January 10th, 2009

Дайсон о России

"To end this talk, I come back to Yuri Manin and his book Mathematics as Metaphor. The book is mainly about mathematics. It may come as a surprise to Western readers that he writes with equal eloquence about other subjects such as the collective unconscious, the origin of human language, the psychology of autism, and the role of trickster in the mythology of many cultures. To his compatriots in Russia, such many-sided interests and expertise would come as no surprise. Russian intellectuals maintain the proud tradition of the old Russian intelligentsia, with scientists and poets and artists and musicians belonging to a single community. They are still today, as we see them in the plays of Chekhov, a group of idealists bound together by their alienation from a superstitious society and a capricious government. In Russia, mathematicians and composers and film-producers talk to one another, walk together in the snow on winter nights, sit together over a bottle of wine, and share each others' thoughts."

Как интересно! Via avzel.