• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Who wants to be a logician? (anybody?)

  • #26
I've never been able to find a cogent explanation of what 'abstract nonsense' means (I suspect that it is an utterance indicating vague distaste, sort of like a moral claim), but much of it is totally practical if you know what it's actually being used for or what it does. Typically most of the applications are in computer science.
I remember reading that in Serge Langs Algebra book. I think he used the term general abstract nonsense.

But, in one of Du Sautoy popular book he quotes Siegel said that the bourbaki trend is going to destroy Maths and he complained his work is being rewritten in the theory of empty sets is ugly. According to the book he said that I see a pig broken into a beautiful garden and rooting up all flowers and trees.

Selberg also said something similar. Chaitin also said something similar, but more he was complaining that abstraction was taking away the need for English and that less and less words are being used.

At what point does abstraction become nonsense. Like abstraction just to be abstract. Sort of like art needing to be shocking, so every piece becomes more and more shocking. So you have classical art that is really beautiful and then modern art that is stuff like beds or rubbish stuck together.
 
  • #27
326
0
I remember reading that in Serge Langs Algebra book. I think he used the term general abstract nonsense.

But, in one of Du Sautoy popular book he quotes Siegel said that the bourbaki trend is going to destroy Maths and he complained his work is being rewritten in the theory of empty sets is ugly. According to the book he said that I see a pig broken into a beautiful garden and rooting up all flowers and trees.

Selberg also said something similar. Chaitin also said something similar, but more he was complaining that abstraction was taking away the need for English and that less and less words are being used.

At what point does abstraction become nonsense. Like abstraction just to be abstract. Sort of like art needing to be shocking, so every piece becomes more and more shocking. So you have classical art that is really beautiful and then modern art that is stuff like beds or rubbish stuck together.
I'm well aware that many people have used it, but you're basically agreeing with me that it's nothing more than a statement that shows aesthetic distaste. I don't think it really has anything behind it beyond personal preference... besides, I like a lot of modern art, not necessarily anything like rubbish stuck together, but that's not all there is to modern art of course. Just like being abstract isn't the central point of logic.
 
  • #28
22,097
3,282
I'm well aware that many people have used it, but you're basically agreeing with me that it's nothing more than a statement that shows aesthetic distaste. I don't think it really has anything behind it beyond personal preference... besides, I like a lot of modern art, not necessarily anything like rubbish stuck together, but that's not all there is to modern art of course. Just like being abstract isn't the central point of logic.
It doesn't express distaste. The term comes from Steenrod and MacLane. They didn't use it to express distaste, since they were the founders of category theory.
 
  • #29
326
0
It doesn't express distaste. The term comes from Steenrod and MacLane. They didn't use it to express distaste, since they were the founders of category theory.
Man, nevermind, I was totally confused. I had a false memory of this being used disdainfully to refer to Hausdorf's work in set theory.

ETA: Even worse, I've read about the correct usage and even written a couple comments regarding it in the past; no idea what I was thinking. Of course, my complaints as to a "pig rooting up flowers in a garden" still stands. There is a lot of disdain for what are perceived as sterile abstractions.
 
  • #30
I just like a joke about logicians:

Three logicians are sitting in the restaurant.
A waitress asks: "Will everyone of you drink coffee?"

The 1st logician: "I don't know"
The 2nd logician: "I don't know"
The 3rd logician: "Yes"
 
  • #31
326
0
I just like a joke about logicians:

Three logicians are sitting in the restaurant.
A waitress asks: "Will everyone of you drink coffee?"

The 1st logician: "I don't know"
The 2nd logician: "I don't know"
The 3rd logician: "Yes"
I like that one. They should have stuck it in the dynamic epistemic logic text I bought.
 

Related Threads on Who wants to be a logician? (anybody?)

  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
4K
Replies
14
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
3K
Replies
0
Views
1K
Top