### The Lie of “It’s Just Math”

#### Posted by Tom Leinster

Jade Master at Riverside has written a short, important and lucid article about military funding of math, The Lie of “It’s Just Math”, accompanied by a call to action:

Fellow mathematicians, it’s time to stop letting the military benefit from our work.

Military involvement in math is particularly an issue in applied category theory, and particularly an issue in the USA. But the principles that Jade pithily expresses are universal:

**The [US Department of Defense’s] real goal is not just the math you produce, they want to gain access to your mathematical community.****Your math is not too abstract to be useful.****The DoD wants to normalize themselves in your non-mathematical communities.****The DoD will lie to you.**

Mathematicians are generally highly reluctant to talk about the human impact of what we do and the choices we make. For that reason, we’re not very practised at it. But Jade’s article deserves wide discussion, and I hope it gets it.

Posted at December 13, 2020 5:23 PM UTC
## Re: The Lie of “It’s Just Math”

Thank you for sharing this article. Here is an article I wrote on this topic that the readers of this blog might find interesting:

Doing Math in Jest: Reflections on Useless Math, the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics, and the Ethical Obligations of Mathematicians available on the arViv at https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.09601