### 3.4.06

## the four (or five) sets of people who are undermining and destroying computer science

- the philosophers
- the psychologists
- the cryptographers
- and the mathematicians

Comments:

Hahahahahahahahaha. Okay, that one I get, and probably the first two as well, but I'm curious about numbers three and four.

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*... the fifth set is the set whose only member is Stephen Wolfram, but I don't want to single him out unfairly.*

Hahahahahahahahaha. Okay, that one I get, and probably the first two as well, but I'm curious about numbers three and four.

Haha ... but seriously this Stephen Wolfram ruined scientific thought.

Does he want to stupify us all with mathematica bull crank ? Let's all use mathematica to do everything!

Does he want to stupify us all with mathematica bull crank ? Let's all use mathematica to do everything!

why would anyone bother with a name like stephen wolfram. he does not fall into this umbrella: he is marginal

cryptographers:

lots and lots and lots of people doing great research into complexity, number theory and related areas. but it is not done in the sphere of science. science requires openness; three-letter agencies and large corporations want to keep their work secret so they can exploit it the way they choose. so these people are taking energy and knowledge away from the science, but not feeding anything back in.

mathematicians:

just f*ck me off with their stupid mistrust and fear of machines. pure mathematics should be at the heart of theoretical comp sci. instead pure mathematicians refuse to use machines for anything except the most numerical of applications, and then have to justify this from the ground up using bloody Fortran, and the binary representation of floats.. a tool is only worth the use you make of it, and something that could be the greatest aid to mathematical understanding is treated as a threat to maths. if you're trying to explore (say) a sequence of natural numbers which answers some combinatoric question, it's obviously stupid to think the machine can prove something about that sequence for you. it's equally stupid not to get it to generate the first 20 or however many, to aid you in finding a pattern. medieval attitudes aren't just damaging to maths though, but also to comp sci; cs people are mistrusted and patronised by the pure mathematicians, and end up becoming engineers and code bums who deal with everything on an adhoc and purely practical basis..

hi to the people commenting i don't know btw!

lots and lots and lots of people doing great research into complexity, number theory and related areas. but it is not done in the sphere of science. science requires openness; three-letter agencies and large corporations want to keep their work secret so they can exploit it the way they choose. so these people are taking energy and knowledge away from the science, but not feeding anything back in.

mathematicians:

just f*ck me off with their stupid mistrust and fear of machines. pure mathematics should be at the heart of theoretical comp sci. instead pure mathematicians refuse to use machines for anything except the most numerical of applications, and then have to justify this from the ground up using bloody Fortran, and the binary representation of floats.. a tool is only worth the use you make of it, and something that could be the greatest aid to mathematical understanding is treated as a threat to maths. if you're trying to explore (say) a sequence of natural numbers which answers some combinatoric question, it's obviously stupid to think the machine can prove something about that sequence for you. it's equally stupid not to get it to generate the first 20 or however many, to aid you in finding a pattern. medieval attitudes aren't just damaging to maths though, but also to comp sci; cs people are mistrusted and patronised by the pure mathematicians, and end up becoming engineers and code bums who deal with everything on an adhoc and purely practical basis..

hi to the people commenting i don't know btw!

I reckon that the mathematician's fear and mistrust of machines is quite healthy.

1) The use of computers separates the mathematician from the details of the problem. It's not just that black boxes are not to be trusted (although there is something in that), it's just that the real breakthough is unlikely to come doing this.

2) I think even the most luddite of mathematicians would be prepared to use a computer to work out the first 20 terms of a sequence.

3) The sentiment 'if it needs 100 hours of supercomputer time, then it's not an elegant solution' seems quite reasonable to me.

4) I don't think that the problem with computer science is the influence (good or bad) of other disciplines. It's one of the subjects where only the worst people stay on after their degree; the rest go and get jobs. That's why the good ones end up being "engineers and code bums", it's because they get better paid!

5) How many seriously good computer scientists can you think of who weren't also mathematicians?

1) The use of computers separates the mathematician from the details of the problem. It's not just that black boxes are not to be trusted (although there is something in that), it's just that the real breakthough is unlikely to come doing this.

2) I think even the most luddite of mathematicians would be prepared to use a computer to work out the first 20 terms of a sequence.

3) The sentiment 'if it needs 100 hours of supercomputer time, then it's not an elegant solution' seems quite reasonable to me.

4) I don't think that the problem with computer science is the influence (good or bad) of other disciplines. It's one of the subjects where only the worst people stay on after their degree; the rest go and get jobs. That's why the good ones end up being "engineers and code bums", it's because they get better paid!

5) How many seriously good computer scientists can you think of who weren't also mathematicians?

fear and mistrust of machines is not healthy. it simply reinforces the crackpot idea that computers are able in some way to usurp mathematicians, to replace them or make them redundant.. that this is not possible, since mathematicians are something other than calculators, is your point 1) and it is exactly why computers should

2) you don't know the luddite mathematicians i do.. like you seem to, they believe that computers are not only useless in doing maths, but that they are actually dangerous, and damage one's 'natural' ability to reason and calculate.

3) straw man

and 4) & 5) seem to contradict each other?

*not*be feared (at least not by mathematicians)2) you don't know the luddite mathematicians i do.. like you seem to, they believe that computers are not only useless in doing maths, but that they are actually dangerous, and damage one's 'natural' ability to reason and calculate.

3) straw man

and 4) & 5) seem to contradict each other?

Think dude think.

can true progress seriously be accomplished with machine power ?

It's nice to have Matlab or Maple on the side I am not disputing this.

can true progress seriously be accomplished with machine power ?

It's nice to have Matlab or Maple on the side I am not disputing this.

It wouild be very discouraging if somewhere down the line you could ask a computer if the Riemann hypothesis is correct and it said, `Yes, it is true, but you won't be able to understand the proof.'

Graham, Ronald

Scientific American 269:4 (October 1993) 92-103.

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Graham, Ronald

Scientific American 269:4 (October 1993) 92-103.

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