Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Paging John Derbyshire

O frabjous day! The BBC, Daily Telegraph and numerous other liberal-leaning social media sites were completely taken in by a Nigerian fraudster who claimed to have proved the Riemann hypothesis (a proof that carries a $1million prize from the Clay Institute). I was first alerted by a FB post on a liberal multiculti acquaintance's* (an academic in the humanities no less) page. There was a kind of smug, condescending glow about it (and it was almost instantly liked by like-minded minions) but I immediately poured cold water over the story and fired in a shot about mathematical illiteracy to boot. And put in a link to Prime Obsession. So there. Unfortunately the whole saga unraveled pretty quickly so there were no SJW's to pile in and accuse me of, shock, horror, wacism and I pretty much killed the thread. It's interesting (or rather drearily predictable) that any claims of a breakthrough coming from a non-Western source is immediately and uncritically accepted and lauded to the skies. Talk about the bigotry of low expectations.

Anyway to give credit to  Dr. Opeyemi Enoch (other feathers in his cap include designing a Prototype of a silo for peasant farmers AND a scientific technique for detecting and tracking someone on an evil mission), perhaps he was working on a variant of this technique whilst collecting the prize money: 

Dear esteemed Sirs

Due to the difficulty in transmitting large sums of money to Nigeria, if you could kindly send me the details of your account to process the transfer......

But maybe I'm too harsh and he's legit. After all this guy is.

*This acquaintance was crowing a couple of weeks back about a Bangladeshi immigrant winning the Great British Bake-Off. Yes, they are that shallow.