FOM: Nonprofessionals JSHIPMAN at
Mon Dec 29 16:04:47 EST 1997

I am not a "professional" in FOM (or in mathematics) -- although I have a Ph.D.
in mathematics and have published in FOM-related areas, for the last 5 years my
checks have been signed by Mike Bloomberg, for whom I work as a computer
programmer (mainly database work and financial analytics).  I am not afraid to
admit this, because I think it is clear from my postings that I know what I am
talikng about.  (Occasionally my lack of regular access to a good university
library trips me up, as when I repeated statements I'd read about Dirichlet's
theorem or Hilbert's argument for CH without checking the situation out for
myself, but those statements were simply illustrations, my main points were
solidly reasoned).  I do not feel threatened by Harvey's and Steve's new rules--
they are NOT intended to screen out non-mathematicians like Tragesser (whose
contributions I value highly), but rather to allow readers to judge UNSUPPORTED
statements by reference to the writer's credentials.  I wish to strongly
encourage "nonprofessionals" to post to FOM--one should be embarrassed only by
saying something stupid, not by which "trade union" one belongs to.--Joe Shipman

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