More thoughts on acceleration

As Sebald writes in Austerlitz,

Why does time stand eternally still and motionless in one place, and rush headlong by in another?

Being obliged, as I explained yesterday, to digest a good deal of both perfectoid geometry and derived algebraic geometry just in order to “stand… still and motionless in one place” — Kantor will be relieved to know that he is under no such obligation — I am wondering whether there has been an objective Beschleunigung in the development of the subject or whether it just appears to be the case.  Voynich made the point that there are colleagues who don’t share the Angst expressed in yesterday’s post, and this has the effect of suggesting that it’s not so much that the time of research is rushing “headlong by” but rather that this blog’s author is visibly decelerating.  Nothing, I’m sure, could be farther from Voynich’s mind than such dismally Kuhnian speculations!


7 thoughts on “More thoughts on acceleration

  1. Jon Awbrey

    But all skidding aslide, here we go again with questions about the dynamics of inquiry. Is all that meta-physics nothing but metaphor, signifying nothing literally, or is there hope of teasing out laws of information and inference to glide us on our path?


      1. Jon Awbrey

        Probably why scientific inquiry, taken over the long haul, is a matter of mass action.
        And why we can’t tell the action of that mass from a frame undergoing acceleration.


  2. Voynich

    Indeed, nothing was further from my mind! I’m sorry if my comment came off poorly; it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I have to admit I’ve largely enjoyed learning perfectoid spaces, but of course it’s been a nightmare at times. In any case, it’s hard to imagine you decelerating.


    1. mathematicswithoutapologies Post author

      That’s very kind of you, but it’s not in the script. On the contrary, you’re role calls for you to wave at me from the train as it accelerates out of the station (unless you’re on an accelerating perfectoid boat watching my ideal-type on the shore shrink below the threshold of perception, I’ll have to check with my screenwriter).



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