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March 22, 2010

Normal Service is Resumed!

Posted by Tom Leinster

Thanks once more to the sterling work of Jacques Distler, we’re up and running again. So, please come here, rather than the temporary WordPress site, for all your mathematical, physical and philosophical needs.

The software problems seem to be mostly fixed. One or two people still find themselves unable to leave comments. If this happens to you, please tell me or one of the other hosts. We’ll post the comment for you and see if we can get the problem sorted out. (And if you just can’t wait to get that comment into cyberspace, you can put it at the loose ends entry of the WordPress site.)

Thanks for your patience.

Posted at March 22, 2010 1:37 AM UTC

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Re: Normal Service is Resumed!


Posted by: John Baez on March 22, 2010 3:27 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Normal Service is Resumed!

Hey, I succeeded in posting a comment without using Mike Stay’s clever trick to get around the fact that my IP address was blocked! Somehow it’s working again!

Posted by: John Baez on March 22, 2010 3:29 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Normal Service is Resumed!

Has the search function been repaired too? The last times I tried it, it was extremely slow.

Posted by: Thomas on March 22, 2010 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Silly questions (as usual…)

Quoting from David Corfield’s paper about platonism:

Any good, sufficiently complete history of mathematics will tell the story of the solution of the quadratic. No good history would mention the fact about 37 and 73.

- Could you explain precisely why instead of just stating the obvious.
- What about cases that are ‘in between’, are there any?

Posted by: J-L Delatre on March 22, 2010 10:49 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Silly questions (as usual…)

The point was explained at greater length in this paper. It’s just Poincaré’s point:

…the mathematical facts worthy of being studied are those which, by their analogy with other facts, are capable of leading us to the knowledge of a mathematical law, just as experimental facts lead us to the knowledge of a physical law. They are those which reveal to us unsuspected kinship between other facts, long known, but wrongly believed to be strangers to one another.

Some facts about the universe are forced by laws of nature, others are not. A general law forces 13 to be the sum of two squares, but no law forces the reverse of 13 to be prime.

But, as I say, it’s not an all or nothing affair. That there is no ball of uranium a mile in diameter in the universe seems forced by the laws of nature in a way that the non-existence of a similar sized ball of gold is not. Yet if the latter is the case, there are considerations from our knowledge of physics as to why it should be so - stellar nucleosynthesis, etc.

Posted by: David Corfield on March 22, 2010 2:22 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Normal Service is Resumed!

So this is just a test without any mathematical content

Posted by: Marc Olschok on March 22, 2010 6:33 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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