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Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality (fwd)



Ok, my absolutely last post on this issue.

Forwarded message:

> Subject: Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality (fwd)
> From: [email protected] (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
> Date: Fri, 09 Jan 98 19:50:35 EST

> > Anyone who would tell their dying wife, via their son, to wait a moment
> > until he had finished his calculations is not a nice person.
> 
> Do you have proof that Gauss did that?  This sounds like another one of
> those urban legends the envious sheeple like to invent about celebrities,
> like the claim that Leonrado da Vinci was a cocksucker.

It is a commen citation in several of his biographies. The first place I saw
it was in a science history book that Isaac Asimov wrote (you know who he is
I assume, known for writing world-class sci-fi and one of the best
bio-chemistry textbooks around in the 70's and early 80's) back in the late
70's. It's the same book where he talks about Torricelli (he invented the
mercurey barometer) and how he sent his brother-in-law into the bandit
infested hills to actualy test the device. There seems to have been some
indication that Torricelli had an alterior motive in this action.
Unfortunately I think I have attempted to read a large fraction of the 300+
books that Asimov wrote at one time or another since about 1965 when I really
started to read sci-fi and as a result they all seem to run together. I
looked in the couple of Asimov books that I actualy own but unfortunately it
isn't in either of them. I will look at the library I keep at the shop next 
time I go out there but it is equaly likely it was destroyed in my house fire
3+ years ago. If somebody out there knows which book this is I would appreciate
the citation. I will add this to my 'hunt-list' that I keep as I tour the many
bookstores here in Austin. If I find it I'll holler.

> > > argument you can make is to cite Bolyai's claims that Lobachevsky was not
> > > a real person but a "tentacle" of Gauss, created to persecute Bolyai
> > > (gee, that sounds vaguely familiar...), and you can't find any more dirt
> > > on Gauss, then it proves to me that he was indeed a remarkably nice person.
> >
> > What the hell are you talking about here? I made no such claims at all.
> 
> You're citing janos Bolyai, who claimed exactly that.  Unfortunately, the
> poor chap went insane.

No, I am citing the translator of Bolyai's book; Dr. George Bruce Halsted.
If you want to discuss this further and intelligently it might do you well to
have actualy read the book, which by your own admission you never have.
Don't be a miser, spend the $6.00 US.

I *might* take your comments a hell of a lot more seriously if just once you
would cite a single reference to *any* of your comments or claims. It is
interesting that when it comes down to proof you don't have the time to do
the research nor do you *ever* fill any request for references.

> You're confused, Jim.  Farkas Bolyai (the father) never claimed to have
> invented non-euclidean geometry.

Your twisting words and dangerously approaching straight out lying. Both
Farkas Bolyai and Gauss worked together on non-euclidian geometry. Let me
quote the translators notes for the book:

" But to prove Euclid's system, we must show that a triangle's angle-sum is
exactly a straight angle, which nothing human can ever do.
  However, this is anticipating, for in 1799 it seems that the mind of the
elder Bolyai, Bolyai Farkas, was in precisely the same state as that of his
friend Gauss. Both were intensely trying to prove what now we know is
indemonstable. ..."

As to my making mistakes, big fucking deal. Everyone does. The difference
between you and me is that I am not trying to do anything other than figure
out what happened and why. If I'm wrong I'll admit it (and I am at least
once a day). I am also willing to do the research (as best I can with what
resources I have) and also willing to cite it. All I ask from those who wish
to debate issues with me is equal treatment, in short the opportunity to
review their sources and an honest opportunity to refute those sources. You
seem to have a personal motive in everything you submit and further *never*
cite any sort of source that can be reviewed and repudiated or supported.

To put it bluntly, you lack honesty in your dealings with others.


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