[FOM] f.o.m. documentary 2
Harvey Friedman
friedman at math.ohio-state.edu
Sun Feb 19 11:36:37 EST 2012
I looked at these two BBC offerings. What I have in mind is quite
different in many respects.
1. These BBC offerings concentrate on the personalities of key
figures, with lots of generally interesting human interest material -
a lot of concentration on struggle and insanity. Also heavy
concentration on physics. What math there is, is either very old
(Cantor's diagonal proof for R versus Z+, superficial encapsulations
of Goedel's first incompleteness theorem, etc.), or is not even
remotely explained (Graham's number, infinities are beautiful, etc.).
2. Obviously these videos have high production value, and are quite
appealing.
3. What I intend is quite different, with vastly greater content that
is both completely intellectually honest, and generally
understandable. In this particular five part documentary, I intend to
adhere strictly to what flows entirely naturally out of the base
question: CAN EVERY MATHEMATICAL QUESTION BE ANSWERED?
4. The delicate balance between intellectual honesty, high content,
general understandability, and great general intellectual interest
must be - and can be - found. That is the creative challenge.
5. If the documentary is controlled by Institutions, such as learned
societies, or broadcasting companies, or the like, then they are
looking for "balance" as perceived by nonexperts. So who is going to
do the really hard creative intellectual work needed to strike that
balance in 4 above?
Harvey Friedman
On Feb 17, 2012, at 2:12 AM, Adam Lesnikowski wrote:
Great idea for a f.o.m. documentary, I would be excited to see it once
it's finished!
Regarding f.o.m.-related general audience documentaries and to get a
sense of what's been done, I would recommend these two recent ones
from the bbc. The first's on infinity, and the second's on cantor/
boltzmann/turing/godel:
"To infinity and beyond": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNJgXbAFmmQ
"Dangerous knowledge": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVWbWSkh6lI&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL9D37605FD02395F0
Best wishes,
Adam
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