The platonic heaven of mathematics

Warniers work is basically thinking and publishing these thoughts, which is why he only needs pen and paper to do his work. Technology does not affect his way of thinking because he usually thinks in higher abstraction levels, in algorithms, information theories and mathematics.

For Warnier the most interesting part is formalizing ideas and abstractions into mathematics. He tries to make ideas crystal-clear by formalizing them completely and enjoys the deep insight in how information processing works for example. There are beautiful mathematics and very ugly mathematics. Warnier appreciates beautiful mathematics in the same way as he can appreciate art for example. Beauty and elegance are important in trying to understand how things work is about.

Of course Warnier has to think about how his abstract ideas can be applied in some specific context. Currently for example Warnier and colleagues are trying to get spikes out of energy production in larger energy systems. However, a lot of the systems are mainly crappy realisations of beautiful mathematic concepts. Technology is independent of these; it is this realization of some of these ideas but mathematics is basically a separate world, a platonic heaven. In Warniers work users are not important; they are way too concrete. Warnier and colleagues think about the algorithm to do some simulations and than somebody else will use it in the real world. It’s a whole other process.

In mathematics there are no values as there are values in communities of people. Values like trying to be polite to each other, smile if somebody makes a joke, listen to other people, respect them etcetera, are completely independent of the system. Of course science can be used for good and for evil and as a scientist one has a certain role in this. According to Warnier one should try to at least envision the things you come up with can’t be used for evil. However, to have moral values in a system does not make sense to Warnier. Moral values are for people. The only value he cherishes in his work is to create good quality and one can argue whether this is a moral value or not. In the end people will do with the tools whatever they want to do with the tools. So if they can abuse it for something, they will do it. And it can help other people that will also do it. It is independent of the system, I think. There are always people using systems for abusing others or helping others, and for anything in between.