Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Patreon's gratuituos purge of Sargon of Akkad raises curious question about branding and social media companies -- it really does!

Sargon of Akkad (Carl Richard) explains how Patreon’s correspondence with him constitutes a bizarre but curiously rationalizable interpretation of the concept of “brand” or “trademark”.
Patreon doesn’t “like” Carl Benjamin’s “brand”.  OK, probably a lot of people don’t. But is that how platforms, nearly becoming public accommodations, should decide who is an acceptable participant on their site? 

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Can mathematical proofs (or the idea of using them) be patented?

This is a good one from my days (1966-1968) as a graduate student earning an MA in Mathematics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. That is, a patent on using mathematical proofs, as a “stupid patent of the month”, by Joe Mullin and Daniel Nazer.  The context is trying to prove mathematically (maybe by induction) that a particular piece of software is error-free.

You wonder if a troll will try to patent the quaternion (the basis of the behavior of sub-atomic particles and nuclear forces), or octonion.  I even tweeted that.

When I went to grad school, the curriculum tended to be divided between “algebra” and “analysis”, the latter of which subsumed topology, but they all intermix – with physics and a theory of everything.  
In the meantime, just remember your “given” and “to prove” problems in high school plane geometry.  Do you remember how to prove the Pythagorean Theorem?