Recent Comments

Recent Posts
 Test Your Intuition about the AlonTarsi Conjecture
 Thilo Weinert: Transfinite Ramsey Numbers
 Timothy Chow Launched Polymath12 on Rota Basis Conjecture and Other News
 Proof By Lice!
 The seventeen camels riddle, and Noga Alon’s camel proof and algorithms
 Edmund Landau and the Early Days of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Boolean Functions: Influence, Threshold, and Noise
 Laci Babai Visits Israel!
 Polymath10 conclusion
Top Posts & Pages
 Answer: Lord Kelvin, The Age of the Earth, and the Age of the Sun
 A Breakthrough by Maryna Viazovska Leading to the Long Awaited Solutions for the Densest Packing Problem in Dimensions 8 and 24
 Extremal Combinatorics IV: Shifting
 Polymath 10 Emergency Post 5: The ErdosSzemeredi Sunflower Conjecture is Now Proven.
 Greg Kuperberg: It is in NP to Tell if a Knot is Knotted! (under GRH!)
 Test Your Intuition about the AlonTarsi Conjecture
 Can Category Theory Serve as the Foundation of Mathematics?
 Believing that the Earth is Round When it Matters
 Polymath10, Post 2: Homological Approach
RSS
Category Archives: Philosophy
Poznań: Random Structures and Algorithms 2013
Michal Karonski (left) who built Poland’s probabilistic combinatorics group at Poznań, and a sculpture honoring the Polish mathematicians who first broke the Enigma machine (right, with David Conlon, picture taken by Jacob Fox). Update: Here is a picture from 2015, while … Continue reading
Posted in Combinatorics, Conferences, Open problems, Philosophy, Probability
Tagged Poznan, RSA
2 Comments
Why is Mathematics Possible: Tim Gowers’s Take on the Matter
In a previous post I mentioned the question of why is mathematics possible. Among the interesting comments to the post, here is a comment by Tim Gowers: “Maybe the following would be a way of rephrasing your question. We know … Continue reading
Posted in Open discussion, Philosophy, What is Mathematics
Tagged Foundations of Mathematics, Open discussion, Philosophy, Tim Gowers
23 Comments
Why is mathematics possible?
Spectacular advances in number theory Last weeks we heard about two spectacular results in number theory. As announced in Nature, Yitang Zhang proved that there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive primes which are at most 70 million apart! This is a sensational achievement. … Continue reading
The Privacy Paradox of Rann Smorodinsky
The following paradox was raised by Rann Smorodinsky: Rann Smorodinsky’s Privacy Paradox Suppose that you have the following onetime scenario. You want to buy a sandwich where the options are a roast beef sandwich or an avocado sandwich. Choosing … Continue reading
The 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man
Today (April 27, 2012) it is precisely 213 years 7 months, and 29 days to the completion of the declaration of the rights of man, which makes it a perfect occasion to celebrate this remarkable human creation. Here is a … Continue reading
A Paradoxical SelfReferential Statement
A small discussion in a meeting about two decades ago. Lior: Some people in the department think that they are wiser than what they really are John: I am really wiser than what I think I am. John’s statement is paradoxical … Continue reading
Itamar Pitowsky: Probability in Physics, Where does it Come From?
I came across a videotaped lecture by Itamar Pitowsky given at PITP some years ago on the question of probability in physics that we discussed in two earlier posts on randomness in nature (I, II). There are links below to … Continue reading
Posted in Obituary, Philosophy, Physics, Probability
Tagged Itamar Pitowsky, Philosophy of science, Physics, Probability
1 Comment
Randomness in Nature II
In a previous post we presented a MO question by Liza about randomness: What is the explanation of the apparent randomness of highlevel phenomena in nature? 1. Is it accepted that these phenomena are not really random, meaning that given enough … Continue reading
Posted in Philosophy, Physics, Probability
Tagged foundation of probability, Philosophy, Physics, Randomness
16 Comments
Some Philosophy of Science
The Bayesian approach to the philosophy of science was developed in the first half of the twentieth century. Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn are twentiethcentury philosophers of science who later proposed alternative approaches. It will be convenient to start with … Continue reading
Posted in Philosophy, Probability
14 Comments
Noise
What is the correct picture of our world? Are noise and errors part of the essence of matters, and the beautiful perfect patterns we see around us, as well as the notions of information and computation, are just derived concepts … Continue reading
Posted in Philosophy
7 Comments