Science Fiction, Double Feature

No, we’re not intending to go into this. Our concern is with the parallel nonsense of indigenous mathematics, about which we’ll be writing in the near future. But this stuff has to be noted, and someone should be hammering it. Aren’t there some active scientists around who are just a little perturbed?

Continue reading “Science Fiction, Double Feature”

Puzzling Souls

We’re a little out of steam right now. Some big posts are planned, but it’s difficult to gather our strength to write them. In the meantime, we’ll keep things going with a few light and easy posts.

A while back we posted some (still unanswered) puzzles by Tony Gardiner, as well as the excellent article by Tony from which they came. Exploring Gardiner’s writing a little further, we stumbled upon a hilarious problem, from long ago. Continue reading “Puzzling Souls”

The Wonderful Function of Michael Deakin

I briefly mentioned Mike Deakin in this post, and I talked about him (too) briefly in Mathematics in Hell (at 6:40). I’ll be having reason to refer to Mike in a future post. As background, the following is an Age article Burkard and I wrote about Mike Deakin in 2014, one of our final Maths Masters articles. Continue reading “The Wonderful Function of Michael Deakin”

PoSWW 23: Jo Boaler is Challenged

It’s Greg Ashman‘s fault. It’s always Greg Ashman’s fault.

A couple days ago Ashman had an excellent post, on Jo Boaler and her California Dreamin’ curriculum. That draft curriculum has been, let’s say, hammered, particularly by mathematicians. Not that such criticism slows Boaler:

“We understand education, and they have no experience studying education. Mathematicians sit on high and say this is what is happening in schools.” Continue reading “PoSWW 23: Jo Boaler is Challenged”

RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange

It is astonishing the extent to which Australians don’t give a shit about what happens to Julian Assange. He can be kept in a Kafka prison, undergo a Kafka trial at the behest of a country who openly want to torture him, and probably kill him. But no one except a very few good guys, like George Christensen, says a word. Nothing from the Poster Child for Principle, Penny Wong. Nothing from Albanese. Of course nothing from ScoMoFo or the invisible Payne-in-the-ass. Nothing from our oh-so-wonderful stately journalists, from Michelle Grattan or Laura Tingle or Katherine Murphy, and of course nothing from the stable of Murdoch toads. Nothing from Paul Barry and of course nothing from Michael “Gold Star” Rowland. Nothing from any of them. Deutsche Welle and Le Monde and Aljazeera can publish opinion pieces on the lunatic sadism of the persecution of an Australian. Cédric Villani, while taking time off from winning Fields medals, can lead a French political call for Assange’s asylum. But from Australians? A screaming nothing. Continue reading “RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange”

Don’t Be Nazis Y’All

Fresh off our successful defense of Alan Tudge, it’s time to go into bat for a nazi. Sort of.

Last month, Lehigh University’s newspaper, The Brown and White, reported on the removal of a young mathematician, Brian Klatt, from his classes. Klatt’s removal came after “an anonymous complaint that alleged [Klatt] was posting racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic content from an anonymous Twitter account.” The account, @DumbGeometer, has since been deleted.1 Continue reading “Don’t Be Nazis Y’All”

Good Bye, Christian

I really liked Christian Kerr. In the early days of Crikey he was the reason, the only reason, to subscribe. Christian was smart and incisive, and very funny. He skewered whatever, whomever, there was to skewer. I corresponded with him some in those early years, tried to nudge him to be *slightly* less right wing, never with any success. He had and maintained very large blind spots. But my small conversations with him were always friendly and honest and engaging. And, as a writer for Crikey, Christian Kerr was invaluable. We need him now, more than ever.

Bernard Keane and Stephen Mayne (paywalled) and Susan Brown have written lovely tributes.