Archive for the ‘History and Philosophy of Science’ Category

Plagiarism by ex-president of the Royal Society. 3: Lessons for decolonisation of math

Friday, November 8th, 2019

So, what are the lessons for decolonisation from part 1 and part 2?

Lesson 1. Do not blindly trust Western/White authority. Fight to reject any system which forces such trust.

If the editor of the most prominent math journal (Notices of the AMS) can act so shamelessly in such a public case, just imagine what mischief an editor can do in secret. Yet our whole academic system forces academics to trust editors. University academics are required to submit papers to editors and get their certificates of approval through a secretive process of refereeing. This system of valuing only publication in secretively refereed “trusted” and “authoritative” journals, whose ranking strongly correlates with their degree of Westernization, turns university academics across the world into slaves of the West. For their career advancement they are forced to keep Western authority happy. This is particularly the case in formal mathematics, where authority is the sole guide to truth.

With such secretive editorial control over what constitutes valid knowledge, no serious critique of colonial knowledge is possible. For example, the racist editor of the Conversation censored my article on decolonising math, after it was published and went viral. (For more details see “Mathematics and censorship“, Journal of Black Studies, and Rhodes Must Fall.) Her stupid excuse was that (as a non-White) I am not allowed to cite original ideas from my own published work, but must only repeat White/Western falsehoods. It is strange that so many news portals across the world, which first reproduced my article, believed that excuse, and pulled down my article.

That editor’s idea of a proper article was one which began with the fake history that “mathematics…is the work of dead white men”, and hence blacks and women are bad at math. The recommendation “imitate the West/Whites”. This way of using fake history to demand imitation of the West was the strategy of colonisation, and that is being now passed off as a strategy of decolonisation.

Reject this system of thought control. Refuse to be guided by such editors. As stated in Ending Academic Imperialism, in this digital age, there is a very easy alternative in the form of post-publication public review. (That would diminish colonial power of thought control, which is exactly what the decolonial activist wants.)

Lesson 2. Colonial authority is built on false myths of supremacy, just as racist authority was built on the false myth of racist supremacy. Tear it down by demanding evidence for those myths.

Much colonial power is based on lies propagated through colonial education. To teach the intellectual supremacy of the coloniser, math texts tell all sorts of glorious but false tales of White/Western/ colonial achievements in math, such as those of early Greeks such “Euclid”, “Archimedes” etc. for which there is no serious evidence. (See the drafts of these lectures. “Not out of Greece”, delivered at the University of South Africa, Pretoria.) The Greeks and Romans knew little math little math as shown by their defective calendar, copied, like their gods,  from Egyptians.

Challenge that false claim of Western intellectual supremacy by repeatedly pointing out the falsehood of these myths. Demand solid evidence, as I did through my Euclid challenge prize mentioned also in my censored article. And keep pointing out the falsehood of those myths for at least a century to drive home the point.

Apart from the early Greeks, in “official history, scientific discoveries are mostly attributed to post-renaissance Europeans. Atiyah is hardly the sole case where brazen theft has been passed off as “independent rediscovery”. As regards post-renaissance “discoveries” in science there are numerous fraud cases of people glorified on the strength of such “independent rediscovery” just when dependent discovery was possible. This includes cases such as Copernicus, or Newton’s purported invention of calculus, as described in my books Is Science Western in Origin? (Multiversity etc., 2009, 2014) and more elaborately in Cultural Foundations of Mathematics (Pearson Longman, 2007)

First, the simple remedy is this: the onus of proof must be on the one who claims independent rediscovery or glorifies it. This principle must be applied especially to fake Western heroes. Second, there is no reason to continue to give credit to the one who claimed the idea at a later date. Give credit only to the one who did it earlier. Thomas Kuhn in his Copernican Revolution (1956) brazenly continued to glorify the “second discoverer}, Copernicus, AFTER he was exposed in 1952 by Kennedy as having copied from Ibn Shatir. Was Kuhn such a bad researcher that he didn’t know about Copernicus’ exposure? (When I ask this question in my decolonised course on history and philosophy of science, all students opine that Kuhn tried and succeeded in a cover-up.)

Keep in mind the trick of “Atiyah’s hypothesis”: that most people go by nomenclature, not facts. Hence, insist on large-scale changes in nomenclature in history books to reflect this principle, that the numerous second discoverer’s cannot cannot continue to be credited, and delete the names of people who have been fraudulently credited with ideas on the strength of “independent rediscovery”. Smashing fake Western icons, and the related claim of intellectual superiority, by speaking the truth, would expose the true face of colonialism, and greatly diminish its continuing power.

Lesson 3. Beware of the counter-reaction when editorial authority and false myths are challenged.

Colonial power was based on lies, like the power of the church. The church developed a systematic technique of preserving its lies, and the West continues to use it. The stock technique is to demonise all those who challenge its authority . That is, the simple trick is to preserve fake heroes by painting any challenger as a villain, through further lies.

