Friday, November 11, 2011

Old fashioned names

I have a certain nostalgia for names.They carry history with them.
I notice now that some physicists think Eilenberg and Mac Lane's name "category" is not optimal and suggest instead "semigroupoid".
An even bolder proposal is to change the old fashioned name  "mathematics" to   "homotopy type theory pseudocode".

One of the arguments against the old fashioned terms is ambiguity, so "set of points" is in danger (try googling that), but I think the same people have already solved that by the introduction of "setoid".  How should physics be renamed to avoid the ambiguity of "un bel fisico"?

Personally I prefer to retain  the word "mathematics" with its connotations of learning, and suggest renaming HoTT pseudocode as "pseudomathematics".

One of the rigidities of Italian life is that it is very difficult to change your name - you more or less have to have the permission of the president.

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