Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vampires and Mathematics

Vampires have no shadow but they leave impressions everywhere.

Kpunk lay a stake into the hearts of vampires
Remember that you have to invite a vampire over your threshold - and grey vampires, like trolls, lose all their power once you cease to pay them attention or think about them. That is why, when they feel that your attention is gone, GVs will try any trick to regain it - the appeal to 'democratic' values is a particularly scurrilous tactic ('you must give me your attention! It's your duty').
at some people are getting ahead of themselves, that there is rather too much unseemly excitement about X or Y.... As if what was required in intellectual life is more bent heads, more bitterness, less enthusiasm.... Some teachers and lecturers do think that way, see it as their role duty to pass on the arid petrification which calcified their spirit usually sometime during their postgraduate career ... Remember: all vampires are victims of vampirism...

But I see motivating students, passing on enthusiasm, as the first and most important task of a teacher. (Which isn't to say that one has to blindly encourage everyting a student says or writes; far from it.)
The job of a teacher is N*O*T to produce more gray vampires but to inspire people with a near reckless enthusiasm for inquiry.

More Richard Feynmans' than Bourbaki (mathematical grey vampires formalising the intuitive; formalising reason and taking away the joy of mathematics).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Amendment And Idiots

Here's the glorious Barney Frank in full flow berating an idiot.

Can someone explain why a universal health service, free at the point of delivery is seen as a Nazi policy?

[ Thanks to Hocemo Li Na Kafu? ]

Summer Sundae 09

Had a great time over in Leicester at the Summer Sundae Weekender.

Highlights were Mum the Band, David Thomas Broughton and the "gloriously untethered" Monotonix.

More over at Rullsenberg's place. And here and here and also here.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

My profile

A week ago I was kindly asked to contribute a profile to Norm's blog.

It's here at Norm's.