FOM: F.O.M./pure math; general intellectual interest

Lou van den Dries vddries at
Tue Dec 16 17:33:07 EST 1997

Just a few remarks. I find the notion "general intellectual interest"
suspect. The connection between some pure mathematics and complexity
questions was brought up by you, not by me. I just reacted to it, and
did not claim "high general intellectual interest for contemporary
number theory by citing its applications to cryptography". But these
applications do exist, and if applications of fom related research
to complexity are brought up by you, it seems not unreasonable to
mention number theory in this connection too. 
 When in an earlier message I said that I was not inclined to compare
fom highlights with, say, number theory highlights (as to their
"general intellectual interest"), this has to do with my finding
the notion "general intellectual interest" suspect, and also that
I do not believe in some kind of linear order of such matters. FOM
has its place in mathematics, though indeed we differ greatly, it
seems, as to what that place is. 

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