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# Experiments in Precursors Of Category Theory

edited May 2015

A few years back I began a sketch on the Precursors of Category Theory, aiming to trace the continuities of the category concept from Aristotle, thorough Kant and Peirce, Hilbert and Ackermann, to contemporary mathematical practice. Perhaps a few will find these notes of use in the current endeavor.

Wiki Notes

Blog Posts

• Notes On Categories • (1)

• Precursors Of Category Theory • (1)(2)(3)

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1.
edited May 2015

Perhaps a few will find these notes of use in the current endeavor.

And perhaps my notes on the history of Balkan dance patterns will help the scientists and mathematicians who come together here to understand critical environmental problems.

At the rate that you're going, we're going to have more articles on philosophy, culminating in Pierce, than anything that is sincerely related to the goals of the Azimuth project.

I already posed the question of relevance to you on another thread, where you replied:

I've been trying to get the minimal floor laid down for what I want to build on it. All these topics are of a piece, various aspects of the same larger project, and I got the impression from all I've read on the the blog, forum, and wiki over the last few years that it ought to fit it with the greater goal of “saving the planet”.

How big is your floor, what do you want to build, and why ought it fit into the goal of saving the planet?

Can you please show some respect for the goals of the project, and take the time to think about and truly address these questions, in a discussion here, before steamrolling paths across the wiki.

Thank you.

Comment Source:> Perhaps a few will find these notes of use in the current endeavor. And perhaps my notes on the history of Balkan dance patterns will help the scientists and mathematicians who come together here to understand critical environmental problems. At the rate that you're going, we're going to have more articles on philosophy, culminating in Pierce, than anything that is sincerely related to the goals of the Azimuth project. I already posed the question of relevance to you on another thread, where you replied: > I've been trying to get the minimal floor laid down for what I want to build on it. All these topics are of a piece, various aspects of the same larger project, and I got the impression from all I've read on the the blog, forum, and wiki over the last few years that it ought to fit it with the greater goal of “saving the planet”. How big is your floor, what do you want to build, and why ought it fit into the goal of saving the planet? Can you please show some respect for the goals of the project, and take the time to think about and truly address these questions, in a _discussion_ here, before steamrolling paths across the wiki. Thank you. 
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2.
edited May 2015

I don't think this stuff is sufficiently relevant to the Azimuth goals to be on this wiki. Jon Awbrey was already banned on the n-Lab: he hijacked every conversation he became involved in, and started creating pages focused on the philosophy of Peirce. I am going to ban him here, and remove the material on this wiki page.

Comment Source:I don't think this stuff is sufficiently relevant to the Azimuth goals to be on this wiki. Jon Awbrey was already banned on the n-Lab: he hijacked every conversation he became involved in, and started creating pages focused on the philosophy of Peirce. I am going to ban him here, and remove the material on this wiki page.
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3.

David: do you know how to delete Wiki pages? It's not very important, but I remember that Andrew had a way to do it, and we'd occasionally get him to delete pages that were no longer needed.

Comment Source:David: do you know how to delete Wiki pages? It's not very important, but I remember that Andrew had a way to do it, and we'd occasionally get him to delete pages that were no longer needed.
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4.
edited May 2015

If people want pages deleted, they should blank them out, and put in them in the category "delete." There is a command I can run to delete all pages in a given category.

Comment Source:If people want pages deleted, they should blank them out, and put in them in the category "delete." There is a command I can run to delete all pages in a given category. 
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5.

Category theory at work :)

Comment Source:Category theory at work :) 
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6.

I am going to ban him here, and remove the material on this wiki page.

Wow. John seems to be sufficiently pissed about Jon Awbrey's behaviour. What does it mean to "hijack a conversation?" I found only links like that: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=conversation+hijacker which is hard to transfer to conversations on a forum in particular a conversation on a forum is usually not a conversation between two people.

Comment Source:> I am going to ban him here, and remove the material on this wiki page. Wow. John seems to be sufficiently pissed about Jon Awbrey's behaviour. What does it mean to "hijack a conversation?" I found only links like that: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=conversation+hijacker which is hard to transfer to conversations on a forum in particular a conversation on a forum is usually not a conversation between two people.
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7.

Okay, we had a bunch of old pages slated for deletion and David has deleted them.

Comment Source:Okay, we had a bunch of old pages slated for deletion and David has deleted them.
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8.
edited May 2015

Okay, we had a bunch of old pages slated for deletion and David has deleted them.

I have to say I have also troubles to see why the history of category theory should be important for the "goals of Azimuth", which are "to save the planet". And David is currently paying for the account, so he has to keep an eye on the resources.

