TG

    But will the square root of negative 1 still be around?

    It’s unfortunate that we call these ‘imaginary’ numbers. ‘Orthogonal’ numbers would have been better. AAR, ‘imaginary’ numbers are just as real/unreal as the ‘real’ numbers.

    • Agree: bomag
  23. jamie b. says:
    @Christophe GJ

    A square has four equal sides is an eternal truth in a way, because it doesn’t need reality or time. The said sides have no need to be measured…

    Arguments of this sort are simply insisting on a concrete measure of reality, without really spelling out why abstraction must be secondary or purely imaginary despite being objectively true.

  24. ltravail says:

    Being an Englishman, don’t you mean to say” maths” as opposed to “math”?

    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
  25. @martin_2

    Suppose there were nothing, that is to say, no Universe even. Would 2 + 2= 4 then?

    If a man speaks in the forest and nobody hears, is he still wrong?

    • Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin
  26. @hagyos

    Many mathematics departments now are flooded by homos, lesbos, applicants to that, feminists, effeminate men, etc.

    Mathematics has always had a share of homosexual men, Aspergerists, and general weirdos. This is what you get if you select for mathematical ability.

    The difference this time round is that they want to “correct” the under-representation of groups that underachieve in maths. They are not thinking, because it has become a crime to think about certain things.

    • Replies: @hagyos-1
  27. @James N. Kennett

    “If a man speaks in the forest and nobody hears, is he still wrong?”

    If he is a cis-het-white-male speaking in the forest with nobody to hear, nothing he says will be right.

    It’s no matter about what is said but who is doing the saying.

    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
  28. Mulegino1 says:

    Remember, we Americans mostly swallowed the florid rhetoric equating justice and leveling equality, despite these two concepts being absolutely antithetical.

    The enforcement of egalitarianism is a fatal toxin to any free society or state. Any societal ideology that promotes and mandates the concept of truth itself as a matter of democratic consensus is bound to lead to the subordination of all objective sciences to the madness of quantitative democracy. All knowledge, eliefs and standards will be subjected to raw, naked power, and ultimately, the collapse of a civilization already in decline, as this requires principles of hierarchy, quality, epistemological objectivity and the exercise of reason (not mere rationalism or scientism) in order to exist and function.

    This is all about the tribe’s imposition of the negrophilic mania which has our own society in a hammerlock.

  29. Rosie says:
    @Wyatt

    White women are the AIDS that weaken the organizational body.

    No, that would be the corrosive male individualism that drives demand for cheap labor.

    In any event, I seriously doubt most of these women had much of a choice in the matter. If someone shoves a diversity letter like this in your face and asks you to sign, what are you gonna do? Say no?

    Maybe if the male-dominated science community had gone to bat for James Damore, a perfect gentleman in my opinion, women and men both would have a bit more courage about these things.

    BTW Derb did you show this article to your daughter? Does she know you pander for clicks to people who hate her and want to see her treated as a second-class citizen?

    • Replies: @Wyatt
    , @Rahan
    , @John Pepple
  30. Getaclue says:
    @RoatanBill

    Well if you didn’t have “white Privilege” you wouldn’t have to ask….thankfully if Biden wins the FEMA Re-Education Camps Obama set up will be open and ready to guide you….

  31. Anon[383] • Disclaimer says:

    Humans discovered mathematics.

    • Agree: jamie b.
    • Replies: @Rex Little
  32. @TGD

    Perelman is an interesting cat: he’s told all the major mathematics prizes to go fuck themselves. In doing so he’s foregone cash prizes that almost constitute “Fuck You” money in St Petersburg (depending on the USD-turnip exchange rate).

    It made me wish Feynman had declined the Nobel Prize; he kinda put shit on prizes generally, but he didn’t tell them to fuck off. Telling them to fuck off would have been boss.

    As an aside, if any local Russophones can help: would that be Отъебись money? I learned Ёб твою мать (job tvoje maj – go home and fuck our mother) as being “Fuck you”, but it seems a bit too specific. Maybe Отъебись is a closer ‘translation’ to get the context, but even then it’s more “Fuck off” rather than “Fuck you”.

    Thoughts?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  33. @Kolya Krassotkin

    If a man speaks in the forest and no woman hears, is he still wrong?

  34. karel says:

    Article seems Ok, although why to spend so much time criticising some marginal groups? I fail to understand your logic in the statement that
    ”“Community” … “critical” … “conversations” … “racism” … “justice” … I don’t think they’ve omitted a single buzzword from the CultMarx lexicon.”
    What does this have to do with Marxist theories? Nothing, I guess, as you can find these ”buzzwords” elsewhere. From reading a similar kind of nonsense, that appears daily in MSM, any fool may get the impression that the US of A has finally fallen into the hands of comunists.

    Are Russian mathematicians living in Vladivostok ”western Asians” or whatever you may have meant by these weasel words? It seems, that like most Americans, you have also serious problems with geography. Can you find Iran on the map?

    • Replies: @Getaclue
  35. Menes says:

    Derbyshire wrote:

    One thing that is indisputably the case is that the math we have today was created by, or stands on foundations created by, persons of white-European or West Asian stock

    Ignorant bullshit from a racist and sexist third-rate “mathematician”. Europeans did not invent the foundations of modern math you liar. Or the wheel, or writing, or agriculture, or science, or philosophy, or architecture, or sculpture, or paper, or gunpowder etc, etc. Civilization itself was invented by non-whites in Egypt, India, southern Iraq and China.

    The basic foundations of the math we use today _the decimal numeral system (India), arithmetic (Egypt), algebra (India and Uzbekistan) and geometry (Egypt)_ were all the inventions of non-europeans.

    The real fathers of the modern scientific/mathematical age were Brahmagupta of India (598 CE – 668 CE), and al-Khwarizmi of Uzbekistan (780 CE – 850 CE); with al-Khwarizmi being the direct father. Khwarizmi was the head of the famous ‘House of Wisdom’ in Baghdad. Without his books, written in arabic and translated into Latin in the 12th century, there would have been no Scientific Revolution in Europe. The two indispensable books on math by al-Khwarizmi are:

    kitāb al-mukhtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-ğabr wa’l-muqābala (‘The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing’)

    kitāb al-ḥisāb al-hindī (‘Book of Indian computation’)

  36. NotSo says:

    I’ll just quote the last paragraph to give you the flavor:
    It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases.

