Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

As long as we're on the same page...

The Scene: Drek is chatting with a mathematician he met attending a sociology talk. The conversation has turned, after a lengthy discussion, to why Drek thinks sociology is important.

Drek: So, basically, I think the physical sciences have- and continue to be- very important but we need to develop our understanding of sociology so that we can manage the power those sciences have given us.

Mathematician: I actually have to disagree with you there. I haven't really seen any evidence that sociology is a science yet.

Drek: That's fair. We're pretty different from a lot of other sciences. At our best, we're very rigorous and scientific. At our worst we're little better than astrology. So, most of the time, we're probably solidly in the proto-science realm.

Mathematician: That seems about right.

Drek: So what about you? What sort of controversies do you have in your discipline?

Mathematician: Well, we have arguments over infinity.

Drek: Okay.

Mathematician: We can't define infinity axiomatically, which is a big deal since we try to define everything axiomatically. At the same time, infinity is pretty much indispensible to every kind of math except algebra. Without infinity we lose a lot. So one side says that, since all this other math is so useful, we should just accept that infinity is important.

Drek: And what about the other side?

Mathematician: They say infinity doesn't exist.

Drek: ...

Drek: Seriously?

Mathematician: Yeah.

Drek: That's kinda stupid.

Mathematician: Yes.

Drek: In light of all this... you really think you should be talking trash about my discipline?

Mathematician: Good point.

Drek: That's what I thought.

As a side note, it was a lengthy conversation and so this is a summary of what was said that accurately reflects what occurred without being perfectly accurate. Also, he was a pretty nice guy and I think I managed to convince him that what we're doing isn't impossible, just really f-ing difficult.

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Blogger yli said...

i like this conversation summary!

Saturday, March 14, 2009 12:10:00 AM  

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