Math Blog of the Day: The Narrow Road

Hey, Sesame Street tried.
Up til now my math-blog reading has been limited to Scott Aaronson’s Shtetl-Optimized (entertaining) and BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen’s LiveJournal (always glad to help). But Leland McInnes’ The Narrow Road is the kind of math blog you can sit down and have a drink with, because the posts are long and you probably aren’t going to fully grasp them anyway though it’s fun to try. McInnes is a mathematician completing his Ph.D. in pro-finite Lie rings. A pro-finite Lie ring, in case you cheated your way through abstract math, “is a compact Hausdorff topological Lie ring such that the open ideals of finite index form a neighbourhood base of 0.” But don’t let that scare you away. McInnes’ manifesto, If We Taught English the Way We Teach Math, is the best thing I’ve read today. You too can blame your elementary school teacher for focusing too much on the details and neglecting to instill in you an appreciation for the beauty and wonder of “the art of abstraction.” Then you can start at the beginning of Mr. McInnes’ blog and catch up.