    Actually, this paragraph does NOT give “the flavor” of the article. The article is mostly a critique of certain policies and positions of the Trump administration, for example regarding education. Now some may take the position that MAA officials should not make public statements on such matters. But one should not misrepresent the article by cherry-picking the most surprising sentence in it as representative, not least because that sentence may have been poorly worded.

  37. Wyatt says:
    @Rosie

    You’re just mad your gender fucks up anything it touches. At least men build things before they break them. Women just bitch at each other, at men, at children and minorities who think independently. Just accept that God made you just a little worse than men and that had a massive impact on the achievements females don’t have.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  38. Rahan says:
    @hagyos

    A total destruction of the society. Women in positions of power, effeminate men. We are witnessing the end of a period

    Good potential here for a menstruation-related pun.

  39. Rahan says:
    @Rosie

    BTW Derb did you show this article to your daughter? Does she know you pander for clicks to people who hate her and want to see her treated as a second-class citizen?

    See, this approach, that there are only two possible ways to react to someone, either:
    a) “Celebrate” them for merely existing, and blindly accept everything they want because “it’s the decent thing to do”, or
    b) hate them and treat them as second-class citizens,

    That’s a very insidious GloboHomo hypno-seed which too many decent and smart people have swallowed. No, the alternatives are not only total submission+celebration on one side or hate and oppression on the other. There’s an enormous spectrum between the two, and this is where most normal people want the chance to live.

    Democratic civilization happens when all participants have the right to compete against each other, and every thesis gets a counter thesis and every action receives a reaction. Thus a functional middle-ground is forged. Just simply accepting everything one side wants, because otherwise “hitler will arise from the grave” this is not just bullshit, this is cancer that creates more and more white spots on the map, more and more forbidden topics, more and more forbidden thoughts, and therefore a less and less healthy civilization that will not be able to keep the lights on or the streets safe or to build a damn bridge.

    GloboHomo first dismantled the taboos of the previous civilization, and this allowed more freedom of speech and behavior, but then quickly enforced it’s own, duplicating the Victorian paradigm, only this time it was sex that was allowed topic, and almost everything else that became taboo. Just as crippling for healthy social development as the original Victorian taboos.

    Derb would “hate his daughter” is he wanted her to exist in a society that mandates official pandering to anything his daughter does, while within the field of “allowed degeneracy”, because this would destroy his daughter fast.

    When people push back against trannie kids, this doesn’t mean “they hate trans people”. When they push back against mandatory gay lessons, this doesn’t mean “they hate gays”. When they push back against lies about black crime levels or against hiring people just because they’re black, this doesn’t mean “they hate blacks”. This “everything or nothing” approach is the cancer that is destroying the US and the West.

    “Either you agree with everything I say, or you therefore are a hate-filled fascist who wants to destroy me, therefore I have the moral right to destroy you first”–this mantra has allowed too many people to give themselves permission to switch off their brains and their notions of fair play, level playing field, checks and balances, basic political freedoms, dignity, mercy, and so on.

    This is how the “decent and smart folks” have convinced themselves that half the country are subhuman fascists worthy only of contempt and pain. And they feel this in their bones, in their nerves, they have let this hypno-seed take them over completely, they will go to their graves raving that this is true, that this is reality. And at the same time claiming that it’s not them who are the fascists, but the other side.

    This is cancer.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  40. hagyos-1 says:
    @James N. Kennett

    Only in the Hollywood world. Those are outliers. Don’t confuse reality with Holly-shit.

  41. “Give Rodney another chance!!!”

    • LOL: Grahamsno(G64)
  42. Rosie says:
    @Rahan

    I don’t really disagree with anything you say here. I certainly don’t think submission/celebration or hate/oppression are the only alternatives.

    I do disagree with this:

    ) “Celebrate” them for merely existing, and blindly accept everything they want because “it’s the decent thing to do”, or

    If that were happening, it would be bad, but I don’t think it is. But that’s a mere question of fact that is beside the real point here.

    I didn’t say Derb hates his daughter. I said he panders for clicks to people who hate his daughter and earnestly wish to disenfranchise her, such as Wyatt here who compares women to a deadly virus. Do you have nothing to say to him?

    This is the problem with Unz. There are those who truly despise women, and those who never challenge those who despise women. On very rare occasions, someone will object to some particularly egregious thing a misogynist like Wyatt says, but it’s rare.

    • Thanks: Rahan
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  43. Rosie says:
    @Wyatt

    Just accept that God made you just a little worse than men and that had a massive impact on the achievements females don’t have.

    Shut up, you insufferable pig. God gave me the power to make babies, a pursuit that has occupied the better part of women’s attention (and very frequently killed us) for many thousands of years as we have replenished the population after your uninterrupted bouts of mass slaughter. The decent, grateful thing for you to do would be to recognize that women have earned the right to pursue any field of endeavor we like and be judged on our own merits. But you’re not a grateful and decent person.

    • LOL: Amerimutt Golems
    • Replies: @HallParvey
    , @Realist
  44. My God, Derbyshire, you are such a racist. If you’d just take the trouble, as Steve Sailer often does, to google “American Mathematicians” you’d see that most of them are people of color.

    • LOL: acementhead
  45. Those affected should look into forming a separate association. Dealing with woke idiots is so taxing.

  46. @Rosie

    Well said.

    Except for

    recognize that women have earned the right to pursue any field of endeavor we like

    Women are too valuable to be allowed to participate in the wars fought be men, who are fighting over territory in order to attract the attention of females. War is just an expanded version of “King of the Mountain” to determine the dominant male.

    Also women should be discouraged (not prohibited) from participating in dangerous activities such as space travel, construction, and those activities that pose a real threat to life and limb.

    Other than that, have fun. There’s a reason why a large segment of commercial activity in the west is aimed at selling attraction enhancement lotions, potions and accessories to women.

    After all when a lady is fishing, hoping to hook a family support participant, she needs the right bait.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  47. Rosie says:
    @HallParvey

    Women are too valuable to be allowed to participate in the wars fought be men, who are fighting over territory in order to attract the attention of females. War is just an expanded version of “King of the Mountain” to determine the dominant male.

