[FOM] Golden Age?

Stephen G Simpson simpson at math.psu.edu
Mon Sep 29 14:25:56 EDT 2003

Harvey Friedman, Fri, 19 Sep 2003 12:03:52 -0400 writes:

 > In my view, discussion of the "Golden Age of FOM" is not normally
 > appropriate for FOM postings. I am discussing it only in response
 > to the impression created by Simpson in his Golden Age comment.
 > The "Golden Age of FOM" is now. [...]

When I refer to the Golden Age of FOM, I certainly don't intend to
create the impression that FOM was better in the old days.  Indeed,
the New FOM is obviously far superior, with more subscribers, more and
better postings, stricter editorial procedures, etc.

On the other hand, I want to point out that, during the years
1997-1998-1999-2000, the FOM list was the venue for some extremely
interesting f.o.m. discussions, discussions which I think could not
take place now, for a variety of reasons.  To name a few of my
favorite highlights, there was a review of Tymoczcko's book; a review
of Macintyre's paper "The strength of weak systems"; the notorious
"boxing match" between Harvey Friedman and Lou van den Dries; the
debate over "list 2"; the discussion of Simpson's Thesis on the role
of priority arguments; discussions of polylogism and the wider
cultural significance of f.o.m.; a discussion of natural r.e. degrees;
etc etc.

I urge FOM readers to browse and search the FOM archives, in order to
sample the rich f.o.m. content of The Old FOM, which was wider ranging
and more free wheeling than now.  The FOM archives are on line at
http://www.cs.nyu.edu/mailman/listinfo/fom/.  A search engine is

Stephen G. Simpson
Professor of Mathematics
Penn State University

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