(more…)

Plagiarism by ex-president of the Royal Society. 2: The cover-up by the American Mathematical Society

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Part 1 of this post restated the facts regarding my novel mathematical point about “Einstein’s mistake”, how it was copied by Michael Atiyah during his AMS Einstein Centenary lecture of 2005, and its subsequent report published in the Notices of the AMS, 2006. Also copied was the claim that the point was novel enough to constitute a paradigm shift. It was also related to quantum mechanics as I had done earlier. For sure, Atiyah did it knowingly, for (a) my novel point about Einstein was very widely disseminated through two books and several journal articles, and newspapers, and (b) Atiyah persisted in falsely claiming credit even after (c) he was directly informed of my past work, and acknowledged being so informed.

But before going to an ethics body (which later indicted Atiyah) I first approached the American Mathematical Society for redress.

So how exactly did the AMS respond to this plagiarism?

As the AMS ethics states (see excerpt):

  • The knowing presentation of another person’s mathematical discovery as one’s own constitutes plagiarism and is a serious violation of professional ethics. Plagiarism may occur for any type of work, whether written or oral and whether published or not.

And how ought the AMS to respond to plagiarism? It says:

  • “the Society will not knowingly publish anything that violates this principle, and it will seek to expose egregious violations anywhere in the mathematical community.”

The AMS cover up: part 1

But what did the AMS actually do? Did it expose this egregious violation of its ethics to the maximum extent possible?

Not at all. To the contrary, it covered up. How? The AMS did publish a note acknowledging the indubitable similarity of my earlier published work with the ideas attributed to Atiyah in the offending article published in the Notices. But this was not enough. Not even an apology was offered: that is the belated acknowledgement subtly tried to pass off Atiyah’s plagiarism as an “acceptable” oversight. It suggested that, in preparing for his Einstein centenary lecture, Atiyah had somehow missed noticing my two prominent books and journal articles on Einstein. But that Atiyah too had independently arrived at the very same novel mathematical (though not social) conclusions about Einstein in his Einstein centenary lecture, as I had done a decade earlier. The conclusions were so novel that the offending article had, like me a decade earlier, called it a paradigm shift, and had even linked it to quantum mechanics exactly as I had.

My letter objected to this. It was already plagiarism when it happened the first time, in 2005 because my extensively published work was widely disseminated, and wide dissemination is the test of plagiarism on the stated AMS ethics. It was plagiarism beyond all reasonable doubt when it happened a second time, through the prominent 2006 article published in the Notices of the AMS, AFTER Atiyah was directly informed of my past work, and had acknowledged being so informed.

But Andy Magid the then editor of the Notices refused to publish my letter. He wanted to hide the  full facts that Atiyah plagiarised twice, and that the second time there was not a shred of doubt that he plagiarised knowingly. Obviously, hiding these key facts would mislead many people into thinking the Atiyah case was one of “innocent” oversight. That is, the editor misused his editorial authority to suppress facts and mislead people by refusing to publish my objection. (His intent must be judged from his actions, and not what he preaches to his students.) That is, instead of upholding the stated AMS ethics, the AMS editor connived at its violation. Haensch, in her blog post, is furthering conniving in that unholy effort to water down Atiyah’s plagiarism, by twisting facts into allegations.

Indeed, Atiyah pressed his false claim so brazenly for a good reason: the value of formal mathematics is judged solely by authority, and as the authority, Atiyah was confident that many formal mathematicians would throw ethics and facts to the wind and jump to defend him (for quid pro quo, or because of their deep respect for authority).

Act 2: “Atiyah’s hypothesis”, Atiyah’s mistake

Therefore, Atiyah continued brazenly. In Atiyah’s second act of plagiarism he got two of his stooges, Johnson and Walker, to write the report of his lecture for the Notices. Why? First it provided a fig leaf of cover, which I later tore apart by pointing out that Atiyah was consulted. Second, the real aim of the Notices article was to attach his name to my ideas. Only by a third party (though not Atiyah writing himself) could coin a new term linking Atiyah to the grand “discovery” (not C. K. Raju’s book in the library, but the ideas in it!).

To further press Atiyah’s claim to the ideas, these two named it “Atiyah’s hypothesis”. This was done on the socially savvy principle, that people go by the name attached to a discovery, irrespective of the real discoverer. Therefore, merely naming it “Atiyah’s hypothesis”, while again suppressing any reference to my prior work, would forever mislead people into believing it was Atiyah who first thought of the idea.

This devious plan to plant that term “Atiyah’s hypothesis” in the most widely read math journal was probably Atiyah’s idea. At any rate, this nomenclature certainly had his approval, since Atiyah was consulted, as Walker was eventually forced to explicitly admit.

But there was another, even more subtle aspect of social savviness. Calling it “Atiyah’s hypothesis” (instead of “Einstein’s mistake”, as I did) would not arouse social opposition (as, for example, in Israel denying me a visa to talk about it in Palestine). Atiyah understood the value of my mathematical point, but he was interested in promoting himself, not in speaking the truth about Einstein.

