Re: martyrdom

From: Karl Anderson (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 12:40:36 PST

"Bill Humphries" <> writes:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Joseph S. Barrera III" <>
> To: "Phil Carmody" <>
> >Phil Carmody a écrit:
> >> Mathematics should not have to involve martyrdom
> >Why not?
> I've always thought of Galois -- who, according to legend, wrote up his
> notes on finite groups the night before he died in a duel -- as a martyr.
> According to this article from The Hindu
> ( the
> duel was fought over a matter of politics. This brings us back to the
> current contentions on the list.

Naw, Galois suffered for his politics, but I agree more with the
theory that the duel was just over a lady, and the lady wasn't herself
a political pawn.

I also like the story that the two duellists were close friends who
each couldn't bear to watch the other die, so they loaded only one
of two pistols and shot eachother at pointblank range with their eyes
closed. Dunno about that, though.

It was when I spent a semester trying to understand the aborted
theories of a 20 year old dude who had time to try to smash the state
that I learned humility.

Karl Anderson 

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