    Also women should be discouraged (not prohibited) from participating in dangerous activities such as space travel, construction, and those activities that pose a real threat to life and limb.

    Agree, but then few women will be qualified for many of these jobs anyway. The manosphere has some legitimate gripes, and the shoehorning of women into combat roles in the military is one of them. If a man is expected to risk his life, he is entitled to equally capable comrades, not weak links.

    Other than that, have fun. There’s a reason why a large segment of commercial activity in the west is aimed at selling attraction enhancement lotions, potions and accessories to women.

    After all when a lady is fishing, hoping to hook a family support participant, she needs the right bait.

    I caution women against relying too much on fleeting physical beauty to attract a man. I went full grunge in the 90s, and definitely started having better luck with men. I didn’t get as much attention, but I got the better sort of attention. I’ve now been happily married for 20 years. I equally caution men about relying on wealth to attract a woman. That is very likely to end in tears.

  48. Getaclue says:
    @karel

    Are you trying to pretend you are this totally clueless or are you actually?

  49. Fr. John says:

    1+1+1=1

    3=1

    That’s all the math a Christian needs to know. And worshiping ANYTHING other than the living God, Mr. Derbyshire, is idolatry. Which is EXACTLY what all of these POCs are doing.

    They are worshiping the Idol of Kali the Destroyer. That’s why they’re all voting for Kamala Harris, no doubt. Just sayin’…

  50. Anonymous[383] • Disclaimer says:
    @Menes

    One thing that is indisputably the case is that the math we have today was created by, or stands on foundations created by, persons of white-European or West Asian stock

    Ignorant bullshit from a racist and sexist third-rate “mathematician”. Europeans did not invent the foundations of modern math you liar

    White Europeans or West Asians. Do you have trouble reading to the end of sentences?

  51. Science is not democratic. E=Mc² is not determined by vote. To turn math and science to an SJW movement is the end of knowledge and of the age. It is a return to the Thirty Years War. Zombies rule the world.

  52. Funny that a black gentleman adorns the cover of the book you recommend.

  53. I wonder where homosexuals fit into all of this. Which distinguished mathematicians have been gay? Why are we not seeing outreach to gay and lesbian persons by the mathematics community? Why are you people pointedly avoiding the most important question on the topic!

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @nebulafox
  54. @Anon

    Humans discovered mathematics.

    No, they invented math. They discovered the facts of reality that math deals with, but math itself is a set of tools to manipulate, understand and utilize those facts. Like all tools, it was invented.

    • Replies: @jamie b.
  55. wwebd said – One of the funniest comedians ever – I forget his name, but – this is true – he used to have a 900 number you could call, the phone company would charge you 35 cents, and you would listen to about 60 seconds of his jokes – well, I forget his name, but I remember what he said once, when he was a little drunk, on a late night talk show …. the host asks him “What is it like to be a famous comedian” and he said, touchingly, something like this —- “I never call myself a comedian. Real comedians are rare. Lots of people think they are comedians, but lots of people think they are all-star shortstops. If you’re not an all-star shortstop, you shouldn’t call yourself one.”

    Of course, whoever the comedian was – I forget his name, it could have been Henny Youngman, but I am not sure – said it better, but it was true. Buster Keaton, Chaplin, the Three Stooges – those were comedians. There are dozens of houses in California where people live who are not comedians but who made money making people laugh, enough money to buy their houses – but they made their money pretending to be comedians, not by being comedians.

    By the way, Mr Derbyshire, there is a good chance that, outside of the field of recreational mathematicians, there are almost no real and original mathematicians alive today, either: Math is hard, and it gets harder every year, and it sort of leaves almost all of us behind (that being said I am a big friend, with many fond memories of good times spent together, of some of the mid-sized prime numbers. So there’s that). So don’t feel bad that you did not become a really talented mathematician (by the way, I read your book on the ‘zetas of the zeros’ from cover to cover and found no typos or errors, although you wrote something a little dubious about Finland, but I forget now what it was).

    (Footnote for anyone under 50 – the 900 numbers were a scam in the liberal 1970s where the phone company would charge you up to a dollar a minute, or something like that, to make a phone call to a number where, on the other end of the line, someone would talk about sex with you ….. the comedian charge was like 35 cents a minute – I called a few times —- and, while I never called it, I think I remember the sex charge was a dollar a minute or more.)

  56. edit

    delete (some of the mid-sized prime numbers)

    and add

    (some of the mid-sized prime numbers and their neighbors)

    for the sake of verisimilitude

    (if I were in a really good mood tonight I would have misspelled verisimilitude for the purpose of making an Anglo-Japanese pun but I am simply in a good mood, not a really good mood, and nobody would get the pun anyway. if you are interested in what the pun would have been, focus on Japanese words for certain geographical phenomena that do not naturally occur in Japan).

  57. @Happy Tapir

    I can think only of Turing. I think in math, physics…. there are very, very few gays. Asexuals yes, but gays- hardly.

    Gays tend to gravitate towards arts.

    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
  58. Art Deco says:
    @Rosie

    I said he panders for clicks to people who hate his daughter and earnestly wish to disenfranchise her,

    He doesn’t, of course. You have a neuralgic reaction to any argument or assertion that women can be a problem. No such argument or assertion has aught to do with his daughter, other than a suggestion that all else being equal she’s more likely to be a problem to someone in ways x, y, and z than is his son.

    • Agree: Theophrastus
    • Replies: @Rosie
  59. Rosie says:
    @Art Deco

    You have a neuralgic reaction to any argument or assertion that women can be a problem.

    Yes, I do. Even if true, such assertions are almost always unhelpful. Normal people who have manners understand this. In fact, you understand it, too, which is why you wouldn’t take kindly, I expect, to gratuitous insults against men. I think men can be a problem in all sorts of ways. I just don’t see any need to talk about them all the time. Indeed, I almost never see any reason to talk about them, except in self-defense.

  60. @Bardon Kaldian

    You are trying to prove that the intersection of Manlovin and Mathematical Prowess is the null set , and I’m here to prove you wrong by counterexample! GH Hardy is one major figure and I would make a case for Isaac Newton. That’s one of the big three. David Hilbert said of Emmy Noether “oh, no, she’s a man.”