However, despite this crafty way of plagiarising my work, Atiyah slipped up, because he lacked the knowledge which went into shaping my ideas. Atiyah the mathematician made a blunder about the physics involved. (more…)

Plagiarism by ex-president of the Royal Society. 1: The facts

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Background: What the decolonisation activist should know

By way of background theory, decolonisation activists need to understand the following. Western wealth was initially built on the obvious theft of land (e.g. of “Red Indians” by killing them) and the theft of labour (of blacks by enslaving them) and forcing them to work on the land. However, colonial power was built on a lesser known and more intangible theft: the intellectual theft of knowledge. This intellectual theft was used to glorify the West by systematically creating fake intellectual heroes from early Greeks to the “renaissance” (see Is Science Western in Origin?). This self-glorification was then used (e.g. by Macaulay) to impose colonial education, the key and continuing source of colonial power. (See, Ending Academic Imperialism: a beginning.)

To dismantle continuing colonial power, decolonisation activists must understand two key ways of covering up intellectual theft. The first is to use the “doctrine of independent rediscovery”, to let off the intellectual thief, and, indeed, continue to give credit to him. The second is the systematic technique of demonisation, to attack the one whose idea is stolen. Recall, how, instead of condemning genocide, it was the “Red Indians” who were demonised e.g. through “Western” films and narratives of “cowboys and injuns”. Likewise, instead of condemning slavery, it was the blacks who were demonised, and continue to suffer from the resulting prejudice even after slavery and apartheid officially ended. That is, apart from creating fake heroes, the West also systematically creates fake villains by demonising all its opponents to make even genocide and slavery “morally righteous”.

The following should be regarded as a case study which explains how these tricks continue to be used today at the highest level of the most reputed Western academic organizations to perpetuate colonial power and academic imperialism.

Introduction

Recently, a blog post “Putting math in context” came to my notice. It “tangentially” links (a) decolonisation of math (in which I have been involved over the past decade) to (b) the brazen and repeated plagiarism of my earlier published mathematical work by a former President of the Royal Society, Sir Michael  Atiyah and (c) its cover-up by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). This post on the AMS official blog, is written by Anna Haensch, an Assistant Professor at Duquesne University, and former AMS-AAAS mass media fellow. Her job as a blogger is supposedly to improve the public understanding of science. But the post is misleading. It distorts facts. Since this is a matter of great public importance, the issues need to be clraified, especially in the context of attempts by racists and formal mathematicians to protect their power (and jobs) by derailing the effort to decolonise math.

My response is in three parts. (1) The facts, (2) the cover-up by the American Mathematical Society, and (3) the lessons for decolonisation.

Fact, not allegation

First, referring to my webpage on Atiyah’s  plagiarism of my work and its cover-up by the AMS, Haensch calls it an “allegation of intellectual theft”, and “a really wild ride”.

But, it is a FACT that Atiyah plagiarised my work. There is a public finding by an ethics body that Atiyah was prima facie guilty of plagiarism. This is the first entry on the Atiyah webpage:

Hence, this is today an established and cited case of plagiarism. There is a distinction between a convicted criminal and an alleged criminal! Journalists are required to respect facts, but Haensch does not. (Perhaps because she is also a formal mathematician. Formal math is divorced from empirical facts, and hence can reach any false conclusions through bad postulates. This is one good reason to decolonise math.) A formal mathematician can simply postulate that “fact=allegation”. :) How else does Haensch reduce the public finding of three experts of an ethics body to a mere allegation made by me? For she has not offered a single new fact, or argument. Her related journalistic trick of avoiding facts is “proof by adjectives”, to persuade people who are too lazy to check facts.

AMS belatedly acknowledged my prior work

The other fact is that even before the judgment by the ethics body, the Notices of AMS itself eventually admitted the similarity of my earlier published ideas to those falsely claimed by Atiyah. This is again stated on the Atiyah webpage:

Is the journal (the most widely read math journal) so abysmally lacking in standards that it published such an admission merely on the strength of a wild allegation? Haensch’s insinuation implies this!  Actually, the strong similarity with my ideas is indubitable, and anyone can cross check it: just use the links to various documents on my Atiyah  webpage.

To recall, I first linked functional differential equations to a paradigm shift in physics on the one hand, and to quantum mechanics on the other. This was published as part of a long series of journal articles later consolidated into a book, Time: Towards a Consistent Theory, Kluwer Academic, 1994. (Fundamental theories in Physics, vol. 65.) These novel ideas were exactly the one’s for which Atiyah dishonestly claimed credit in his AMS Einstein centenary lecture 2005 and in its report published in 2006. This was done in full knowledge of my past work.

Why a post-facto acknowledgement is NOT enough

OK, so why is the post-facto acknowledgement to my prior work not enough? (more…)

Ganita vs formal math

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

My first “official” seminar at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, introducing the topic of my research project as a Tagore Fellow.

Ganita vs formal math: re-examining mathematics, its pedagogy, and the implications for science.

Here is the extended abstract, and the official tweet from the Director (seated, extreme left). (Will get a better photo.)

