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[The] junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product.

He does not improve and simplify his merchandise.  He degrades and simplifies the client.


                                                                                                William Burroughs,   Naked Lunch




NEW:  Do Mathematicians Have Responsibilities? to appear in Humanizing Mathematics and its Philosophy. Essays Celebrating the 90th Birthday of Reuben Hersh, B. Sriraman, editor:  pdf  (uncorrected version).


The following article, unlike the one above, is not primarily intended for mathematicians, and should not be read as a history of p-adic Hodge theory and perfectoid geometry, much less as a rigorous account of their mathematical contents, which I am thoroughly unqualified to produce.  I nevertheless apologize to colleagues who feel their work has not been given its proper attribution.  A more detailed clarification can be found here.


NEW:  The Perfectoid Concept:  Test Case for an Absent Theory, in What is a Mathematical Concept? E. de Freitas, N. Sinclair, A. Coles, eds.:  pdf (uncorrected version). 


Sudden disorientation in a Paris museum,  Notices of the AMS,  59, June-July 2012, 822-826.


Do Androids Prove Theorems in Their Sleep?  (slighly longer version of article published in Circles Disturbed, A. Doxiadis and B. Mazur, eds.)

"Why Mathematics?" You May Ask (in The Princeton Companion to Mathematics, T. Gowers et al, eds. pp. 966-977):  pdf
Next-to-last draft, including many footnotes deleted from the published version.





NOW COMPLETE:  Science for Nicaragua, archives 1986-1989




The Science of Tricks, presentation at Mathematical Cultures III, London, April 2014.


Avatars:  mathematical conjectures in the light of (re)incarnation
    Quicktime movie of PowerPoint presentation at the conference "Two Streams in the Philosophy of Mathematics:  Rival Conceptions of Mathematical Proof"  University of Hertfordshire, July 1-3, 2009 (long before the author had heard anything about Cameron's film!)
    Small version (for slow connections)


Photos from an attempt to explain the American university system at Street University (Уличный Университет), St. Petersburg, July 4, 2010.  The soundtrack is unfortunately no longer working. 





REVIEW OF Fashionable Nonsense,  A. Sokal and J. Bricmont (written early 1999)

REVIEW OF Mathematics and the Roots of Postmodern Theory, V. Tasi'c (published in Notices of the AMS,  August 2003)

REVIEW OF Everything and More, D. F. Wallace (published in Notices of the AMS, June-July 2004)

REVIEW OF Genius at Play, S. Roberts,   Nature, 523, 406–407 (23 July 2015) 

REVIEW OF Birth of a Theorem, C. Villani,   American Mathematical Monthly, January 2016