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Note: mathematicians are very respected in France.

We even had a French Republic President (Henri Poincaré) that is known for its mathematical results and fundamental research (also in physics), whose results are now widely used in lot of scientific domains (including today's computing), for example infinitesimal calculus, Lorentz transforms, optics, theory of chaos, and early works on relativity (a base of works for Einstein, Heisenberg and many other European searchers in fundamental physics and mathematics...).

Today's group of mathematicians named "Bourbaki group" (meeting in ENS Cachan, an university institute, with building in Paris and its southern suburbs in region Île-de-France) chose the name in his honor, they also work with another more recent group of searchers, named "Séminaire Poincaré", created in 2001 on the model of the "Séminaire Bourbaki" but with more focused topics/activities (with some mutual coverage in some domains, so there are searchers that are members of both groups and they regularly have joint meetings and contacts).

What would be today's industry of computing, without the formal work made by mathematicians? It would only be made on unspecified assumptions : "if this solves 80% of problems, let's use it and sell it, and ignore the remaining 20%".

Today's computing industry is now very concerned by security problems that are exploiting the forgotten 20%, left unspecified and not formalized: these 20% rapidly transform to severe problem that rapidly converge to concern almost 100% of computers usage, and can now impact almost everybody living on earth, all economies, all public politics and general public security, and a severe threat to peace and democracy.

Formalism cannot kill. It is a very good defense against abuses and it protects all of us (even if not all of us can understand how it works or what practical problems it solves constantly, and most often silently so that users don't have to care much about it: the systems they use will autodetect the errors, or unverified assumptions, and alert them, blocking potentially dangerous effects which could be abused by some "blackhats"... and are now effectively used by blackhats on very wide scale using "armies of bots" which are not costly to create, but very hard and very costly to stop. We can already see the growing scale of their damages, and their severe impact: immediate economic losses, lack of reparation after damages, or exploding costs of insurances, and finally: inflation of costs on all products, or reduction of quality/usability/durability, or growing production of waste, or restrictions of access to these products and emergence of unfair discriminations, and finally emergence of extreme politics).

Le mer. 21 nov. 2018 à 21:42, Philippe Verdy <> a écrit :
I know this one, but there was nothing in your last messages that would have told me that your refered specifically to him.  I know lot of homonyms named "Bourbaki" (including in France where this name is not uncommon).

but there are others in French Wikipedia:
and many other people that don't have "their" article in French Wikipedia.

My feeling when reading your messages is that you could ahave received messages on this list from some subcriber nicknamed "Bourbaki", and that's why I said "I don't know and don't have any contact with "Bourbaki" (with the explicit quotes: I could not figure who you were speaking about).

So now I can conclude you don't like this mathematician or its thesis, or the fact that he works on formalism (with very successful results which have very practical applications in many wellknown programming languages and their implementations). I can just see that he has lot of famous supporters, so I can reasonnably trust him for his work.

Le mer. 21 nov. 2018 à 21:26, Gé Weijers <> a écrit :

On Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 12:18 PM Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
You made a false inference, because I don't know and don't have any contact I can remember of with this "Bourbaki".

Know your French mathematicians (even if they're 'virtual'):