Abstract Nonsense

Crushing one theorem at a time

How to Interpret “References”

At the bottom of posts starting around January, 2011 there is (with very few exceptions) always something titled “References”. It has occurred to me that this is a slightly misleading term. Usually when one uses ‘references’ they mean that they have referred to some particular passage, or some particular theorem–in my blog that is not usually the case.  I generally try to write all my blog posts “from memory”, because copying it out of a book seems to defeat the point of writing-to-learn but not being perfect I do eventually do have to look at some proofs or theorems for a refresher. That said, most of the time I don’t do this and my knowledge base comes from multiple books. So, for example I may have discussed something that is found primarily in book A while I referenced on book B in the references. So, clearly most of the time references is not an apt description of what the books listed are to mean. Nor is necessarily true that what I call ‘references’ should be considered ‘further reading’ since this implies that I have gone so far, and if you want to learn more you should look there. Perhaps the best way to put what I mean by references is “Books, that if you wanted to find material similar to what I have written about you could look at”–eloquent, I know :).

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