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    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012

    This is mainly a service post. The long unactive question Who will write the algebraic heometry texts that are needed got reactivated. It meanwhile has two votes to reopen. The comment thread from its origination was already long and there seems some 'trouble' in the comments now, so I thought I create a meta thread.

    (ps. I do not wish to personally get much involved in the discussion as some of the involved users, I believe, have some general problem with me; but still I want to say that Peter Samuelson's comment is essentially precisely my opinion.)

    Not on the main issue, but I think it is troubling when people start to flag comments they disagree with as "offensive". Several such flags will delete a comment (at least on stackexchange 2.0 systems) with no trace whatsoever.

    On the main issue: Do we want to see questions on who will write the next definitive book on X, where X varies over all mathematical subfields?
    • CommentAuthorvoloch
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012
    What is the point of these questions? Even if we agree (which I very much doubt) on who should write this or that text, then what? What are we going to do?

    "Hey, dude, MO voted on you to write a book on blah."

    "But I am busy with other things and have no interest in writing a book on blah."

    "You have no say on the matter. MO has spoken, get to work."

    In addition, I object to having whatshisnamenow leading discussions on MO. Voted to delete (with my apologies to Charles).
    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012

    @voloch: while there is no difference between our general perception here, could we please not delete it (just for the moment!). [Actually, the request is more for all others, as you voted already.] At the very moment if it is deleted I will vote to undelete for purely procedural reasons.

    I would think deleting the question is not appropriate.

    Let me quote

    " Joel Reyes Noche 1 day ago
    I also learn a lot about the mathematics community whenever I see controversial questions and answers in MO. What is considered acceptable? How is a consensus reached? Mathematics is a very social activity and MO allows me to be a part of it. "

    I'am not voting to reopen, at least now, since it seems to me the question does not have the right focus,
    at least I do not quite understand it.

    However, it seems to there are certain real problems behind this question.
    See e.g.
    • CommentAuthorShanmukha
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012

    @Michael Greinecker : Well, your comments are well pointed towards me , and I feel that its a wrong thing to flag a comment as offensive, if it is based on their personal view. I agree that " one man's sweet is another man's poison " . But if that is going to be the case, the procedure of closing down the questions based upon 'n' number of personal opinions don't make sense ! Sun will not rise in west, even if 20 members strongly support the view " Sun rises in the west " . The only solution is to either allow every user to possess their freedom in flagging as offensive, or just limiting the freedom of every user .

    Well, I hope one of the thing is happening now !

    • CommentAuthorShanmukha
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012

    @Voloch : Well, after seeing comments you made, I really like to flag them as offensive. I am sorry to say that , but I really said my intention . Well, X may ask about the list of interested users who can , in some way try to improvise some book or some material. It' s not a crime ( Is it ? ) , more over the question has been tagged as 'soft-question' and there is a chance that some user may come up with some interest in creating some over-view that Charles asked for . Well, as we all know that , Charles has been a master editor at Wiki, and I surely think WIKI's mathematical content has helped thousands of students who completely depend on e-learning, ipso facto there is a dire need for improvising such works . If no-body cared to translate or re-write the complex mathematical work in easier terms, we wouldn't have understood a single line . What do you say Mr.Voloch ?

    " Hey dude, I am a native english speaker and I want to read the work of Galois ( which is in french ) "

    " No , dude, others are busy in their own work and no one wants to re-write articles , translate and help others "

    " Oh, ok, let's leave the Galois theory and start with something else " .

    If no body cared to rewrite and improvise articles and keep the lecture notes online, no body could have been able to read and understand the works of giants . Well, frankly speaking, how many people can understand the theory of relativity , by reading the original papers of Einstein ? If there are no layman descriptions, no improvisations , no simple descriptions and nothing , and if that is the case our knowledge would be null .

    I sincerely suggest that, not to speak for everyone, and I hope that everyone has got their own mouth . If some X is busy , and don't want to help someone regarding improvising some article, let him stay out of the subject and carry on his own work . No body threatened others by keeping knife on everyone's neck, and forcing them to improvise . Its just a request, and its not mandatory. If you are busy, keep on with your work, but don't speak for others, framing a metaphor . Especially your penultimate line appears as if someone is commanding .

    I sincerely protest not to close nor delete the question , and I totally agree with quid . If we don't understand something, we shouldn't call it as 'not-real' . It may be really worthless , or we are worthless to understand the intention and quintessence behind that ! Both Latter and Former can happen, but that is to be decided based upon age and reputation . If some undergraduate is asking this sort of question, we can think that its not worth of . But question is asked by Charles, and I can strongly say that , he is aware of the meaningfulness of the questions he ask, and at the risk of repeating myself if this question is really not worthy, Charles himself wouldn't have asked it . There is some good intention behind asking this question, and if someone are interested to respond can respond to the OP, others who are busy in controlling the supernovae explosions and running the solar systems, can carry on with their own work ! but those of you who really want to help others by improvising can join their hands and you are most welcome !

    Bienvenidos, -Shanmukha

    • CommentAuthorShanmukha
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012

    I surely suspect that the '4' down-votes noticed on the question is purely due to vendetta . What a pity that people are separated by narrow things , I have nothing more to say !


    I locked the question since this is not going anywhere useful.

    By the way, offensive flags should only be used for comments that are truly offensive.