In general I though think that history has of course sometimes important examples whose understanding could be important for whatever, and like John's excurse on the Anasazi showed that this may hold even for understanding environmental questions. So in short if Jon Awbrey thinks that certain category-theoretic historical aspects are important for saving the planet then it might eventually be interesting to hear about some concrete why's and what's in this context, like via a blog post or via a forum comment. But as far as I understood so far -like what I understood (?) from this hijacking comment above- Jon Awbrey seems though to be not able to understand what a conversation is about and he seems to be not able to contribute matching helpful comments. Is that right?

Comment Source:>Okay, we had a bunch of old pages slated for deletion and David has deleted them. I have to say I have also troubles to see why the history of category theory should be important for the "goals of Azimuth", which are "to save the planet". And David is currently paying for the account, so he has to keep an eye on the resources. In general I though think that history has of course sometimes important examples whose understanding could be important for whatever, and like John's excurse on the Anasazi showed that this may hold even for understanding environmental questions. So in short if Jon Awbrey thinks that certain category-theoretic historical aspects are important for saving the planet then it might eventually be interesting to hear about some concrete why's and what's in this context, like via a blog post or via a forum comment. But as far as I understood so far -like what I understood (?) from this hijacking comment above- Jon Awbrey seems though to be not able to understand what a conversation is about and he seems to be not able to contribute matching helpful comments. Is that right?
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9.

Unfortunately it didn't work out with Jon. I hope that he finds the right philosophy site that works for him. We really don't need to have a discussion of his character here.

Comment Source:Unfortunately it didn't work out with Jon. I hope that he finds the right philosophy site that works for him. We really don't need to have a discussion of his character here.
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10.

We really don't need to have a discussion of his character here.

By what you had written I had actually understood that it was his cognitive abilities, which were/are a problem, but now you say it's his character. That's different.

Comment Source:>We really don't need to have a discussion of his character here. By what you had written I had actually understood that it was his cognitive abilities, which were/are a problem, but now you say it's his character. That's different.
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11.
edited May 2015

I would appreciate it if John could explain a bit more why he banned Jon Awbrey. And since as I understood David is approving the ban I would also appreciate it if David would say what let him to this approval. As said it is understandable to discuss wether some pages need to be stored in the Wiki but a ban is something different, a ban is quite a drastic measure.

Comment Source:I would appreciate it if John could explain a bit more why he banned Jon Awbrey. And since as I understood David is approving the ban I would also appreciate it if David would say what let him to this approval. As said it is understandable to discuss wether some pages need to be stored in the Wiki but a ban is something different, a ban is quite a drastic measure.
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12.
edited May 2015

I banned Jon Awbrey because he seemed to be repeating the behavior he was already banned for on the $n$Forum (the forum for the $n$Lab): namely, writing a bunch of pages related to his ideas on the philosophy of Charles Saunders Peirce, which were not related to what anyone else cared about. I doubt that he would do a better job connecting his ideas to the goals of Azimuth.

On the $n$Forum you can read about 100 posts about Awbrey, written around 2009, which led up to his being banned: see for example here. I didn't want to repeat this drama here.

Comment Source:I banned Jon Awbrey because he seemed to be repeating the behavior he was already banned for on the $n$Forum (the forum for the $n$Lab): namely, writing a bunch of pages related to [his ideas on the philosophy of Charles Saunders Peirce](http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2015/05/01/peirces-1880-algebra-of-logic-chapter-3-%E2%80%A2-comment-7-5/), which were not related to what anyone else cared about. I doubt that he would do a better job connecting his ideas to the goals of Azimuth. On the $n$Forum you can read about 100 posts about Awbrey, written around 2009, which led up to his being banned: see for example [here](http://nforum.mathforge.org/discussion/271/type-theory/). I didn't want to repeat this drama here. 
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13.
edited May 2015

I banned Jon Awbrey

The part of the nforum discussion you linked to doesn't really show the reasons of why he had been banned that is I see in this thread only a few comments like that of Mike Shulman which show rather mild concern. Anyways I have only very briefly glanced over what he posted and the discussion and it looked to me at least not directly related to environmental questions, but then I have a hard time to understand this category theory stuff anyways. That is Mike Shulmans and Jon Awbreys posts look rather similar to me. Where was the ban spoken out? I couldnt find that on the nforum. So in short you seem to know more about him and his work as me and I usually trust your evaluations, but this still feels a bit awkward. But as said David Tanzer is somewhat the boss right now, he pays for the account. I just want to make sure that Jon Awbrey got a chance to get a copy of/delete the content he provided here (witht he given context if applicable) if he wanted to so. I mean it might be that he has no other copy. Did he get that chance?