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  61. Here is a courageous statement by Abigail Johnson, chair of the math department at UC Davis, and a vice-president of the American Mathematical Society.

    https://www.ams.org/journals/notices/201911/rnoti-p1778.pdf

    An excerpt:

    Whatever our views on diversity and how it can be achieved, mandatory diversity statements are equally misguided. Mathematics is not immune from political pressures on campus. In addition to David Saxon, who eventually became the president of the University of California, three mathematicians were fired for refusing to sign the loyalty oath in 1950. Mathematics must be open and welcoming to everyone, to those who have traditionally been excluded, and to those holding unpopular viewpoints. Imposing a political litmus test is not the way to achieve excellence in mathematics or in the university. Not in 1950, and not today.

    PS: The link was posted at iSteve by commenter PhysicistDave.

  62. @Happy Tapir

    Newton was an asexual, as was Noether.

  63. @TGD

    No, there are living mathematicians who have achieved more than those two mentioned. Simon Donaldson, Robert Langlands, Andrew Wiles, Yakov Sinai, Jean Pierre Serre, ….

  64. @Menes

    Europeans did not invent the foundations of modern math you liar. Or the wheel, or writing, or agriculture, or science, or philosophy, or architecture, or sculpture, or paper, or gunpowder etc, etc. Civilization itself was invented by non-whites in Egypt, India, southern Iraq and China.

    Sculpture, architecture, wheel…were not “invented” by any civilization specifically. They are universal. Just…

    In the case of old Greeks, we may summarize their achievement from 700-200 BCE (of course, and later, but I just don’t won’t to mess with Christianity, Romans, whatnot…). The only rivals are Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern & Egyptian civilizations.

    In the field of sciences, Greeks invented science as a unified field of knowledge. Mathematical proof & systematic scientific thinking are their achievements, as testified by Euclid’s “Elements”, one of the most influential books ever written. Archimedes with his many contributions (among them integral calculus) remains among top 3-5 world mathematicians, while Pythagoras is basically a god of mathematics and Eratosthenes (along with Indians, the calculated the earth’s circumference) is a father of geography….. All “ethnic” math traditions lag behind Greek, even Indian one, which had had some uncanny advantages that later Europeans have modified & developed.

    Also heliocentric system (only Greeks) etc. etc. Chinese medicine was probably more developed (see Needham’s magnum opus), but Greek one was not bad- actually, perhaps better than Egyptian & close to Chinese and Indian.

    Philosophy. All others have a limited range of thought & and are mostly commenters of their sacred texts. In Greece, we have truly different schools of thought that cover what we now call materialism, objective and subjective idealism, skepticism, stoicism, empiricism, relativism, philosophy of language, political philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, elements of social philosophy, ethics,… It is true that other great civilizations have elements of that (Arthashastra, Chu Hsi, ..)- but there is nowhere such a wealth of ideas that later developed in global world- evolution (all Ionian cosmologies are evolutionary), democracy, fascism, eugenics, physical education, feminism, complete education for body, emotions & mind (Plato), mathematized cosmos (Pythagoras), cosmopolitanism (stoics, but Socrates, too), intellectual questioning of slavery, logic (Plato, then finally Aristotle), ….

    Literature. Apart from great epics of India, which are culturally different, evidently Greek literature has some universal masterpieces that remain world classics, especially tragedy (which was unknown outside of Greek world); lyric poetry cannot be compared with Chinese or Hindu because these genres are too entangled with the structure of language.

    As for history, Thucydides remains a classic historian, not inferior to any other anywhere & anytime.

    Visual arts. Putting aside early stylizations, it is evident that Greek sculpture is so superior that Chinese & Indian & Assyrian are basically a joke when we put them alongside Greek achievement:

    Chinese sculpture

    https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+sculpture&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwie7JqlvbfcAhXPZFAKHbXMBVEQ_AUICigB&biw=1480&bih=712

    Indian sculpture

    https://www.google.com/search?q=indian+sculpture&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiLpoy-vbfcAhVMPFAKHTBBBhsQ_AUICigB&biw=1480&bih=712

    Greek sculpture

    https://www.google.com/search?q=greek+sculpture&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwik2OnZvbfcAhULLlAKHSNNDlkQ_AUICigB&biw=1480&bih=712

    Of course, everyone is free to disagree, but others are short, fat, comic, without individuality, clumsy,… Whatever.

    And if you add Alexander the Great, what then remains of others?

    Greece is the basis of the Western culture (unfortunately, and the gay thing), and Western culture is the world global culture; Greek super-achievers still remain somewhere on the top of many disciplines: Phidias, Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Hippocrates, Euclid, Alex the Great, Thucydides, … They created scientific terminology which is in use even in modern disciplines (chromodynamics, topology, genetics, ..).

    What could have been done more?

    • Replies: @Menes
  65. @ltravail

    I originally wrote “maths” but then removed the “s” using a rubber.

  66. @What If

    Interesting point about reducing unmeasurable variables by specific percentages. How do you calculate a ‘100% racism , then reduce accordingly?’ The simple answer is you can’t and I can’t…but there is someone who is wiser than all of us, due toothier colour of their skin…make way for the Diversity Officer -who I guarantee is paid significantly more than the head engineer, whilst being under qualified and under experienced for that industry.

    Its just another scam to line the pockets of minority race hustlers, who unlike everyone else in the company will not be held to realistic targets and performance indicators– because you can’t quantify bullshit.

    Please elaborate in the math and language tests, as we are frequently told blacks and hispanics perform poorly on IQ and any standardised form of test – so obviously they are racist. Because they are not based solely on the history of blacks they are a shining example of white privilege. Despite every other race taking the same tests and outperforming blacks …..every time.

    It’s the culture of counter intellectualism that is rampant amongst blacks due to naturally low IQ and the reinforced belief that maths, science and languages are racist subjects taught in a racist system. So of course everything is getting ‘dumbed down’ to bring them top to standard.

    One just needs to look at Africa or Haiti, and the lack of natural development of any civilisation -even with outside intervention, to understand why these people will never catch up with the rest of the world!

    • Replies: @anon
  67. jamie b. says:
    @Rex Little

    No, they invented math.

    No, humans discovered mathematical truth.

