### Two Café Owners Interviewed

#### Posted by David Corfield

As neither John nor Urs has announced it, readers might like to find out about their motivations for starting and running this blog in an interview they gave to Bruce Bartlett, available in written form and also as an MP3 file.

John commented:

I think all three of us - Urs, David and I - are pushing a new way of thinking: a very n-categorical way of thinking about a large bunch of ideas in math and physics. I’m very excited about this, because I can see how much potential it has. But we’re also simultaneously pushing a new idea of how to communicate ideas. And the combination is actually really, really interesting.

There’s an intriguing thought. If it weren’t *n*-categories which gripped us, would it make a difference to the way the blog works? Well, I can’t think of anything else which would allow us to talk about quantum gravity, logic and number theory in quite the same way. It seems to me at least as important a breakthrough as the burst of foundational activity in the decades around 1900.

Kenny Easwaran wrote:

It’s clear why other philosophers should care about notions of logic and basic arithmetic, and the possibility of knowledge of abstract objects. Maybe there’s reason for them to care about higher category theory, but I don’t think this has been made clear yet.

I answered that higher category theory showed that a prominent philosopher was wrong. I’m not sure what the rules are here. What else would I have to do, if this is not enough?

Posted at January 23, 2007 9:42 AM UTC
## Re: Two Café Owners Interviewed

Maybe there is indeed a correlation between

a) the desire to see the “big picture” in the background, to understand the natural nature of the objects of your research

b) the desire to extract the $n$-categorical structure governing the objects of your interest

c) the desire to communicate ideas and share insights