Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mathematician wants sex gossip

The mainstream news media seems to be going all-gay all the time, but I thought that I could get away from that by reading technical mathematics journals.
But the reviewer, in describing the relationship of Alexandrov and Kolmogorov as “friends and collaborators” does a disservice to Graham and Kantor, and to the unsuspecting reader of the review. Graham and Kantor make a very clear case that Alexandrov and Kolmogorov (and, also, Alexandrov and Urysohn) were lovers, and that the tenuous position of homosexuals in Russian society (which, sadly, continues to this day) shaped at least some of their political behavior, in particular Alexandrov’s and Kolmogorov’s denunciations of Luzin and Solzhenitsyn. If Glutsyuk has evidence to challenge Graham’s and Kantor’s claims, he should mention it. But simply avoiding the issue avoids one of the major themes in the book, and continues to hide an aspect of history which is too often hidden.

—Judith Roitman
University of Kansas
I can only assume that she has some sort of feminist belief that exposing homosexuality will help undermine the patriarchy.

The review was of
Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity. The author of the review did not reply, presumably because he did not think that such gossip and speculation was appropriate for a math journal. None of the Amazon reviews mention the homosexual theorizing, except for this one:
After a somewhat superficial description of the Soviet-era politics which consumed two of the principal Russian figures it deteriorates into such things as an extended description of the homosexual amours of famous Russian mathematicians including (but not limited to) Alexandrov and Kolmogorov (a couple, actually). Yuck. What's up with that?
Andrey Kolmogorov was a brilliant Soviet mathematician who is particularly known for work in probability theory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it widely accepted that the vast majority of mathematicians are homosexuals ? Why would it be to anybody's surprise or interest that these two were also homos.