[ExI] two years in the slammer for blammisphy?

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed May 12 04:36:11 UTC 2010

> > But the Poles now seem to have a successful handle on their economy 
> > and are will known for their scientific and literary 
> contributions to the world.
> Yes we do. Thanks for noticing. :-)... Regards, Tomasz Rola

Tomasz, I wonder if it is commonly taught in Poland the extraordinary
contributions in the field of mathematics made by Poles and nearby eastern
Europeans in the critical decades of the 1920s and 1930s.  I read it *I
think* in Stanislaw Ulam's book, where he explained that in those years,
many of the world's top minds in mathematics were in Poland.  Specifically
the Polish Jews were making so many critical breakthroughs in algebraic
topology, ergodic theory and other fields, which would later contribute in
the making of the atomic bomb, in artillery, in signaling and coding, and
even in computer programming.

In Ulam's book somewhere, which I read a long time ago (so I might be
mistaken), he commented that so much of the real progress in mathematics in
those decades came from Polish Jews that it surprised them whenever someone
outside that exclusive circle made any major contribution.  My hazy memory
has it that they had a saying, or a jingle or a rhyme, in a Polish-ized
dialect of Yiddish, which roughly translates "The gentiles are said to have
discovered a theorem.  Indeed, the gentiles?  Is this true?"

I did get a laugh out of it, imagining my distant cousins saying something
like that. 


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list