Mathematicians duped by a fake lecture

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posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 12:48 AM
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Mathematicians listened to a hoax lecture and did not suspect anything. Some claimed that they understood the nonsensical lecture.

ecclesiastes911.net...




posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 12:56 AM
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If I'm reading that right it happened in 1923.

Would the same thing occur today I wonder........



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by simus
 


I bet one quarter or more still don't get it to this day
...that's an old article although speaks articulate authenticity



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 01:18 AM
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skonazWould the same thing occur today I wonder........

Sure. There have been few similar cases recently: Sokal affair, Bogdanoff affair, and that randomly generated paper accepted for conference.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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That's the problem with academia. You can't look dumb, so no one can play the part of the naive little kid who shouts out the emperor has no clothes. I was given a text in college from an academic , which we couldn't understand, nor did we know all the words. Others dismissed the author as simply too brilliant for us to get, but on researching the words, we discovered many of them were simply made up... Or grotesquely misspelled and misused versions of existing words. The lesson is, keep an open mind, but don't dismiss common sense.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 03:09 AM
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reply to post by tridentblue
 


All the debunkers and such squawk about peer reviewed this and that, and what is so an so's expertise as in "they are not an expert in such and such field" to shut up any who reveal the errors they so commonly accept as proven truth of simple theories you can't observe or test, but "it's science" and we are idiots for not getting it.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 03:26 AM
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reply to post by UnifiedSerenity
 


Yeah its frustrating. I went to a skeptics site and the first thing in their "bologna detection kit" was to consider the source of the claim. Classic thinkers called this Ad Hominem logical fallacy, to believe that the truth value of a statement is dependent somehow on who says it.
en.m.wikipedia.org...

But that BS flies today.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 03:39 AM
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tridentblue
That's the problem with academia. You can't look dumb, so no one can play the part of the naive little kid who shouts out the emperor has no clothes. I was given a text in college from an academic , which we couldn't understand, nor did we know all the words. Others dismissed the author as simply too brilliant for us to get, but on researching the words, we discovered many of them were simply made up... Or grotesquely misspelled and misused versions of existing words. The lesson is, keep an open mind, but don't dismiss common sense.


Am I the only one who read this story?



Nobody had got anything out of this lecture save Rene de Possel who believed he had understood some ideas (but not the entire lecture contrary to what Andre Weil asserts).


So, one person said they think they understood some of it. Hardly a scathing indictment of academia.

Particularly considering:

The speaker was Raoul Husson, a more advanced student and a gentle prankster [...] he appeared before the new "conscripts" armed with a false beard and an indefinable accent, and presented a talk which, taking off from a modicum of classical function theory, rose by imperceptible degrees to the most extravagant heights, ending with a "Bourbaki's theorem" [...]


So, he was an actual mathematician, giving a talk in a funny accent, about something that started with actual math and ended with some silly claims. And one guy at the conference said he understood some of what was said (which, considering the talk started with traditional, well-understood math, is not surprising).

Again, hardly a scathing indictment of math. Also, again, am I the only one who read the article?

tl;dr: Someone gave a joke talk in a funny accent that, apparently, no one thought was funny.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 04:06 AM
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reply to post by Moduli
 


I hope people get this especially mathematicians.

After all how would mathematicians get duped by a lecture? After all mathematicians are not scientists.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by simus
 


To quote from your site... it wasn't the mathematicians.




A couple years ago I wrote about the experiment where researchers had hired an actor to lecture in place of a great scientist. They introduced him as Dr. Myron Fox, an authority on the application of mathematics to human behavior. The Ph.D. psychologists who attended the lecture did not suspect anything wrong and were fully satisfied with Dr. Fox’s answers to their questions.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Moduli
 



Its a pattern that plays out quite a bit. My experience was in liberal arts, but I'm sure it repeats in science/math as well. The pattern repeats in all fields. Its about power. Its about establishng the social perception of authority, where ones words are taken as valuable not because of what they are, but because who speaks them. Its ancient and pervasive.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 06:52 AM
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This makes me think of how many presentations and lectures my little pen is taking notes on...my ears are open for and I appear 100% engaged and interested ...Just don't ask me 5 minutes after it's over to summarize so much as the name of the guy a specific point may have been about.