Tweet from Makarand R. Paranjape, Director, IIAS (Official) (@ShimlaIias)
Makarand R. Paranjape, Director, IIAS (Official) (@ShimlaIias) Tweeted:
Prof. C.K. Raju, Tagore Fellow, IIAS, made a presentation yesterday on “Ganita vs Formal Mathematics: Re-Examining Mathematics, its Pedagogy and the Implications for Science” in the Seminar Room of the Institute. Prof. R.C. Pradhan chaired the session.@MakrandParanspe https://t.co/jpzGuDh1oX https://twitter.com/ShimlaIias/status/1139432721946595328?s=17

Correcting Einstein

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Someone brought to my attention this article in the Wire on “poor” Albert Einstein.

The author, a facebook expert, is unable to separate the myth of Einstein from the theory of (special) relativity (this intellectual sloppiness is critical to his argument). I had made this distinction (between the person Einstein and relativity theory) very clear, even for layperson, in my TGA acceptance speech, on Einstein’s mistake. Einstein  plagiarised the special theory of relativity from Poincare, without fully understanding it, and consequently made a mistake.

Decades earlier, I had pointed out Einstein’s mathematical mistake (about functional differential equations) in my book Time: Towards a Consistent Theory, Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1994 (Fundamental Theories of Physics, vol. 65). Before pontificating on “poor Einstein”, Srivastava should have bothered to inform himself. He should have read at least the reviews of that book say the one by J. F. Woodward in “An Essay Review of C. K. Raju’s Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (Kluwer Academic:, Dordrecht)”, Foundations of Physics 26 (1996) 1725-1730, or by G. J. Klir, Review of Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (International J. General Systems 27 (1999) 427-8). Perhaps Srivastava reads so many registered letters, he has no time to read scientific books.

Third, because the physics involved is so elementary (special relativity is a first-year  under-graduate subject), my point about relativity was published even earlier as a series of articles in Physics Education (India). (Ironically, one of the referees for those articles was from TIFR.)  My argument was debated internationally, and my claim (of a paradigm shift) was attacked by H. D. Zeh. But the debate was effectively settled after I actually published the first solution of the functional differential equations of electrodynamics (in a journal edited by Zeh). This debate is described and explained in my more recent series of six expository articles on functional differential equations in the same journal. (References to all articles can be found in the 6th article.)

Sadly, Srivastava, is unfamiliar with all this elementary physics. He is a scientist by virtue of his job, not knowledge. He would have done better to  avoid this public exhibition of his ignorance.

The fact is that no one refuted any of my arguments, either mathematical or historical, about Einstein, in the past 25 years, since my first book was internationally published. To the contrary, on the centenary of Einstein’s special relativity paper, in 2005, the supposedly great mathematician Michael Atiyah, a former President of the Royal Society, in his Einstein lecture, endorsed my argument, against Einstein, for it is an argument readily understood by a mathematician. Actually, Atiyah plagiarised my thesis  (about Einstein’s mistake) from my above book. (Imitation is the best form of flattery!) So keen was he to falsely grab credit for my argument, that even after he was personally informed, he kept plagiarising it until he was eventually exposed and  forced to admit it, and later indicted for plagiarism. Ironically, again, two former directors of TIFR, including the late M. G. K. Menon, supported my efforts (”Petition against celebrity justice”) to bring Atiyah to book, against the Western ethics of always defending cheating by Westerners.

Colonial attitudes

However, people like Srivastava exemplify the colonial trick of using science to deprecate Indians by putting them down to establish mental authority over them. This results in the widespread but wrong impression about “inferior Indians”. To correct it, I recently wrote a series of article on “Scientific temper in ancient and modern India”. My point was that the experimental method was used in India long before it was used in the West. (more…)

George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Part III The false claim of social justice

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

This is part 3 of a three part series of posts. It is better if you first read part 1, which pointed out the long-term plagiarism by Joseph violating all academic and editorial norms, and part 2 which explained its ill effects on math education.

I know the defence that will be offered for the Hyderabad conference, on mathematics education and society. That the participants do not care about plagiarism and lack of editorial and academic ethics, because they are campaigners for social justice in relation to math. This is false.

Colonialism, or invasion of the mind through colonial education, is the most pernicious and oppressive form of social injustice today, affecting the largest number of people. For social justice in relation to math we need to decolonise math. To decolonise math we need to critically re-examine its false history and bad philosophy, as I pointed out in my censored article, now in Journal of Black Studies, and Rhodes Must Fall. But critical re-examination of the West (except the lightweight criticism pre-approved by the West) is taboo for the indoctrinated and superstitious colonised mind.

Let me take a simple example. The fake church-story of Euclid is used today to teach formal mathematics by glorifying metaphysical reasoning in the manner of the church theology, and contrary to common sense. The story is fake and NCERT or anyone else in the world is unable to provide serious evidence for Euclid despite my Rs 2 lakh prize for such evidence. There are five lies in that false claim about “Euclid” (see the related section on five lies in my IIT-BHU talk). These multiple lies aim to indoctrinate young children into church dogmas. Why do we still have these false church stories in our school texts? Did our social-justice-mongers ever object. No way! They cannot because they have to show their loyalty and submissiveness to the Western master. They think that keeping silent is a great way to support not only plagiarism but also all kinds of Christian chauvinism packaged with colonial education.

