FOM: hostility toward f.o.m.
Stephen G Simpson
simpson at math.psu.edu
Wed Jul 22 16:42:31 EDT 1998
Thomas Forster writes:
> Nobody enjoys watching their activity being explained to the world
> by someone who doesn't do it (or, they think) understand it.
> ...and that is the position that some mathematicians think they are
> in vis-a-vis logicians.
Perhaps this explains some of the hostility. But I don't think it
applies to my own case. In my math department, I am regarded as a
logician who is mathematically fairly knowledgeable and accomplished.
And I get along reasonably well with most people. Yet there is
palpable, destructive hostility to f.o.m. Why?
I think it has something to do with compartmentalization. I have
observed that many pure mathematicians automatically resent any
subject that is of broad interest. That is why computer science and
statistics split off from math a long time ago; they couldn't stand
the resentment that they were experiencing in math departments.
Perhaps f.o.m. will eventually follow in those footsteps.
> Can i continue to use the word `deconstruct' as before - it makes
> for brevity!
Of course. From now on, let's agree to use the term "deconstruct" in
the sense that you proposed, i.e. to prattle endlessly about a subject
of which one is ignorant. A term denoting such activity is certainly
needed, because so much of it goes on nowadays.
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