FOM: accessibility of mathematics
Colin Mclarty
cxm7 at po.cwru.edu
Tue Nov 11 12:33:36 EST 1997
Reply to message from JSHIPMAN at bloomberg.net of Tue, 11 Nov
>
>Although "ordinary" mathematics may not be able to meet the
>very high standard of general interest that f.o.m. (as
>exemplified in say, Godel's work) can [because there is more
>general interest in "reasoning" than there is in any more
>specifically mathematical topic],
Do you have any factual basis for this? the Amazon Books
bestseller list for 1996 has five books roughly on mathematics:
39. Aczel FERMAT'S LAST THEOREM
40. Kaku HYPERSPACE: A SCIENTIFIC ODYSSEY THROUGH PARALLEL UNIVERSES,
TIME WARPS, AND THE TENTH DIMENSION
80. Hofstadter FLUID CONCEPTS: COMPUTER MODELS OF THE FUNDAMENTAL
MECHANISMS OF THOUGHT
94. Berlinski A TOUR OF THE CALCULUS
98. Paulos A MATHEMATICIAN READS THE NEWSPAPER
Of these, only the Hofstadter is close to foundations.
Math is doing worse at Amazon this week. The only mathematical
work on their hot 100 for last week is no.59 Singh FERMAT'S ENIGMA
My local Borders bookstore carries about 500 books on math.
Maybe 10 of these deal with foundations (and that counts my book on
topos theory--say 9 if you don't want to count that).
When I see math in the newspaper it is mostly Wiles and Fermat
these days (has been for several years now) and after that it is
chaos theory.
My barber refuses to polled on the subject.
Are you just making this up about the general interest of
foundations? Or do you have facts to cite?
Colin McLarty
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