Comment Source:>I banned Jon Awbrey The part of the nforum discussion you linked to doesn't really show the reasons of why he had been banned that is I see in this thread only a few comments like that of <a href="http://nforum.mathforge.org/discussion/59/what-is-the-scope-of-the-lab-particularly-original-research/?Focus=810#Comment_810">Mike Shulman</a> which show rather mild concern. Anyways I have only very briefly glanced over what he posted and the discussion and it looked to me at least not directly related to environmental questions, but then I have a hard time to understand this category theory stuff anyways. That is Mike Shulmans and Jon Awbreys posts look rather similar to me. Where was the ban spoken out? I couldnt find that on the nforum. So in short you seem to know more about him and his work as me and I usually trust your evaluations, but this still feels a bit awkward. But as said David Tanzer is somewhat the boss right now, he pays for the account. I just want to make sure that Jon Awbrey got a chance to get a copy of/delete the content he provided here (witht he given context if applicable) if he wanted to so. I mean it might be that he has no other copy. Did he get that chance?
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14.
edited May 2015

I make a daily backup, so if anyone wants to recover something, send me an email at Google mail, dave.tanzer

Comment Source:I make a daily backup, so if anyone wants to recover something, send me an email at Google mail, dave.tanzer 
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15.

I just want to make sure that Jon Awbrey got a chance to get a copy of/delete the content he provided here (witht he given context if applicable) if he wanted to so.

He hadn't really put any "content" on these pages: they were just links to material he has elsewhere.

The part of the $n$Forum discussion you linked to doesn't really show the reasons of why he had been banned [...]

I gave the wrong link; I've fixed that. Anyway, the situation on the $n$Lab and $n$Forum is that he began by writing pages that had almost no connection to what anyone else was interested in, and then he started putting links in other pages to his pages, so that people studying other things would be led to his stuff. He's a perfectly polite fellow, but people on the $n$Forum eventually decided that they did not want the $n$Lab being "diluted" with irrelevant material that none of them could understand. The relevance of his work to environmental issues is probably even less.

Comment Source:Nad wrote: > I just want to make sure that Jon Awbrey got a chance to get a copy of/delete the content he provided here (witht he given context if applicable) if he wanted to so. He hadn't really put any "content" on these pages: they were just links to material he has elsewhere. > The part of the $n$Forum discussion you linked to doesn't really show the reasons of why he had been banned [...] I gave the wrong link; I've fixed that. Anyway, the situation on the $n$Lab and $n$Forum is that he began by writing pages that had almost no connection to what anyone else was interested in, and then he started putting links in other pages to his pages, so that people studying other things would be led to his stuff. He's a perfectly polite fellow, but people on the $n$Forum eventually decided that they did not want the $n$Lab being "diluted" with irrelevant material that none of them could understand. The relevance of his work to environmental issues is probably even less. 
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16.

I gave the wrong link; I've fixed that.

This is still only a considerably moderate discussion I don't see that Jon Awbrey had been banned. Where has it been spelled out that he is banned?

Jon Awbrey's matrix arrangement in the above link reminds me of this arrangement.

Comment Source:>I gave the wrong link; I've fixed that. This is still only a considerably moderate discussion I don't see that Jon Awbrey had been banned. Where has it been spelled out that he is banned? Jon Awbrey's matrix arrangement in the above link reminds me of this <a href="http://www.randform.org/blog/?p=1886">arrangement.</a>
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17.

I doubt his banning was done publicly in the Forum.

Comment Source:I doubt his banning was done publicly in the Forum.
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18.

I doubt his banning was done publicly in the Forum.

That all sounds now quite disturbing to me!

I mean I have no idea what Jon Awbrey wants with his Cactii language, but I am also not quite sure what this type theory is really about. I found that historical Peirce anecdote Jon Awbrey had written about, which you linked to above, actually not completely uninteresting. Like I didn't know that Peirce was interested in matrices. I don't though have the original Peirce articles, so I can't judge how accurate his account of the original articles is. If his account of Peirce work is correct then this sounds to me rather as being definitely interesting for category theorists, finally it is the history of category theory. If you say he is a polite person I actually don't understand the ban on the category theory forum. And I am not sure wether this makes a ban here necessary. I mean if he is a polite person then he probably would understand, that the history of category theory may be seen as sort of off-topic on an environmental physics blog (where I have to say that a lot of that machine learning stuff appears to me of a similar "off-topic" nature)- did you talk about that with him?

Comment Source:> I doubt his banning was done publicly in the Forum. That all sounds now quite disturbing to me! I mean I have no idea what Jon Awbrey wants with his Cactii language, but I am also not quite sure what this type theory is really about. I found that historical Peirce anecdote Jon Awbrey had written about, which you linked to above, actually not completely uninteresting. Like I didn't know that Peirce was interested in matrices. I don't though have the original Peirce articles, so I can't judge how accurate his account of the original articles is. If his account of Peirce work is correct then this sounds to me rather as being definitely interesting for category theorists, finally it is the history of category theory. If you say he is a polite person I actually don't understand the ban on the category theory forum. And I am not sure wether this makes a ban here necessary. I mean if he is a polite person then he probably would understand, that the history of category theory may be seen as sort of off-topic on an environmental physics blog (where I have to say that a lot of that machine learning stuff appears to me of a similar "off-topic" nature)- did you <em>talk about that</em> with him?