Marcus du Sautoy interview, Guardian

An interview with Marcus du Sautoy from last Monday’s G2 — which I’ve only just got round to reading. Pleasant.

“You know, I’m not terribly fast at my times tables, because that’s not what I think mathematics is about. I think it’s the same thing as thinking that a good speller will make a great writer. Well, no, actually – great writers can be crap at spelling, but have great vision and ways of bringing stories alive – and I think you’ve got to put over that mathematics is a similar idea.”

Sadly, I think he’s wrong that “nobody’s going to question” that there are infinitely many primes, despite the existence of a simple proof (woo Euclid!): I’m pretty sure I’ve seen crackpot pages on the web asserting that the whole thing’s part of a big conspiracy. Yes, of course they’re nonsensical crackpots who should be ignored, but when did that ever shut anyone up? (Eh, Dawkins!? Eh!? ;-) )