May 26, 2012 7:20pm

A proof is any completely convincing argument. … In mathematics, we are not simply after the result. Our ultimate goal is understanding. So we want to see and learn and understand the proof. Errett Bishop, Methods of Constructive Analysis … [Read more...]

May 18, 2012 9:28pm

Look, as far as Christopher Hitchens goes… He was a dishonest person. A dishonest writer. Interested in self-promotion, in self-congratulation. That is what his work is about. His mode is self-promotion and his theme is self-congratulation and I think that is all there is to his writing. Of course he was very smart — it’s no compliment to call a writer smart, you have to be smart to be a writer. It’s like saying a carpenter is good with her hands, it’s a sine qua non. Or like saying a … [Read more...]

May 2, 2012 10:43pm

The modern Western adult’s fear about himself is that, to put it as crudely as possible, his hatred is stronger than his love; that there is, in the British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones’s words, “much less love in the world than there appears to be.” Our kindness is chronically in doubt (and not, as philosophical skeptics have traditionally tried to persuade us, our existence.) Childhood has become the last bastion of kindness, the last place where we may find more love in the world than … [Read more...]


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