Wednesday, March 25, 2009


JSH: Why you're fun

Years ago I likened mathematicians letting me run wild on newsgroups without the world realizing really what my discoveries actually are, is like letting Shaquille O'Neal play pick-up ball with neighborhood kids. My problem is, if you understand the truth, then no one wants to play with me.

And you don't understand because you've never had a major discoverer around. You just read about them.

So every one of you I'm sure has some idea in mind of what someone who is a major discoverer would do, but you're all wrong, because none of you are one, and all you know of previous ones is what you read in history books.

I like to delete posts as I've often wondered what we really know about people in those history books, like, what if they deliberately screw with things?

So I delete original papers, toss away things, and make things up, as I'm curious later when I read what historians say, how much will they get wrong? And then maybe I'll have an idea of how much was wrong that I thought was true about, say, Archimedes, or Einstein.

What can you do if the major historical figure is screwing up the records on purpose?

History will reflect on me.

It is something I ponder a lot as I think about each of you, especially the ones who seems so happy at times ripping on me, as if it matters. How happy they are at the mistakes. How serious they seem in believing they're accomplishing something by arguing with me.

I'm the guy no one would play with if I didn't let them win, sometimes.

This latest Pell's Equation result fascinates me, not because of the math, which IS beautiful, but because I wonder about the reaction. I eagerly await your rationalizations, and ponder how some of you will keep going, keep trying, keep thinking you're doing real mathematics, as you cling ever more tightly to the status quo.

I sent a paper with my blog post on the subject to Lenstra. Do you know why?

Because Pell's Equation was one of his pet areas. I cc'd Mazur and Ribet. No replies.

Of course. No replies.

I am by myself.

If you allow yourselves to understand how history must see me, then you will not play with me.

To history, I am the only mathematician of this age, even though I say I am not a mathematician.

To history, I am an impossible figure. A person that is unbelievable.

But today I am a crackpot mouthing off on a newsgroup to people who disrespect all that I've accomplished, and that is more than enough, as then at least, I don't have to sit quietly and be nice, and wonder, and look at people who can't really see me, and wonder, about what they think, as we all wonder, how can this be.

I know I'm here, but I don't know how I'm here, or why I'm so far beyond anyone else.

I just know that history will ponder, and be all the angrier because I know I'll fight it. I destroy information. I shred papers. Lie about details. Make things up, and in general force them to think…what do we really know about him?

I don't even know any more about me.

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