I’m talking about Scott “thrown in prison for life” Aaronson, except this time to give him half a cheer. He kind of gets it, and if we’re using Terry Tao as a measuring stick for clueless ivory-tower academics, perhaps we ought to upgrade the “kind of” to “really”. I’m not sure Scott would even qualify for my “stupid smart people” series. He definitely qualifies for a smart-smart people series, though I wouldn’t rank him of the same caliber as Tao, Witten, Perelman, and Wiles. Then again, DeNeil DeGrasse Tyson made the list, which automatically voids it of any meaning.
Update. I posted this comment on Scott’s blog:
Speaking of the comment 171 affair, do you stand by your being ok with men who commit thoughtcrime being “thrown in prison for life”?
To which Scott replied:
I’ll tell you what: I hereby officially disown my comment about that, and apologize for it.Disowning the comment is easier than you might think, since even at the time I made it, I was very clear that it had no actual implications for anything (even in a hypothetical world where I was President or something). It was purely an expression of personal contempt for men who think that women have no place in science. But it was made during one of the most stressful periods of my life, and it didn’t come out right.
Oh wow. To be honest, I was expecting you not to approve my comment, much less reply and even less to take back the remark! I am very pleasantly surprised (and humbled a bit). You’ve made my life a bit difficult though, since I’ve turned this into a bit of a crusade on my blog. Guess I’ll now have to go back and post updates… Which I’ll be glad to do.
And so it shall be done.
Update II. Having updated my two (three, counting this one) posts accordingly, I wondered out loud whether Scott was going to update his offending post to reflect his retraction of comment 5. My comment has been allowed to appear, but there has been no response. I leave this without commentary, as my interest in Scott and scottology has waned. On to eschatology!