    • CommentAuthorAngelo
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012
    Algebraic geometry is notoriously difficult to approach: the language of schemes is technical, and requires a good knowledge of commutative algebra even for taking the first steps. What's more, the gap between the language and the geometric intuition may look unbridgeable to the beginner. I know this very well, I have taught several introductory courses in scheme theory and I am teaching one now. And, indeed, EGA is not an ideal starting point.

    Several people have made an effort to help students master the subject, at different levels. Of course there is Hartshorne's book; as I said in my comment, Liu's book is a particularly good example among the recent ones; but there are many others. The poster acknowledges none of this, but asks, rather aggressively, why no one is doing anything to write an integrated treatment. If this means a treatment in which every aspect of algebraic geometry is covered, the answer is that it is impossible; the subject is much too wide for that. So, there are good introductory texts, and after that one can choose a direction to investigate, and find other books to read. From this point of view it is not different from any other subjects (would you ask for an integrated treatment of partial differential equations?).

    The comments of the poster are even worse. In one of them he says "In other fields, in fact, the situation would be considered fairly scandalous". This is incomprehensible to me, but in any case, it was clear to me that this question deserved to be called "subjective and argumentative". It was a real question, but an unpleasantly formulated and misleading one. You may not like any of the introductory books that have been written, but then the burden is on you to tell us why.

    Then Shanmukha writes to me "I am sure that , OP knows about the books you have suggested and he knows the order of reading". That may be, although I have seen no sign of it; but I don't see why that should change my opinion on the question, nor why my comment should be considered offensive. And implying, like he is doing now, that all the algebraic geometers in the world are egotistical people who prefer to carry on with their research rather than helping learners is, first of all, not true, but also a little insulting.

    The main argument seems to be "Charles Matthews is great, so the question must be good too". Well, I know nothing about Charles Matthews; I have absolutely no reason to doubt that he is doing excellent work in other fields. But I have read the question thoroughly, I know algebraic geometry pretty well, and I can draw my own conclusions, which I did.
    • CommentAuthorShanmukha
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012 edited

    I got my account blocked unnecessarily , but there is nothing wrong I did. Angelo found Charles Matthew's comments as offensive, and its by the same view , I found his comments as offensive , no big difference ! I am just blocked as I didn't have reputation, and I never crave seeking reputation, and the moderators can change my reputation score to zero permanently , and I never mind . I just came here to ask questions and get some knowledge, and reputation has nothing to do with those who want to learn.

    I still want to protest and support the question, as its really fair and constructive . But I have no power in my hand . At-least I am happy that they are some users like quid, who support the ethics , and think from other perspective ! Merci quid !

    Regarding the statement Angelo said " I know algebraic geometry pretty well " , it sounds supercilious ! I am pretty sure that , even Grothendieck himself , never claimed that he know Algebraic Geometry pretty well, and that shows his great humble character . Well, everyone remains a learner , all his life !

    Anyway let me go out any breath some fresh air , -Shanmukha .

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2012

    @Shanmuka: Thank you for the kind words. (From spammer to supporter of ethics, quite a progress I made in your opinion). Yet, to avoid any possibility of a misunderstanding I need to say:

    In my opinion it was wrong to flag the comment. You can say that you disagree (by contrast, as implictly said already, I agree, both in content and form), but you must not flag it. As Fran├žois G. Dorais said these flags are to be used only in extreme cases. In my opinion, there is no similarity at all in the way you claim it to exist repeatedly.

    Finally, I am too quite taken aback by claims (in this case made by you, but there are others, too, doing so) that some or many get much pleasure out of closing. Let me asure you the relatively best case is that it is rather boring.

    Alexander Chervov quoted me to support his view that deleting this question is not appropriate. I just want to make it clear that I do not object to this question being closed, locked, or deleted. I also do not object to this question being left open.
    • CommentAuthorShanmukha
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2012

    @quid : Well, I already apologized you for calling you spam in the beginning. I was totally new to MO, at that time , and hence assumed that the moniker you are using is a spam. But later on I learnt how these things work. I apologize again, and I am happy that you are peacemaker , and I saw your previous posts and comments , in which you are praised for your help regarding writing some research papers, and someone wanted to acknowledge you , even then you didn't reveal your original identity .

    There are no traces, that you have asked questions, in your profile, and from that I learnt that you are purely here to help others ! Thank you Mr.Quid for your time , and I am happy that there are at-least some persons who support ethics .

    Well, what did you decide about the question ? Re-open it ? Close it ? or Delete it ? -Shanmukha

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2012

    @Shanmukha: I do not keep any bad sentiments over the spam issue. I brought it up to remind you that perhaps sometimes you are a bit quick in your judgement. In addition, I have to say that your kind words for me are quite a bit devalued for me since you use them to make some kind of strange distinction and try to put down others in doing so. Please, stop this.

    Regarding your question on the question, it is locked (so 'frozen' in its current state) by the moderators, and I assume will stay so (in any case only a mod could change it).

    • CommentAuthorShanmukha
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012

    @quid : Well, I prefer to call a spade, A spade ! I don't mind in doing that ! If someone is really helpful for others, I count their help ! BTW, I never had an intention of putting others down, but only tried emphasize on the question and its situation, and I have heard your reply , and I think I too can't do anything regarding the question !

    Let us wait for the decisions of moderators !