Category: stories

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Sallieres-les-bains

    For three summers in a row, Bourbaki held its congres in ‘Sallieres-les-bains’, located near Die, in the Drôme. La Tribu 36, from June 27th till July 9th 1955 La Tribu 39, from June 24th till July 7th 1956, ‘Congres des Tapis’ La Tribu 42, from June 23rd till July 7th 1957, ‘Congres oecumenique du diabolo’ […]

  • Le Guide Bourbaki : Marlotte

    During the 1950ties, the Bourbakistas usually scheduled three meetings in the countryside. In the spring and autumn at places not too far from Paris (Royaumont, Celles-sur-plaines, Marlotte, Amboise…), in the summer they often went to the mountains (Pelvoux, Murols, Sallieres-les-bains,…). Being a bit autistic, they preferred to return to the same places, rather than to…

  • The (somewhat less) Secret Bourbaki Archive

    It has been many, many years since I’ve last visited the Bourbaki Archives. The underground repository of the Bourbaki Secret Archives is a storage facility built beneath the cave of the former Capoulade Cafe. Given its sporadic use by staff and scholars, the entire space – including the Gallery of all intermediate versions of every…

  • the topos of unconsciousness

    Since wednesday, as mentioned last time, the book by Alain Connes and Patrick Gauthier-Lafaye: “A l’ombre de Grothendieck et de Lacan, un topos sur l’inconscient” is available in the better bookshops. There’s no need to introduce Alain Connes on this blog. Patrick Gauthier-Lafaye is a French psychiatrist and psycho-analyst, working in Strassbourg. The book is…

  • Grothendieck meets Lacan

    Next month, a weekend-meeting is organised in Paris on Lacan et Grothendieck, l’impossible rencontre?. Photo from Remembering my father, Jacques Lacan Jacques Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud”. What’s the connection between Lacan and Grothendieck? Here’s Stephane Dugowson‘s take (G-translated): “As we know, Lacan…

  • Yet more topos news

    Every topos has its own internal language, the so called Mitchell-Bénabou language, allowing us to speak about formulas and their truth values. Sadly, Jean Bénabou died last week. Here’s a nice interview with Bénabou (in French) on category theory, Grothendieck, logic, and a rant on plagiarism among topos theorists (starting at 1:00:16). Yesterday, France Culture’s…

  • The hype cycle of an idea

    These three ideas (re)surfaced over the last two decades, claiming to have potential applications to major open problems: (2000) $\mathbb{F}_1$-geometry tries to view $\mathbf{Spec}(\mathbb{Z})$ as a curve over the field with one element, and mimic Weil’s proof of RH for curves over finite fields to prove the Riemann hypothesis. (2012) IUTT, for Inter Universal Teichmuller…

  • Chevalley’s circle of friends

    Last week, Danielle Couty ArXiVed her paper Friendly views on Claude Chevalley (in French). From the abstract: “We propose to follow the itinerary of Claude Chevalley during the last twenty years of his life, through the words of Jacques Roubaud, Denis Guedj and Alexander Grothendieck. Our perspective is that of their testimonies filled with friendship.”…

  • Grothendieck stuff

    January 13th, Gallimard published Grothendieck’s text Recoltes et Semailles in a fancy box containing two books. Here’s a G-translation of Gallimard’s blurb: “Considered the mathematical genius of the second half of the 20th century, Alexandre Grothendieck is the author of Récoltes et semailles, a kind of “monster” of more than a thousand pages, according to…

  • Poly

    Following up on the deep learning and toposes-post, I was planning to do something on the logic of neural networks. Prepping for this I saw David Spivak’s paper Learner’s Languages doing exactly that, but in the more general setting of ‘learners’ (see also the deep learning post). And then … I fell under the spell…