mathematical snobbery

John Mcreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Sat, 15 Apr 1995 00:22:35 JST

It is not clear to me that math snobs are inherently worse that arts snobs. Both claim a peculiar value for what they do best. It is, however, more than mere
snobbery to advocate an acquaintance with major mathematical concepts. Math is so
fundamental to the history of scientific and philosophical thought in the West
that to speak of "the West" and not know what mathematicians are about is to
argue from ignorance as deep as that of someone who expounds on Chinese thought
but has never bothered to notice Confucius.

Having said that, allow me to recommend another book, _Hyperspace_ by Michio Kaku. Doubleday 1994. This is the most literate, charming and accessible book on
recent concepts in theoretical physics that I have ever read. If you've even theremotest hankering to glimpse what relativity, quantum mechanics, the Standard
Model, GUTs, black holes, wormholes, tunneling and superstrings are about, this is a wonderfully non-threatening place to begin.

John McCreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)