Fermat’s Library

Here is Fermat’s Library:

Fermat’s Library is a platform for illuminating academic papers. Just as Pierre de Fermat scribbled his famous last theorem in the margins, professional scientists, academics and citizen scientists can annotate equations, figures and ideas and also write in the margins. Every week we send you a new paper annotated by the community.

Here is Fermat’s Library on John Nash on ideal money.

For the pointer I thank Ashok Rao.


Whatever you think of the argument, Nash is a god writer and clearly understands public choice theory pretty well.

Are the annotations anonymous? That would be the real question.

If they are pseudo-anonymous, well, look at even well policed blog comments.

If they are signed with real names, I expect that it will end in tears. Academics are nasty enough to each other with editors and peer reviews. What will they be like if they are let off the leash?

If you click on the annotations, the name of the person who wrote it pops up along with any replies to the original annotation, also signed ... Agreed, how er, that many academics are supreme assholes, especially when they are acting anonymously

too late to get nasty on most papers there

and mathematical science doesn't offer nearly as much room for opinion as social science and the humanities

You probably know this, but the margin notes of Byzantine manuscripts are one of our richest sources of knowledge of the classical world.

It needs a good set of printing options.

Fermat didn't scribble his "last" theorem in the margin, he stated that the margin didn't have quite enough space to fit the theorem.

I thought that it was the proof that there was no room for, not the theorem.

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