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What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics?

What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics? A naive Quora question gets a remarkably long, thorough answer from an anonymous respondent. The answer cites, among many other things, Tim Gowers's influential essay "The Two Cultures of Mathematics," about the tension between problem-solving and theory-building. Related: Terry Tao asks "Does one have to be a genius to do maths?" (Spoiler: he says no.)
posted by escabeche on Dec 24, 2011 - 56 comments

Not Obama ?!?!

What Will Change Everything? - the 2009 Edge Annual Question [more inside]
posted by Gyan on Dec 31, 2008 - 25 comments

What is the meaning of this post?

Ask a Philosopher. Is the sentence of death really a punishment? How can we discern the difference of how we authentically "feel" as opposed to how we "think" we feel? If humans didn't exist, would animals still have rights?
posted by desjardins on Mar 31, 2008 - 30 comments

Should I post this?

What have you changed your mind about? Why? - the latest installment of The Edge Annual Question [more inside]
posted by Gyan on Dec 31, 2007 - 27 comments

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

AskPhilosophers what they think about philosophical problems! A philosophical version of Ask MetaFilter. Not much is up yet, but the lineup of panelists is brimming with top-notch academics. Hopefully the site will take off.
posted by painquale on Oct 4, 2005 - 11 comments

First define...

Ask a philosopher.
posted by tellurian on Sep 6, 2005 - 32 comments

Battleground God.

Battleground God. Consistency is the sign of a small mind. How small minded are you?
posted by Mossy on May 30, 2002 - 47 comments

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