[FOM] Reflections on Vienna Meeting

Timothy Y. Chow tchow at alum.mit.edu
Sat May 14 19:55:05 EDT 2011

Harvey Friedman expresses some bewilderment at some remarks by Angus 
MacIntyre.  Perhaps the following remarks may help.

Someone who feels that he is valiantly defending the honor of someone he 
loves doesn't always speak coherently.  In such a situation, loyalty 
trumps consistency, and sometimes even trumps truth.

When mathematicians feel that they are defending the honor of mathematics, 
they don't always speak coherently.  F.o.m. experts are bewildered, 
because they react by logically analyzing the incoherent arguments and 
getting a complete mess.

If the goal is to change people's minds then it is probably more fruitful 
to work on making f.o.m. seem attractive, rather than to speak in a way 
that will be likely perceived as denunciatory or threatening.


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