FOM: Millenium Conference

Stephen G Simpson simpson at
Mon Jan 24 12:17:33 EST 2000

Mark Steiner 2/1/00 writes:

 > I attended a "millenium" conference last week on the sciences in
 > Jerusalem, at which two world class "core" mathematicians spoke;
 > one on the last 100 years in mathematics and the other on
 > predicting the course of mathematics in the future (more precisely,
 > whether it is possible to predict the future of mathematics).

Kazhdan and MacPherson.  They are indeed top-flight core

 > I found it quite interesting that neither mathematician so
 > much as stated a single theorem during the course of their
 > lectures.
 > There was one exception to the
 > nonciting of theorems in the lecture.  BOTH lecturers mentioned
 > Goedel's theorem!  

This reminds me of when Alain Connes gave a series of four lectures
here at Penn State some years ago.  The first lecture was devoted
entirely to G"odel's theorem!

It is very interesting that, when top core mathematicians talk to a
general scientific audience, they often feel a need to discuss
G"odel's theorem.  Why?  Could it be because G"odel's theorem has
g.i.i. (general intellectual interest)?

Note that the applied model theorists such as van den Dries and
Cherlin strenuously reject the idea that G"odel's theorem and
f.o.m. generally have g.i.i.  (See for instance the ``g.i.i. brawl''
between Harvey and Lou in the early months of FOM.)  Why?  Are the
applied model theorists trying to reflect what they think is the
attitude of the core mathematicians toward f.o.m.?  If so, then the
reflection seems to be far from perfect.


 > I therefore have to agree with some of the remarks that
 > have been made on this list, though I didn't expect to. 

Which remarks?  The claim by me and Harvey that f.o.m. has g.i.i.?

-- Steve

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