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Math

Is Mathematics Discovered Or Invented? 798

An anonymous reader points out an article up at Science News on a question that, remarkably, is still being debated after a few thousand years: is mathematics discovered, or is it invented? Those who answer "discovered" are the intellectual descendants of Plato; their number includes Roger Penrose. The article notes that one difficulty with the Platonic view: if mathematical ideas exist in some way independent of humans or minds, then human minds engaged in doing mathematics must somehow be able to connect with this non-physical state. The European Mathematical Society recently devoted space to the debate. One of the papers, Let Platonism die, can be found on page 24 of this PDF. The author believes that Platonism "has more in common with mystical religions than with modern science."
Software

Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations 58

chromatic writes "Google and O'Reilly have published the Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations. These awards, given at OSCON 2008, recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of open source software. The nomination process is open to the entire open source community, and nominations close on May 15. Here's your chance to sing the praises of previously unsung hackers."

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