Millions of students fail to understand the resulting metaphysics of invisible points, as in current Indian class VI math texts. This “education” forces them into a state of ignorance about math, hence, science, to force them to accept Western authority as the sole index of truth about both. It enables continued colonial exploitation, even after the supposed end of colonialism. When our social justice-mongers peddle inclusiveness in education (without any critical check on its nature): all they are peddling is inclusiveness into church propaganda to keep people colonised! Note, incidentally, that the related myth of :”Euclid” was invented, like Christian rational theology, during the Crusades, long before capitalism!

Note, also, that this Christian chauvinism in history relates to the genocidal “doctrine of Christian discovery” on which Vasco “discovered” India, or Columbus “discovered” America. How many times did our social-justice seekers condemn this genocide, the largest human genocide known to the world? (On my principle of proportionate condemnation, they should condemn inustices proportionately.) This evil doctrine of Christian discovery is still part of “ideal” British and US law, and states that any land or knowledge is “owned” by the first Christian to “discover it”, i.e. they are at liberty to steal it.

Joseph and Dennis Almeida know that plagiarism by Christians from a non-Christian was regarded as a high act of Christian morality, as was the genocide in three continents. Joseph, a trained lawyer, knows this evil Christian doctrine is part of US and British law. Hence, also, Joseph et al., have been serially and shamelessly plagiarising my work: they believe as Christians they have a right and duty to steal from non-Christians. And our purveyors of social justice concur by keeping quiet not only about the genocide, but also about the present-day plagiarism! Ha, some social justice this!

Finally, no doubt, people like Guru will say they are fighting for dalits even if they know nothing about math education. But is even that really true? Joseph is peddling nothing but a dirty mix of Kerala and British chauvinism, as already shown in part 2. Hence, Guru is doing a a great disservice not only to academic and editorial standards of integrity but also to the dalit cause by tacitly supporting Joseph.

The truth will eventually out, and ignorance is no excuse for scholars. Therefore, this is how they will be remembered, Joseph and Almeida as academic thieves of the worst kind, and those who tacitly support them as staunch supporters of academic and editorial dis-integrity and social injustice.

George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Part II: the ill effects of cheater-teachers on mathematics education

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

Please read part 1 of this blog post first.

Plagiarism, or the theft of knowledge, whether of the calculus, or of the calculus transmission thesis, has ill effects on mathematics education. This is not just about cheating in exams. When cheaters turn teachers it will naturally create a problem for the students.

As explained in part 1 of this blog post, in my Hawai’i paper of 2000 I had proposed a tough new standard of evidence for the history of transmission of calculus, as “proof beyond reasonable doubt” as in criminal law. This paper involved the very thesis that Joseph and Almeida have serially plagiarised over the last 18 years in the most shameless way imaginable.

However, later on, in my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics: the nature of mathematical proof and the transmission of calculus from India to Europe in the 16th c. CE (Pearson Longman 2007) I introduced a further test for transmission: the epistemic test. Those who cheat and copy, like students in an exam, do not fully understand what they copy. Hence, lack of understanding is positive proof of copying in a suspicious context. (I used to apply this test to my students,) Therefore, imitating the plagiarists spreads a wrong understanding of mathematics. Let us first take the case of calculus.

Though Europeans stole the Indian calculus (for their navigational needs) and understood some of its practical value, they did not fully understand it, exactly in the way they had earlier failed to fully understand imported Indian arithmetic for centuries.

Two simple examples are as follows. Precise trigonometric values were a key motive for the theft of the calculus. The Indian calculus was used to calculate the most precise trigonometric values then known (accurate to 9 decimal places). Arithmetically challenged Europeans desperately needed those values for a solution of their navigational problems (to determine loxodromes, latitude, and longitude at sea), as acknowledged in the huge prizes instituted by various European governments from the 16th to the 18th c.

The Jesuit general Clavius published exactly those Indian trigonometric values (to exactly the same precision) in his own name in 1607. Clavius cheated, but though he claimed to have calculated trigonometric values to such high precision, he did not understand how to apply elementary trigonometry to calculate the radius of the earth, a critical parameter for navigation. Ha! Indians accurately calculated the size of the earth, from at least a thousand years before Clavius (as confirmed by al Biruni who cross-checked also Khalifa Mamun’s physical measurement of one degree of the arc).

Likewise Clavius authored the Gregorian reform of 1582 based on Indian calendrical texts (as his favourite student Matteo Ricci confessed; see Ricci’s handwritten letter in my MIT video or presentation “Calculus the real story”.) But arithmetically backward Europeans even then did not know the correct duration of the tropical year, hence Protestant Europe did not accept the Gregorian reform for the next 170 years, until 1752, long after Newton’s death, leading to many more European deaths at sea.