I wonder how many in the audience were doing the same thing? Interest and real curiosity shown because that's just what is expected in academia and it's not that hard to fake. Easy in fact....(thank god for small favors..lol)

That is more than a little disturbing when one of them goes above everything to say he actually got real benefit from a total fiction. Ouch..... Talk about a moment of 'better to remain silent and have people think you a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt'.

Even geniuses can be complete idiots, eh?



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 10:38 AM
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ModuliSo, one person said they think they understood some of it. Hardly a scathing indictment of academia.

Yes. But not a single person understood that the lecture was nonsense.


ModuliAgain, hardly a scathing indictment of math.

Nobody indicts math (like, for example, Euclidean geometry). However, the great majority of people who are formally considered mathematicians do not do anything sensible.


ModuliAlso, again, am I the only one who read the article?

Good question. This is indeed another problem with science.



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 05:38 PM
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simus

ModuliSo, one person said they think they understood some of it. Hardly a scathing indictment of academia.

Yes. But not a single person understood that the lecture was nonsense.


So, to answer my apparently rhetorical question earlier: No, no one else actually read the article. Because the thing clearly states that no one thought it made sense except for one guy who thought part of it kinda made sense.


Wrabbit2000
I wonder how many in the audience were doing the same thing? Interest and real curiosity shown because that's just what is expected in academia and it's not that hard to fake. Easy in fact....(thank god for small favors..lol)


What talks are you going to?? Because the talks I go to, most of the audience is reading papers, looking at stuff on their laptops, or dozing. There is no pretense of paying attention to talks that are uninteresting or wrong in the academia I am from! We all have better things to do!



posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 10:48 PM
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simus
Yes. But not a single person understood that the lecture was nonsense.

That's because it was mostly real math. So it wasn't nonsense, only the last parts were.



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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ModuliSo, to answer my apparently rhetorical question earlier: No, no one else actually read the article. Because the thing clearly states that no one thought it made sense except for one guy who thought part of it kinda made sense.

May be you have read the article, but surely did not understand it. One guy said that he understood the lecture, other people say that they did not understand it. Nobody understood that the lecture was nonsense.



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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Deaf Alien
reply to post by Moduli
 


I hope people get this especially mathematicians.

After all how would mathematicians get duped by a lecture? After all mathematicians are not scientists.


What evidence is there that they were "duped"? Nobody said "oh yes this (junk) is brilliant!". Nobody published a paper or gave a good review. They sat politely and didn't understand a word which is what you expect to happen. Also, most mathemetician's personalities are not aggressive, so even if they thought it was BS they wouldn't bother to say so publicly.

Research mathematics is sufficiently difficult that non-experts in a particular field, even top mathematicians, might not be able to distinguish good from bad. And the professionals working in that know it.
edit on 26-9-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 04:43 PM
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OccamsRazor04
That's because it was mostly real math. So it wasn't nonsense, only the last parts were.

How would you know that? Besides, if what you are saying is true, then why the rest of the audience understood nothing?



posted on Sep, 28 2013 @ 01:46 AM
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simus

OccamsRazor04
That's because it was mostly real math. So it wasn't nonsense, only the last parts were.

How would you know that? Besides, if what you are saying is true, then why the rest of the audience understood nothing?

Because I read the article.

The speaker was Raoul Husson, a more advanced student and a gentle prankster

So the speaker was an actual mathematician, not a fraud.

taking off from a modicum of classical function theory

So he started with REAL math.

with the additional detail that one of the students who attended the lecture claimed to have understood everything from beginning to end.

So it was a student, not a professor, or a mathematician, who was duped.

Nobody had got anything out of this lecture save Rene de Possel who believed he had understood some ideas (but not the entire lecture contrary to what Andre Weil asserts).

So the one person duped only understood some of the lecture (which we proved started off as actual math). And he was a student at the time.

Maybe if you read the article you would know this too.



posted on Sep, 28 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by OccamsRazor04
 


Here is the complete description of the lecture


a talk which, taking off from a modicum of classical function theory, rose by imperceptible degrees to the most extravagant heights, ending with a "Bourbaki's theorem"


So only the very beginning was correct, afterward nonsense gradually increased. Your statement that only the end of the lecture was nonsensical is obviously wrong.

Another problem with your logic is this. If almost all of the lecture was correct, as you insist, then why


Nobody had got anything out of this lecture save Rene de Possel

?





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