Summer Reading II

People, Problems, and Proofs: Essays from Gödel’s Lost Letter: 2010 by Richard J. Lipton and Kenneth W. Regan is not a book though it looks like one.  It is a compendium of lightly-edited blog posts, barely about people, and certainly not about the connection between people and proofs.  Each post has a Notes and Links section comprised primarily of url’s. But they are printed – so not immediately clickable (of course).  Just the url of the post would have been sufficient.  What a waste of paper.  The posts use arcane, to the nonspecialist at least, abbreviations for problems, theorems, hypotheses, etc.  Yet there is not glossary.  What gives?  Who is supposed to be reading this printed matter?  My sense is they are all the people whose names were dropped in the articles and any people who were hoping to join that club. (Aside:  I too had ex-NFL QB Dr. Frank Ryan for a class.  I remember the humor.)  There seems to be very little said about people save whatever connections they had to the authors  or general statements about their brilliance.

So why did I buy the book?  It is my fault. I performed no due diligence.  I took the recommendation of a blogger who I (previously) respected.  No more.  There seems to be a mutual admiration society composed of nerdy intellectuals – entry requirement:  public uncritical praise for the members and their products.

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About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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