Sunday, March 21, 2010

John Baez: calm, firm, unafraid, hard-knuckled

In the latest Notices of the American Mathematical Society, John Baez (PDF) describes the rugged temperament required for math blogging:


Should you blog about mathematics?... Any idiot can do it, and many do... Judging from what I’ve seen, you should do it if you like explaining things, enjoy public discussions, and can deal calmly but firmly with arguments that get out of hand, or the occasional troublemaker. Some mathematicians are too worried about making a fool of themselves in public to enjoy blogging. Others are too afraid of offending people. And if my joke about “idiots” bothered you, blogging may be too hard-knuckled for you.


This is a bit rich coming from John Baez, of all people.

El Naschie Watch readers remember that Baez attacked El Naschie's ludicrous numerology in an n-Category Café post

http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2008/11/the_case_of_m_s_el_naschie.html

whose link is now broken. And why is it broken? Because John's hard knuckles turned chalk white when El Naschie's sockpuppets started hinting about lawyers and defamation. John silently and cravenly withdrew the post, reader comments and all. We fortunately archive that hard-to-find Baez material here on El Naschie Watch. When John discovered that, he practically soiled himself. To learn about John's lack of balls, read My phone call with John Baez and My emails with John Baez.

Thanks to Shrink for pointing out the PDF.

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