By G. H. Hardy
G. H. Hardy was once one in every of this century's most interesting mathematical thinkers, popular between his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He used to be additionally, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, able to discuss anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940 as his mathematical powers have been declining, deals an excellent and fascinating account of arithmetic as a great deal greater than a technology; while it used to be first released, Graham Greene hailed it along Henry James's notebooks as 'the top account of what it used to be prefer to be an inventive artist'. C. P. Snow's Foreword provides sympathetic and witty insights into Hardy's lifestyles, with its wealthy shop of anecdotes referring to his collaboration with the intense Indian mathematician Ramanujan, his aphorisms and idiosyncrasies, and his ardour for cricket. it is a distinct account of the fascination of arithmetic and of 1 of its such a lot compelling exponents nowa days.
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In fact, all these companies seem to be adding or subtracting at least one feature per week; if anything, this is the best argument for not assuming that their platforms are somehow just a way in which “the Net” speaks to us. If “the Net” does have a voice when it speaks to us, it’s that of a schizophrenic. Given his McLuhanesque medium-centrism, it’s not surprising that Carr has little to say about fighting all the digital distractions he identifies: his notion of the ever-permanent and rigid “Net” prevents him from identifying structural reforms that can result in less destruction (“My interest is description, not prescription,” Carr told the New York Observer).
Does it contain important lessons that we all need to heed and perhaps incorporate into our institutions? Does it help us rediscover longforgotten truths about human nature? More and more people— not just ivory tower intellectuals but also regular soldiers in the Internet war, people who join Anonymous and vote for representatives of Pirate Parties in elections—are answering these questions in the affirmative. It’s this propensity to view “the Internet” as a source of wisdom and policy advice that transforms it from a fairly uninteresting set of cables and network routers into a seductive and exciting ideology—perhaps today’s über-ideology.
This might fit quite nicely with David Cameron’s rhetoric of the “Big Society”—whereby individuals take on the roles formerly performed by public institutions—but it would be a mistake to treat the two approaches as producing the same content through different means. Some content is simply unlikely to get crowdfunded. 28 9781610391382-text_morozov 12/13/12 4:10 PM Page 29 The Nonsense of “the Internet”—and How to Stop It Johnson, however, does not want to make his case for reforming the NEA on aesthetic grounds; for him, Kickstarter is better because it’s more Internet-like and more participatory.
A Mathematician's Apology (Canto) by G. H. Hardy