FOM: Re: bridges; irony; intuitionism

Michael Thayer mthayer at
Fri Feb 6 09:35:58 EST 1998

Jaap van Oosten writes:
>But, mathematics is not about building bridges; it is a continuous
>of ideas and new areas and in giving foundations for this (that is, a
>picture), intuitionism does very badly.

This might be a good time to point out that what is needed for bridges is
NOT mathematics, but good materials.  There are bridges still standing in
Europe (Karlovi Most, for example) which predate modern calculus.  This
rhetorical flourish of "needed to build bridges", should probably be put to
bed, and van Oosten has given us a better need for foundational work in
mathematics with the passage quoted above.

Michael Thayer
T & S Software

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