Learning Science and Society makes a major discovery-with a little help from our friends

Yesterday (LSS 23 8 2020) we wrote of having discovered kindred sprits at the CNN news programme New Day Weekend. Well today, thanks to the inimitable Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire, we have been shown another set of them.. A cluster so awesome, and so exactly trying to achieve what we here are attempting, only much much better, that we almost decided to pack up and shut down, and hand you over to these people lock, stock and barrel, as they say in the pub trade.

Mr Seymour drew our attention to a Wired article describing the solution to the Kellner conjecture, which has been finally solved by throwing massive computing power at it. You can read the piece here.


The point about mathematical conjectures is that they are usually one hundred years ahead of their time. The abstruse conjectures of eighteenth and nineteenth century mathematicians became the stock in trade techniques of engineers and biologists of the twentieth, and so it will go. The real point is that mathematicians have to think, really think, in well defined, exclusive categories. It is this thinking that is so rare in the modern world. There is nowhere so depressing and frightening as the comments section of newspapers, where people hurl out their unexamined emotions, masquerading as opinions, in baroque ecstasies of hate and aggression. Nowhere so devoid of the basic principles of logic, reason and evidence.

Yet Mr Seymour’s tip led us, via Wired, to a site of such obvious intellectual rigour that we, and you, should be eternally grateful to him for stumbling onto it. They are called the Simons Foundation and they publish a journal called Quanta Magazine. What struck us at once was the care and hard work that went into every piece, not just the writer but the researchers they’re reporting on. They think about every word. Compare that with the offerings of tabloid newspapers and the vapourings that appear underneath in” Comments.”



#logic #reason #logicalerrors #emotionalreasoning

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