Contributed by
Eliot Fintushel
Hi, I'm Eliot Fintushel, the author of HERBRAND'S CONJECTURE AND THE WHITE
SOX SCANDAL. The idea is that the mathematical logician Jacques Herbrand
who actually did die in a mountaineering accident the same time that his
article was coming out on matters related to the Goedel consistency
theorem, was murdered by aliens who needed to hush him up, because they
were using certain lacunae in the metamathematical structures of mind or of
spacetime to sneak through in order to devour humanity. (They have also
sneaked through one of the opening notes of Bobby Vinton's recording of
"Blue Velvet.") A psychic named Izzy Molson gets wise to them and fights
them. In the course of this fight, the value of pi changes, wreaking
havoc on earthly geometry, people are able to make money by paying off the
WINNERS of sporting events, Zen students are deluded into thinking
themselves spontaneously enlightened, the Swedish Ambassador gets a
delicious neck massage, and we are offered various penetrating insights
into the nature of perception and reality. And the good guys win. And
pi returns to 3.1415....whatever.
But not without a terrible fight.
This story appeared in tomorrow magazine in 1991 or so, just after Fermat's
last theorem was proved, which caused me some difficulty, as I had to
change some of my text to accomodate Wyell's [sic] discovery. Actual
mathematicians can be such a damn nuisance.