Likewise, George Joseph and his accomplice Dennis Almeida reveal their utter lack of understanding of basic concepts (taught in 9th standard math texts) and have made terrible mathematical blunders, on the record, which show that they are complete mathematical ignoramuses. Some of these have been discussed in my book, in the section on the transmission of the transmission thesis: for example, they foolishly and repeatedly say that solar declination can be measured at sea (how?), thereby also completely failing to understand my point that the Gregorian reform was needed to be able to measure latitude at sea in daytime.

Again in their Race and Class 45(4) 2004 article, written even as the Exeter ethics committee was going on, Joseph and Almedia copied from my Hawai’i paper of 2000, shamelessly failing to acknowledge it, though they had access to it since 1999, which they themselves acknowledged only in 2007 (but not in 2003, or 2004 when they copied from the Hawai’i paper). While some of my points about Indian pramana vs deductive proof are copied with only a few inaccuracies (but copied without acknowledgement, even while an ethics committee was on in which both participated)Joseph and Almeida some interesting statements which expose their mathematical illiteracy. Thus, my Hawai’i paper mentioned floating point numbers, and used a computer program which I then used to teach as part of my C programming course, to make a philosophical point about the failure of the associative law with floating point numbers. I pointed out that present-day practical computations with calculus are all done on a computer which uses floating point numbers.

Not understanding this mathematical subtlety, Joseph and Almeida blundered that (p. 46) “the use of irrationals…was accepted in Indian mathematics by the use of floating point number approximations“. How foolish! This was no typo, for they repeat , even more amazingly (p. 51), “the Kerala mathematicians employed…floating point numbers to understand the notion of the infinitesimal and derive infinite series.” My foot! Floating point numbers are a recent  IEEE technical standard (No. 754 of 1985) specifically adapted to digital computation. Nothing to do with the Kerala school. And there is absolutely no way in which floating point numbers can be used to derive infinite series. Utter balderdash. Possibly neither Gopal Guru nor Rochelle Gutierrez understands the huge mathematical blunder involved here. But they are all ready to address a conference on math education!

As a matter of fact (see e.g. IIT-BHU presentation for the reference and sloka) Nilakantha states the EXACT sum of an INFINITE geometric series. (Finite geometric series were known from several thousand years earlier since the Eye of Horus fractions, and the Yajurveda.) So Joseph also proved he is a historical ignoramus. He lacks knowledge of the original sources or even the related language (but is ever ready to bluff and cover up one crude lie with another, as he did about rajju ganit in my presence in Berlin in the year 1999). Rajju Ganit, by the way, is a major alternative decolonised course on mathematics that I am proposing at school, as preparation for my decolonised course on calculus without limits, as clear from the linked articles in the IIT-BHU workshop. Obviously, these ignoramuses don’t understand any of its concepts. That damages mathematics education.

Why because a valid history is important to arrive at the correct philosophy with which the calculus originated, and the way it ought to be taught today. (more…)

George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Gopal Guru and Rochelle Gutierrez concur

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

After my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics: the nature of mathematical proof and the transmission of calculus from India to Europe in the 16th c. CE (Pearson Longman, 2007) it is well known today that calculus developed in India a thousand years before Newton and Leibniz. Cochin based Jesuits stole it and took it to Europe where it was later falsely attributed to Newton and Leibniz.

History, they say, repeats itself. In 1998, I officially started my research project on the origin of Indian calculus and its transmission, on a grant from the Indian National Science Academy, and publicly advertised for a post-doctoral position, outlining my project objectives. Ever since then, George Joseph, author of the Crest of the Peacock, and his accomplices have been systematically stalking my work and serially plagiarising it. I trusted an utterly dishonest Joseph who got hold of my unpublished papers from 1998, and used them without acknowledgement since the 2000 edition of Joseph’s Crest of the Peacock. (The earlier edition had no mention of calculus transmission, the 2nd edition mentions copied various passages in my works, copying at least 3 of my mistakes.) But it is still little known that not only was calculus stolen from India, but my thesis that the calculus was transmitted, was similarly stolen.

This despite the fact that George Joseph and his accomplice Dennis Almeida have twice been indicted by ethics committees of Exeter and Manchester universities. Exeter University later sacked Dennis Almeida who apologised twice, once in 2005, then again in 2007. The second apology was a total deceit, since shortly after that he teamed up with George Joseph to plagiarise a full paper of mine, almost verbatim.

The plagiarised paper was one submitted to George Joseph who organized a conference in Trivandrum in the year 2000. As conference organizer Joseph had privileged access to the paper, which privilege he violated by copying the papers verbatim. It is so sad that editors of respected journals like EPW indirectly support this kind of editorial fraud by sharing a platform with Joseph.

The proof of verbatim copying is easy. There are three very similar papers involved: (1) my paper (part 1 and 2) of 2000, submitted to Joseph’s Trivandrum conference and called Trivandrum 2000 paper, (2) a slightly modified version of that same paper published ANONYMOUSLY and in violation of copyright law and ethics in the proceedings of the Trivandrum conference edited by Joesph, called Trivandrum 2003, and (3) the same paper (Manchester 2007) but with Joseph included as author, by the artifice of changing the affiliation of the anonymous author to include Manchester university, put on the Manchester university website in 2007, and accompanied by a fake news release which clearly identified Joseph and Almeida as the authors, and led to media blitz in India. The news was clearly fake, since the relevant “research paper” was never published, not even as of now.