    They discovered the facts of reality that math deals with…

    They discovered the facts of reality that math describes.

    …but math itself is a set of tools to manipulate, understand and utilize those facts.

    Mathematic itself is a description of that which is necessarily true, and therefore cannot be ‘manipulated.’

    Like all tools, it was invented.

    Like all objective truth, it was discovered.

    • Replies: @martin_2
  68. martin_2 says:
    @jamie b.

    “… humans discovered mathematical truth.”

    How is the word “discovered” being used here. One discovers things with ones eyes and ears. I discover that there is a fly in the room by hearing or seeing it. How does one discover a mathematical fact if that fact is not something that is perceived through the sense organs in one way or another?

    • Replies: @jamie b.
  69. jamie b. says:
    @martin_2

    One discovers things with ones eyes and ears.

    Why not one’s reason as well? If we’re going to insist that the word ‘discover’ only applies to empirical objects, then this seems to me barely more than simply insisting that only concrete objects are ‘real,’ which is what we’re debating in the first place.

    To put it another way: By using the word ‘invent,’ Rex Little was simply asserting that mathematical objects aren’t ‘real.’ And by using the word ‘discover,’ I was simply asserting that mathematical objects are ‘real.’

    This debate is thousands of years old. And you constantly have people like R.L. who simply assert their position, and think that they’ve thereby settled the debate. I was simply inverting everything R.L. said to hopefully make him aware that there might be more to it than his personal intuition.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  70. @Menes

    ” Europeans did not invent the foundations of modern math you liar.”

    Nonsense. Axiomatic reasoning came from the Greeks. Yes, there were other cultures with fantastic achievements in mathematics, but if you look at the bulk of theorems in various mathematical disciplines, it leans towards Europe.

    “Without his books, written in arabic and translated into Latin in the 12th century, there would have been no Scientific Revolution in Europe”

    That requires a ton of evidence. Counterfactuals are very hard to defend.

    Your lack of class is not conducive to any reasonable discussion of these matters.

    • Replies: @Menes
  71. @jamie b.

    That’s the old debate about nature of mathematics. It is not settled & probably will never be.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philosophy-mathematics/

  72. anon[712] • Disclaimer says:
    @jacobs-adder

    20% more racism is brought to you by the same people who can measure that brand X detergent has 80% more cleaning power than brand Y. To come to those conclusions, you need a degree in detergent math and a minor in grievance studies.

  73. Levi says:

    This whole kerfuffle can be summarized as:

    1. Blacks (and some Hispanics on the woke gravy train) do poorly in high school and college mathematics mostly because they are passed in lower-level mathematics classes by either incompetent (Democrat) teachers, or teachers who don’t want to be called “racis,” and don’t want to deal with the ever-present belligerent black momma (What you mean my chil’ don’t do math! You a peckerwood cracker racis’. I’m reportin’ you ass.) Obviously no child should be able to graduate from high school without a basic knowledge of arithmetic, geometry and algebra, as well as an introduction to calculus. In many Democrat-run urban schools, 90% of the children are not competent at grade level in mathematics (they must do reporting for federal funds). I believe one year in Detroit NONE of them were. Yet, they are passed.

    2. When they get to a two- or four-year college (ofthen by affirmative action or through inflated graades), they fail in any mathematics class or in other classes that require mathematics – chemistry, physics, engineering, etc. Or in an associates program in the trades, which also requires math – HVAC, welding, construction, etc.

    3. Therefore mathematics is racist, and mathematics teachers must be made to feel good by changing the system so these incompetent students can pass their college classes and graduate. If planes fall out of the sky, buildings and bridges collapse because the graduates can’t solve a simple equation, well that the price society has to pay for being racist. See present day South Africa, where whites were kicked out of engineering jobs to be replaced by incompetent blacks. Result – frequent power blackouts, roads falling apart, terrible building construction, etc.

    4. Oh yeah, the SAT and ACT are also racist, so we must get rid of those too. And grammar. And Western Civ, and ….

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  74. All voluntary associations are vulnerable to being taken over by organised nutjobs. So there was a takeover by some community college teachers who’ve forgotten their ignorance; that’s only important if people are stupid enough to take their titles as seriously as they do. If some ignorant clerks or politicians take them seriously in their possible demands, that will really be serious. If the community college teachers aren’t taken seriously as mathematicians, it’s not.

    It’s obviously better if real mathematicians run a Mathematics Association but that requires a bit of organisation. Politics is boring politics, requires effort and you can still lose. [email protected]

  75. jamie b. says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Yes, I said so quite plainly: “This debate is thousands of years old.”

  76. Realist says:
    @Rosie

    God gave me the power to make babies, a pursuit that has occupied the better part of women’s attention (and very frequently killed us) for many thousands of years as we have replenished the population after your uninterrupted bouts of mass slaughter.

    Women have one half the power to make babies.

    I do agree that men make up the vast majority of war mongers…not a good thing.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  77. Rosie says:
    @Realist

    Women have one half the power to make babies.

    Um, no. One man can impregnate many women, but many men cannot impregnate one woman. I’m not saying that makes us better or more important, only that it silly to say we are “inferior” on account of the indisputable fact that we are not as fast and strong as men.

    • Replies: @Realist
  78. Realist says:
    @Rosie

    One man can impregnate many women, but many men cannot impregnate one woman.

    Logic is really alien to you. Women can not make babies without men. So men also have the power to make babies.

    What are women’s rights? What rights do women have that men don’t?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  79. Rosie says:
    @Realist

    You are a pathetic sophist who pretends not to understand what is self-evident to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

  80. @Rosie

    Ad Hominem always loses the argument.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  81. @TG

    I would just like to clarify something about the number i. It is not quite correct to say that i is the square root of -1; it is actually a number that, when squared, equals -1.

    That is, i^2 = -1.

    There is quite a difference, and since this essay talks about math, then this is a good place to clarify things.

    If we suppose that i = \sqrt{-1}, then this is what we get:

    1 = \sqrt{1} = \sqrt{ 1 \times 1 } = \sqrt{ (-1)(-1) } = \sqrt{-1} \times \sqrt{-1} = i \times i = -1.

    Therefore, making the assumption that i = \sqrt{-1} implies that 1 = -1, which is clearly false.

