RE: [PrimeNumbers] Re: 20/03/2003
- -----Original Message-----
From: David Broadhurst [mailto:d.broadhurst@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2003 5:19 AM
Subject: [PrimeNumbers] Re: 20/03/2003
> I never understood why the rulers of U.SArrogance and vanity, respectively?
> and G.Britain are so thirsty for blood
Thus far a british, an australian,
and a galician member have broken
etiquette by indicating their
feelings on this list.
Is there no american member who
shares our sense of shame?
--------- End Original Message -------
No, David, I don't think it's arrogance and vanity.
I think that the underlying reason can be summed
up in one word, fear. The American culture, fueled
in large part by the media, is fear-based. Every day
we are bombarded with subtle and not-so-subtle warnings.
Our newscasts are always about bad things and how they
could happen to you. Just the other day our newspaper,
in the "FYI" section, had a story about "Dangers in the
Home", for example. I could go on and on.
The documentary movie "Bowling for Columbine" presents an
excellent look at this phenomenon.
The fear of weapons of mass destruction is what has
fueled this action.
I feel a great sadness for my country. I do think we
are a "good" people, with what in literature would be
called a "tragic flaw".
- Thanks, Tom, that perception helped me, a bit.
I received several other replies from american
members, off-list, some of which explained
reasons for not wanting to express liberal
opinions on-list. [But why on earth they didn't
post them here is still beyond my ken.
Does american fear and conformism really reach
to the obscure depths of a math list?
And please don't say that you wanted to
stay on primenumbers topics, because I don't
believe that, from the evidence of my private mail.]
On a brighter note, I just got back from a revivifying
10-hour stint in Parliament Square.
There was lots going on that need not
be recounted here. But the marginally
relevant anecdote that might interest
members concerns the only slogan that
was written on a blackboard.
A young woman climbed onto the
plinth of a statue with a blackboard
on which was written:
> Mathematicians against the war.(with a spoof formula beneath)
I happened to have Henri Cohen's
"Course in Computational Algebraic
Number in Theory" in my backpack
and waved it at her in solidarity.
[It is, of course, the colour of
"cowardly" french cheese.]