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The say of the week June 2, 2007

Posted by dorigo in Blogroll, games, humor, internet, physics.

“I’m over forty, I’m a full professor, and it’s time that I come out of the closet. I don’t understand quantum groups and I never did.”

Dror Bar-Natan

(Thanks Peter Woit’s Not even wrong blog



1. Kea - June 2, 2007

This is brilliant! And Bar-Natan is an amazing mathematician, working on Khovanov homology and other really cool things, so if he admits he doesn’t understand them, then it’s OK for everybody else to admit it too!

2. dorigo - June 3, 2007

Exactly Kea, I also feel relieved when I read those kinds of statements…


3. Kea - June 3, 2007

Heh, Tommaso, it looks like you Italians need some sailing lessons. 🙂

4. dorigo - June 3, 2007


I am happy if prada loses… I do not give a dime.
I must be careful what I write about sailing here, since the president of Gruppo I of INFN is a big fan 🙂 but as much as I love to sail on a boat, I find these multi-billionaires acting as long-time sportsmen pathetic.


5. Kea - June 4, 2007

Actually, I agree, and I think that’s why the press here isn’t giving all that much coverage to the event. The commercialism is nauseating. It wasn’t so bad back in the ’80s – no one who was in Sydney when Oz won the cup for the first time will ever forget that.

6. dorigo - June 4, 2007

Lucky you newzealanders – here we have luna rossa on the front page every second day. Oz ? Never heard of it. Who was at the helm, the wizard I suppose.


7. Ziplock - June 12, 2007

>Exactly Kea, I also feel relieved when I read those >kinds of statements…

Although it’s perhaps obvious, I’d like to note that the meaning of this quote has been changed by citing it out of context. “I don’t understand quantum groups” can have different meanings depending on the context.

For instance, the sentence “I don’t understand the cosmological constant” has completely different meanings if it is said by, say, Edward Witten or, say, George Bush. In short, there are degrees and nuances in ignorance, and some forms of ignorance are closer to knowledge than others.

8. dorigo - June 12, 2007

I agree Ziplock, but the sentence is rather strong, and by saying it he knew he would get misquoted… Too juicy not to.


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