Bookmarks for September 28th from 06:58 to 16:49

These are my links for September 28th from 06:58 to 16:49:

  • A Mathematician’s Lament – The first thing to understand is that mathematics is an art. The difference between math and the other arts, such as music and painting, is that our culture does not recognize it as such. Everyone understands that poets, painters, and musicians create works of art, and are expressing themselves in word, image, and sound. In fact, our society is rather generous when it comes to creative expression; architects, chefs, and even television directors are considered to be working
    artists. So why not mathematicians?

    Part of the problem is that nobody has the faintest idea what it is that mathematicians do. The common perception seems to be that mathematicians are somehow connected with science— perhaps they help the scientists with their formulas, or feed big numbers into computers for some reason or other. There is no question that if the world had to be divided into
    the “poetic dreamers” and the “rational thinkers” most people would place mathematicians in the latter category.

  • Amartya Sen Shakes Up Justice Theory – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education – Suppose three children—Anne, Bob, and Carla—quarrel over a flute….Intuitions clashing yet? Need something more complex to tingle your justice antennae—perhaps a puzzler from game theory? The example is Amartya Sen’s, from the Nobel-Prize-winning economist’s just-published The Idea of Justice, his magnum opus on a line of work he’s long addressed and now thoroughly re-examines: justice theory. And what a growth industry it’s been since John Rawls revived the subject with his classic, A Theory of Justice (1971), and colleague Robert Nozick made its core principles into an Emerson Hall battle with his libertarian Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). Since Rawls, one hardly ranks as a political theorist without a whack at the J-word. Sen’s stepping into the fray should keep things hopping, but justice theory is one subsidiary of philosophy that never really suffers a bad century.
  • THE LAST DAYS OF THE POLYMATH | More Intelligent Life – People who know a lot about a lot have long been an exclusive club, but now they are an endangered species. Edward Carr tracks some down …

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