After the resulting media blitz only the Hindustan Times was decent enough to publish a retraction.

It is very easy to check that the Manchester news release was fake news. Just compare the papers Trivandrum 2003 (in the proceedings edited by Joseph) with the Manchester 2007 paper which accompanied the fake news from Manchester. How did a paper published in 2003 turn into a new research paper in 2007 just because it acquired a new author? The news release also said that the publication was funded by the British Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC). How could that be when the paper was already published by the beginning of the grant? Incidentally, that also shows that Joseph and Almeida are financially corrupt.

This already shows that Joseph is a brazen liar who can tell any kind of lie, which normal academic plagiarists will not conceive of. But Joseph’s plagiarism can be proved through the internal contradictions in his own claims, and without reference to my Trivandrum 2000 paper.

I could not attend Joseph’s Trivandrum conference of  2000 because I was invited to deliver a keynote address at an overlapping major international conference (8th East West Conference) in Jan 2000 in Hawai’i. The related paper was published in Philosophy East and West 51(3) pp. 325–62 in 2001. In that paper, I introduced a new standard of evidence for the history of calculus transmission: the standard of proof beyond doubt used in criminal law. Here is the relevant extract on the history of calculus from that published 2001 paper (and here is the whole Hawai’i paper). The Hawai’i paper was the first to be published in 2001, and the first to state this standard. That is the essence of the paper plagiarised by Joseph. Just compare it with the Trivandrum 2003 paper, and the Manchester 2007 paper. Some more details of cut paste copying from the Hawai’i 2001 paper, in the later papers, are posted online.

Another oddity, the UNPUBLISHED version of the Hawai’i paper from 2000 is acknowledged in the Manchester 2007 paper, but not in the Trivandrum 2003 paper. Obviously, if Joseph and Almeida knew about my paper for the Jan 2000 Hawai’i conference, but not of the published version, they knew it from 2000. So, why is it not acknowledged in the earlier (Trivandrum 2003) paper, but acknowledged in the later (Manchester 2007) paper. And once my Hawai’i paper is acknowledged, what exactly is original in either of those plagiarised papers?

This is not the sole attempt to fudge references. In the 2000 edition of his Crest of the Peacock., Joseph copied a key passage with mistakes, but without acknowledgement from my 1999 Agra paper on the Yuktibahsa. The Trivandrum 2003 paper acknowledges this Agra paper in notes 3 and 48. But because of the Exeter indiction, in which he participated as a “disinterested party” feeding all sorts of lies to the ethics committee, by 2007 Joseph was aware that I was on to his tricks. Hence, the Manchester 2007 paper makes a clumsy attempt to cover up, by deleting this Agra reference. The attempt is clumsy since a reference to the Agra paper as “cited earlier” is still present in note 53. What clumsy crooks Joseph and Almeida are! Is this what Hyderabad university wants its students and faculty to imitate?

The Manchester University ethics committee in 2010 asked its media office to apologise for its fake news of 2007, about Joseph and Almeida, which grabbed media headlines in India because Indian journalists still believe the prime formula of colonial education “trust the West, mistrust the non-West”. Only the Hindustan Times actually investigated the matter and then put up a retraction to its earlier front page news item. As for Manchester university it first said the ethics committee was not authorised to ask the media office to apologise. Later, it took down its fake news of 2007, for even in 2010 that fake news from Manchester university was still unsupported by any published paper. But then it slyly put the fake news right back, after some time, with just an acknowledgement of my work (falsely implying that the the verbatim plagiarist Joseph had contributed even an iota). No sir, neither Joseph nor Almeida did any serious work on calculus transmission; they just stole the thesis, like Jesuits earlier stole the calculus .

By inviting a serial and verbatim plagiarist Hyderabad University is doing a grave disservice to the academic community. Is it sending a message to its own academics to plagiarise in this way? Or does it till subscribe to the colonial ethical standard for history that it is OK for Britishers to plagiarise from Indians, but not the other way around. That is the colonial standard isn’t it: loyalty and submission to the Western master?

I even put up a blog some time back giving some details “George Joseph: serial plagiarist”. Upon hearing of the Hyderabad conference, I wrote to Gopal Guru and Rochelle Guttiriez who are other plenary speakers at the conference. But neither responded back. I am sure Gopal Guru understand the ethics and politics of silence, and I had hoped that he would refuse to participate. If he does still participate, he surely knows that by doing so he is asserting his and EPW’s tacit academic support for such plagiarism and awfully dishonest editorial standards by sharing a platform with a serial plagiarist, and a dishonest editor. On the Jain ethic, actions speak louder than any purported intentions, so this precedent sets the unwritten policy of EPW as regards plagiarism. Double standards are anyway to be expected from Western academics. Not like #MeToo is it? What does it matter if the minds of millions of colonised are damaged?