    The problem is that the square root function is defined only for the positive real numbers; its domain excludes negative numbers. One cannot take the square root of a negative number.

    One can, however, extend the real numbers into the complex numbers, with the assumption that i^2 = -1, but this last statement is often mistakenly interpreted when one says that i is the square root of -1. It isn’t. It is a number that, when squared, equals -1.

    This is actually what provides the orthogonality which another commenter mentioned (quite correctly).

    Since the article was about math, then I thought a comment involving math would be appropriate here.

    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
  82. @Levi

    4. Oh yeah, the SAT and ACT are also racist, so we must get rid of those too. And grammar. And Western Civ, and ….

    Oh, well ….

    https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2018/09/24/race-and-gender-studies-kick-shakespeare-out-of-class/

    According to the course catalog, giants of English literature were irrelevant. but students must study “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.” UCLA’s undergraduates, therefore, had to choose among courses like, “Women of Color in the U.S., Women and Gender in the Caribbean, Chicana Feminism, Studies in Queer Literatures and Cultures, and Feminist and Queer Theory.”

    Likewise, at Columbia University, a black music undergraduate rebelled against the classics. “Why did I have to listen in music humanities to this Mozart? My problem with the core is that it upholds the premises of white supremacy and racism. It’s a racist core. Who is this Mozart, this Haydn, these superior white men? There are no women, no people of color.

    • Replies: @A Competent Physicist
  83. Menes says: • Website
    @jbwilson24

    Your lack of class is not conducive to any reasonable discussion of these matters.

    You shouldn’t be talking about class. Class/caste is correctly judged by character. You are defending a liar and his lie. That makes you a person of low character, hence of low class.

    That requires a ton of evidence.

    That requires objectivity and intellectual honesty. Neither of which you possess. The evidence is staring you in the face:

    Which numeral system was the foundation of modern science in Europe: the native Roman Numeral System or the imported Indian Decimal Numeral System?

    Whose Algebra was the foundation of modern science? The algebra of Khwarizmi or the algebra of the Greeks? The very word ‘algebra’ gives you the answer.

    • Replies: @Theophrastus
  84. Menes says: • Website
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Sculpture, architecture, wheel…were not “invented” by any civilization specifically. They are universal.

    Civilization itself was the invention of non-europeans. None of the earliest civilizations is located in Europe. And the last of the europeans to be civilized, the boastful northern europeans, invented nothing at all until just a handful of centuries ago.

    In the case of old Greeks, we may summarize their achievement from 700-200 BCE

    Grrek civilization is derived from far older civilizations, most notably the civilization of Ancient Egypt in Africa, which was well over 2000 years old when Greek civilization began.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  85. nebulafox says:
    @Happy Tapir

    Two things must be kept in mind: first, gays have always been an extremely small part of the populace, media portrayals aside, and second, mathematicians and physicists are traditionally not the type to place the personal over the professional in terms of their self-conception.

    That said, I have a rather weird example: I wouldn’t call him a mathematician in the modern sense, but Leonardo Da Vinci had an extreme flair for geometry. Absolutely failed at algebra, but his ability to visualize was truly unique and makes you wonder what he might have been capable of had he lived a few centuries later. Like Turing, Da Vinci neither proclaimed his sexuality to the stars, nor made any attempts to hide it: and since he lived in Renaissance Italy rather than post-WWII Britain, this worked out relatively better for him. He was perfectly fine with being homosexual, unlike, say, Michaelangelo: if you asked, he would have answered honestly and matter-of-factly. But if you asked him who he was, he would have said artist, military engineer, scientist, and above all, inventor, not “LGBT”.

    In general, those who put things they didn’t do anything to attain, be it race, sexuality, gender, class, whatever as the primary pillar of who they are as human beings above what they attained or are building (be it a family or whatever), or what they are interested in, or what their personality traits are, etc, smack of inferiority. This extends even to the most anti-individualist markers you could envision, in cultures that try to destroy the conception of you as an individual rather than as a team-player: a Roman legionary identified with that because he earned it. Same with a Marine or a Spartan hoplite.

    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
  86. @Menes

    Grrek civilization is derived from far older civilizations, most notably the civilization of Ancient Egypt in Africa, which was well over 2000 years old when Greek civilization began.

    • Replies: @Menes
  87. @nebulafox

    Well put. Those who possess a true inner self worth are above identity politics. That’s why I shun identity politics, except perhaps white identity politics, because it’s something that I see as a provoked defensive reaction to the course national politics has taken, i.e. since everyone else is doing it, we could become atomized if we do not likewise resort to identity based politics.

    But all these LGTSQR whatever things are clearly meant to divide. All contemporary ID issues are either created to divide us or base imitation of some certain ruling class.

    Did Leo fail at algebra? I would consider him an artist not a mathematician or scientist. I would not have thought algebra existed as a subject in that year.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  88. Rosie says:
    @Theophrastus

    Ad Hominem always loses the argument.

    What argument? All I see is obtuse taunting and harassment. Seriously, who pretends not to understand what the term “women’s rights” means?

    • Replies: @Theophrastus
    , @Realist
  89. @Rosie

    Maybe if the male-dominated science community had gone to bat for James Damore, a perfect gentleman in my opinion, women and men both would have a bit more courage about these things

    .

    I think this is a fair comment. I spent a long time on the left, and now that I’m on the right, I miss the activism. I think lots of us supported Damore, though it felt like there was very little we could do. Last year I began boycotting Gillette, and now I’m boycotting soccer leagues for caving in to BLM, but it doesn’t feel like much because other than through the Internet, I have no connection with anyone else who is doing the same. Plus, not giving money to an entity feels empty compared with giving money. I wanted to do more, but other than complaining on the Internet, there seemed to be nothing that one could do.

    Now think about how much people on the right hate our colleges and universities, yet no one has any plan to change things. I’d like to think that no one on the right contributes to their alma mater, but I don’t even know if that’s true. But should we all contribute to Hillsdale so that they become so rich they can start branches everywhere? Should we encourage some state legislature to start a new state university that is non-woke? Should we encourage some university in Eastern Europe to work to attract right-wing Americans who want to get away from the stifling atmosphere here in America? By now people on the right should have coalesced behind a plan, if not one of these, then something else, but possible plans are never even discussed.

