FOM: General Intellectual Interest

Josh Kortbein kortbein at
Fri Mar 26 17:15:34 EST 1999

Martin Davis writes:
>chosen by elimination from a larger set, and quite possibly with the help of
>some of the authors. In the case of the G"odel article, the author chosen
>was Doug Hofstadter and his piece is about f.o.m. and reasonably sound
>technically. The Turing piece emphasizes his role as a computer pioneer,
>something that people are becoming more aware of.

It may be interesting, though not very surprising, to note that
on the CBS television special (a few nights ago) presenting highlights
from the Time stories, Turing's work was pitifully presented and
Godel was mentioned only as an important mathematician just before
the commercial break.

The authority to which Morely Safer turned for the Turing segment
was, predictably, Bill Gates, who reiterated that Turing was one of the
fathers of computing.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was presented in the same brief minute as Godel,
and mentioned only as an important philosophy of language and logic.

Of those I saw, the most in-depth segments were on Freud and people
of strong biological interest, like Rachel Carson, the Leakeys, and
Watson and Crick.

Josh Kortbein
Math and Philosophy
Iowa State University

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