The second part of this post will deal with the issue of how condoning plagiarism results in bad math education.

Neither meaning nor truth (nor practical value) in formal mathematics

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

At my IIT (BHU) lecture (see also previous post), I emphasized Bertrand Russell’s remark that there is neither meaning nor truth in (formal) mathematics. Hence, any nonsense proposition one desires (such as “All rabbits have two horns”) can be proved as a formal mathematical theorem from appropriate postulates: Russell’s sole criterion being that the postulates should be “amusing”.

To drive the point home, I pointed out how, long ago, when I still believed in formal math, I used to teach a course (A) on Real Analysis while also teaching a more advanced course (B) on Advanced Functional Analysis, in the math department of Pune University. In the elementary course (A) I taught

Theorem: A differentiable function must be continuous. (Therefore, a discontinuous function cannot be differentiated.).

In the more advanced course (B) I taught

Theorem: Any (Lebesgue) integrable function can be differentiated infinitely often. (Therefore, a function with simple discontinuities can be differentiated infinitely often.)

I have made exactly this point earlier in this blog.

“Now, for several years I taught real analysis to students and mathematically proved in class that a discontinuous function cannot be differentiated. I also taught advanced functional analysis (and topological vector spaces and the Schwartz theory according to which every Lebesgue integrable function can be differentiated). In the advanced class, I mathematically proved the exact opposite that a function with a simple discontinuity can be differentiated infinitely often (and the first derivative is the Dirac δ).”

The question is which definition of the derivative should one use for the differential equations of physics? As pointed out in Cultural Foundations of Mathematics (or see this paper) the issue can only be decided empirically, unless the aim, like that of Stephen Hawking and G. F. R. Ellis, is to spread Christian superstitions about creation using bad mathematics.

Superstitions go naturally with ignorance. One such ignorant professor from the IIT mathematics department was present during my lecture. His knowledge was limited to the first of the theorems above, and he ignorantly believed that it was some kind of absolute truth, which everyone was obliged to believe. He objected to my claim that a discontinuous function can, of course, be differentiated, and walked out to show his contempt of my claim.

Even the students had heard of the Dirac δ, and agreed with me. The next day during the workshop, I explained that I had engaged with this question since my PhD thesis. But the professor remained absent, though his ignorance was exposed before the students. He is welcome to respond by email; I will post it publicly since it is sure to further expose his ignorance.

Oliver Heaviside applied first applied this to problems of electrical engineering over a century ago, and Dirac, formerly an electrical engineer, then applied the Dirac δ to physics. It remains very useful because it is the Fourier transform of white noise (flat spectrum or the unit function), and used even in the formal mathematical theory of Brownian motion.

Earlier in the lecture, the same professor, contested my claim that probability was invented in ancient India, and taken from India in the 16th c., where credit for it was later falsely given to people like Pascal and Poisson. (more…)

Institute lecture and workshop at IIT (BHU)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Will be giving the institute lecture at IIT (BHU), the century old first engineering college in India, on the 18th of Jan, followed by a workshop on “Alternative math” on 19th of Jan.

Poster for lecture and workshop at IIT (BHU)

(The Workshop is from 10 am to 5 pm with tea breaks and a lunch break.)

Core question: Indians are proud of our ganita tradition, but today we teach Western formal math believing it to be superior; but what if Indian ganita were superior?

Outline answer: (1) The West was backward in math. It imported most basic math from India, including arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry (via Arabs) and calculus and probability (directly from Cochin). (2) This import created a crisis because practical ganita differed philosophically from religious Western math. To fit it into their framework, the West changed ganita to mathematics by adding religiously-loaded metaphysics. (3) During colonialism, our own ganita wrapped in religiously biased metaphysics and packaged with a false history was returned to us and declared superior. We never cross-checked either that fraud history against evidence or that superstitious Western claim of superiority against commonsense by critically comparing formal math with ganita (normal math) to decide which is really superior. (4) Eliminating the religious/metaphysical elements (a metaphysics of eternity/infinity) in formal math  does NOT affect practical value which all comes from normal math. (5) Instead it makes math easy hence enables students to solve harder problems. It also results in better science.

Further details about the lecture and workshop are posted at http://ckraju.net/IIT-BHU/. Explicit links below.

Abstract of Lecture

Extended abstract of lecture

Workshop details

Alternative math 1: Rajju Ganit

Alternative math 2: Calculus without limits.

Detailed schedule

Jan 18, 2019
5.30 pm Welcoming the gathering
5.32-5.40 pm Slide Show on Ramanujan
5.40 pm Introduction of the speaker
5.45 pm Address by the Speaker
6.45 pm Q and A and Vote of Thanks
7.00 pm High tea
Jan 19, 2019
10.00 am Very brief Intro to the workshop followed by Session 1
11.30 am Tea break
11.45 am Session 2
1.00 pm Lunch break
2.00 pm Session 3
3.00 pm Tea break
3.15 pm Session 4
4.30 pm Open house (interactive session)
5.00 pm Conclusion and Vote of Thanks