    It’s very frustrating.

  90. nebulafox says:
    @Happy Tapir

    Agreed. It all takes away from the pursuit of excellence. As far as white identity politics go, etiam si omnes, ego non is my attitude, enhanced by the generally low human capital of white nationalists.

    Yes, it did. Da Vinci was a perfectionist with possible ADHD, so you could imagine how algebra mistakes became frustrating. He also struggled with Latin on the right side of the brain. Being mostly self-educated, Leonardo was a self-described man of experience, which was a highly radical notion in his time, before Bacon and Galileo.

    Re, artist vs. scientist, the distinction is not one he would have seen: the trend to specialization was centuries away. But during his later years, he was more consistently emotionally engaged with his scientific experiments than with painting, which was more hit or miss.

  91. @Rosie

    You are perilously close to being hoisted by your own petard. If all you see is taunting and harassment, then point it out by all means, but don’t let your argument rest there: counter with cold fact, closely reasoned, not opinion.

    If the argument doesn’t allow for that, then it’s not falsifiable, and thus consists only of an alternative opinion. That’s fine, of course, but you can’t convince anyone to change his opinion just because your opinion differs (and neither can your interlocutor change yours, by the way). That’s the petard you are lobbing.

    Ad hominem is always a fallacy, and use of a fallacy always loses the argument (by definition really), provided that one cares about logical reasoning. If one doesn’t, then invective becomes the norm. And that’s where you are hoisted by that petard: you undo your own argument.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  92. @Menes

    It turns out that Geometry and Algebra (capitalised on purpose) are two aspects of the same model. It’s called Geometric Algebra, and was discovered by Hermann Grassman and William Kingdon Clifford in the late 19th century.

    So it’s actually disengenuous to present this false dichotomy:

    “The algebra of Khwarizmi or the algebra of the Greeks?”

    The answer is: both! Alhough I am here implying the “geometry of the Greeks” and not their algebra, because that’s what I think you meant.

    It is also not true that algebra is the foundation of modern science, because Abstract Algebra (or Modern Algebra) is far more fundamental than Khwarizmi’s orignal algebra, which is not denigrating him at all: I have a great veneration for his work, and have read it in tranlsation. He was clearly far ahead of his time, and at the same time his algebra, alone, is not the foundation of modern science. There is no question that it was a huge breakthrough, just to be clear. But then, so was Eratosthenes’ estimate for the circumference of the Earth, calculated in the 3rd Century BC, to within 2% of the actual value, completely without the power of algebra.

    On a personal note, I study Geometric Algebra for this very reason: it is the unifying language for math and physics. Look up David Hestenes, for instance. Brilliant work.

    Straight algebra gives us Lagrange’s Mechanique Analytique, which is presented without a single diagram nor any appeal to geometric intuition. Straight geometry can be cumbersome, as witnessed by the Pythagorean struggle with the square root of 2.

    Perhaps a bit more study might be in order. You will find that Mathematics is, and always will be, unpartisan.

    (Aside: Geometric Algebra is completely different from Algebraic Geometry, which is what Andrew Wiles used to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem.)

  93. The MAA is the professional organization for the kind ladies who teach freshman calculus to pre-med students so that real mathematicians don’t have to.

    The AMS is the professional organization for real mathematicians, but unfortunately it too is degenerating:

    http://www.ams.org/news?news_id=6195

    • Thanks: Theophrastus
  94. Realist says:
    @Rosie

    Seriously, who pretends not to understand what the term “women’s rights” means?

    Seriously…why are you afraid to state what women’s rights are and more importantly…why do women have rights men don’t? Do you think women are special?

  95. @Menes

    There is a part of truth in that : a civilisation, so as to arise, needs 3% geniuses and 97% stupid slaves that never question any order or ritual habit and the Nile valley had just the right combination of a few whites together with a mass of browns to do that.

  96. If all men, 100% of them, stopped working for whatever reason, voluntarily, involuntarily, it doesn’t matter how, then civilization would end.

    If all women, 100% of them, stopped working, quit the paid workforce for whatever reason, voluntarily, involuntarily, it doesn’t matter how, then civilization would do just fine even better, at most a brief period of adjustment and inconvenience.

    If all women, 100% of them, decided caring for children wasn’t for them, for whatever reason, voluntarily, involuntarily, it doesn’t matter how, then civilization would end.

    If all women, 100% of them, decided not become mothers for whatever reason, voluntarily, involuntarily, it doesn’t matter how, then civilization would end.

    Men and women are DIFFERENT.

    The same skills that make a woman expert at resolving conflicts with squabbling children during playtime become the skills that destroy the mathematical ability of generations of children when they are handed bureaucratic powers. They are trying to make math fair the same way they try to make the playground fair and it’s highly destructive.

  97. Rosie says:
    @Theophrastus

    Ad hominem is always a fallacy, and use of a fallacy always loses the argument (by definition really), provided that one cares about logical reasoning. If one doesn’t, then invective becomes the norm. And that’s where you are hoisted by that petard: you undo your own argument.

    Realist: “Logic is really alien to you.”

    Me: “You are a pathetic sophist who pretends not to understand what is self-evident to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.”

    You: “Ad hominem always loses the argument.”

    Explain yourself. Why attack me for responding to an insult with an insult?

    . If all you see is taunting and harassment, then point it out by all means, but don’t let your argument rest there: counter with cold fact, closely reasoned, not opinion.

    That is perfectly sound advice when dealing with a good-faith interlocutor, but prior dealings with Realist have made clear to me that he is not such. He asks stupid questions precisely to harass his interlocutor to keep her busy. I do not bark on command for the amusement of obnoxious trolls.

    Realist’s lack of food faith should be obvious to you by the fact that he pretends not to understand the meaning of the term “women’s rights.” Now, if a reasonable person, such as yourself, I presume, asks me the explain the meaning of “women’s rights,” I will assume the question is asked in good faith and answer it.

    • Replies: @Theophrastus
  98. @Bardon Kaldian

    That student is a jackass. Mozart and Haydn are white, yes. Duke Ellington, a black man, and a genius musician had so much in common with Haydn. Both wrote for their own orchestras and adapted the parts so every musician could sound their best. John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, two of the greatest jazz improvisers of all time felt a closeness to the music of Bach, himself an improviser and a white man. How many white men contributed to jazz besides Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz and a hand full of others? Not as many as black who dominated jazz. The greatest of them all IMHO Thelonius Monk was black.

