On 14 Jul 2006 00:10:22 -0700, "guenther vonKnakspot" <email@example.com> wrote:
> >Lester Zick wrote: >> On 13 Jul 2006 17:10:08 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: >> >> >email@example.com wrote: >> >> Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote: >> >> >> >> <snip> >> >> >> >> > The view that mathematics should try to constrain itself to physical >> >> > reality is, in my opinion, not a crackpot position. >> >> >> >> It does seem to me that - as stated - this is precisely a crackpot >> >> position. The problem is none of the words "physical", "reality", or >> >> "constrain", the problem is the word "should". In practice mathematics, >> >> as referred to by the overwhelming population of mathematicians, means >> >> the abstract study of formal patterns, and that's all. The mystery of >> >> it all is the way in which the patterns investigated by abstract >> >> mathematicians turn out to apply so directly to aspects of the real >> >> world. But it's going to be hard to develop these abstract theories if >> >> you have to be consulting one of these "real world characters" [do I >> >> have to call them other than "cranks"?] to see if _they_ happen to >> >> think what you're doing is OK. >> > >> >And furthermore, such claims of "should" seem to be moving targets. >> > >> >For instance: the claim that "there is no such thing as a physical >> >infinity" is a relatively recent "physical truth". As late as the >> >1960's, a cosmology consisting of an infinite, steady state universe >> >was still being debated. >> > >> >That isn't to say that I do or don't find the steady state type >> >theories compelling. What I find is that those who claim that the >> >concept of mathematical infinity is suspect because "there can be no >> >such physical thing as infinity" tend to be myopic regarding the >> >history of what has been accepted as reasonable physical models of our >> >universe; and close-minded regarding the possibility that further data >> >may change scientific opinion once again. >> >> It occurs to me that physical arguments related to mathematical >> infinities are the rather ugly stepchildren of a finite universe and >> empirical utilitarian justifications for science and mathematics. >> >> ~v~~ > >Greetings Zick, I completely agree with the second. It seems we can not >even manage to be antagonic on every occasion. >Regards.
Hey, Guenther. This seems to be a first. Of course you realize if you agree with me here you implicitly agree with me everywhere; you just don't realize it yet?