FOM: social construction?
pratt at cs.Stanford.EDU
Fri Mar 20 14:49:19 EST 1998
From: <wtait at ix.netcom.com>
>If the entire membership of AMS emailed in stating that there are only
>finitely many prime numbers, I would be shocked that so many people had
>gone mad all at once, not that an arithmetic truth had become false.
I think my reaction would be less shock than extreme loneliness and
perhaps even eventual capitulation (hard to imagine though). Ionescu's
"Rhinoceros" is about this idea, with transformation into a rhinoceros
in place of belief in finitude of primes. Near the end the narrator's
closest friends succumb, and finally so does the narrator.
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