    Instead of looking for racism behind every corner and learning ever more sophisticated ways to be offended, that student should pull their head out of their self righteous ass and concentrate on learning music in all its variety, from all the times, wherever it comes from. Then, when they’ve finally learned something they’ll realize they too have a part of it. Music is something that unites us all. Not one star can go missing from the musical firmament without everyone losing. Instead of focusing on victim hood focus on excellence. Look at the many examples of black excellence out there and work your ass off until you become excellent too. Of course, that means hard work and dedication. Is that student up for it or do they want to stand around whining with their pants far too low?

    The Broadway show Hamilton is top notch IMO. Excellent music, very black, very skilled and in many ways more truthful and informed than the version of American history that everybody learns in our public schools. In Hamilton, the center of the American revolution was New York not Boston as commonly taught. Well, that’s true. The American revolution really centered around New York! But that’s a topic for another day.

    • Agree: Theophrastus
  99. @Bardon Kaldian

    Don’t underestimate our ability to make progress. What seemed hopeless when Fourier broke calculus led to the invention of analysis. It took some time but we made it.

    Similar things are very likely to happen with set theory and the whole constructive maths debate. Maybe category theory will point us toward something better?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  100. @A Competent Physicist

    Hmmmm…Lurie is working hard on that…. we’ll see …. Although, I don’t think that this is solvable in principle. Simply, the question is metaphysical.

    http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=35461992FB356304538AF14C51DC4647

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/with-category-theory-mathematics-escapes-from-equality-20191010/

    • Thanks: Theophrastus
  101. Anon[112] • Disclaimer says:

    The rabbit hole goes deeper! I checked out Yun Kang’s resume (the mainland chinese person you mentioned) and she’s not a mathematician at all! All her papers are applied.

    https://isearch.asu.edu/sites/default/files/cv/KangY-Vitae2020_0.pdf

  102. @Rosie

    Madame, I would have been happy to explain further, but not when such explanation is demanded with an imperious and peremptory imperative, like this: “Explain yourself.”

    I refuse.

    And that’s a shame, because I would have liked to. I will give you a hint though. Ad hominem always loses the argument, no matter who uses it. See the hint?

    Besides, if I explained it all, you would not have the pleasure of figuring it out for yourself, and you wouldn’t remember it either. That’s why the Socratic method works best. Hence the hint.

    A good, but far too quick, introduction on logical fallacies can be had here:

    Note that the presenter is a young woman, not that that matters one little bit.

    As for “women’s rights”, I also refuse to define it or even to discuss it, because there are no rights, whatsoever. No one has “rights”, no man, no woman, no minority, no one at all. We have privlleges, which we either allow one another out of courtesy, or we wrest from government by force. After all, a people should not fear their government; a government should fear its people. Talking about non-existent rights merely divides us, and a divided people is nothing to fear.

    Here’s the one and only, inimitable, Chief Leprechaun (and I mean that as a great compliment) himself: George Carlin. About 4:24 is when he sets us straight about “rights.”

    • Replies: @Rosie
  103. Rosie says:
    @Theophrastus

    Madame, I would have been happy to explain further, but not when such explanation is demanded with an imperious and peremptory imperative, like this: “Explain yourself.”

    I refuse.

    Here again you are conspicuously selective in your scolding of people. I refused to respond to an “imperious demand,” and you attacked me for it. Now, you will not even answer for your own conduct.

    I will give you a hint though. Ad hominem always loses the argument, no matter who uses it. See the hint?

    For all your false airs of superiority, you don’t understand what the ad hominem fallacy is. Not every insult is an ad hominem. An ad hominem is an attack on a person with the intent of discrediting them or their position. I think Realist is an obnoxious troll. I am not saying that to undermine his credibility. Rather, he told me his opinion of me, and I answered in kind. That is not an ad hominem.

    And FWIW, I think you’re full of sh!t about rights. I take the view that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

    • Replies: @Theophrastus
  104. I now agree with others here who attempt to reason with you. You, Madame, are the one reeking of excrement while you stridently deny it, yet you still stink.

    Enjoy that petard; it just exploded in your face. That’ll teach me to attempt to reason with the Unwashed.

    Please, fling invective all you want; I will enjoy the humour in not bothering to respond to you.

    As for your personal opinion about rights…Carlin has you completely beaten. But please, disagree publicly; it will only add to the humour.

  105. @Rosie

    Furthermore, Madame, the exchange of insults is exactly ad hominem; nothing, in fact, could be more ad hominem.

    And then, your statement about my putative “false airs of superiority” is a straw man, because it is an attempt to misrepresent what I said, because I neither said nor implied anything about anyone’s superiority.

    It’s no wonder that others here egg you on. You provoke that kind of response; you do it to yourself.

    Splutter away, please. It’s entertaining. And it reveals what can only be a profound insecurity.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  106. Rosie says:
    @Theophrastus

    And then, your statement about my putative “false airs of superiority” is a straw man, because it is an attempt to misrepresent what I said, because I neither said nor implied anything about anyone’s superiority.

    Lol because normal people are in the habit of calling others “unwashed.”

    Since you seem to struggle with the essential nature of the ad hominem, I would refer you to the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy:

    13. The ad hominem fallacy involves bringing negative aspects of an arguer, or their situation, to bear on the view they are advancing. There are three commonly recognized versions of the fallacy. The abusive ad hominem fallacy involves saying that someone’s view should not be accepted because they have some unfavorable property. (Emphasis mine.)

    Thompson’s proposal for the wetlands may safely be rejected because last year she was arrested for hunting without a license.

  107. Since you are an insecure and poisonous termagant, I refer you to your previous pathetic vituperations; every single one an ad hominem.

    “Shut up, you insufferable pig.”

    “But you’re not a grateful and decent person.”

    “You are a pathetic sophist who pretends not to understand what is self-evident to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.”

    “And FWIW, I think you’re full of sh!t about rights.”

    ((Yawn….))

  108. RodW says:

    Cancel your subscription. I look forward to hearing about your sensible and practical step in an upcoming article.

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