11 November 2008

They can take our labs, but they can't take our brains!

Chemistry hobbyists face a labyrinth of local and state regulations -- an article about how increasing regulation makes amateur chemistry more and more difficult. Via slashdot.

Fortunately mathematics is not so easily regulated. Although if mathematics comes to rely increasingly on computers to do the "dirty work", then one can imagine a future where amateur mathematics is concentrated in certain fields -- the fields which don't require computation -- if high-powered computers become regulated. But in the end mathematics is pure thought, and they can't regulate what goes on inside our brains.

(I studied chemistry as well as mathematics in college. I would never have laboratory equipment in my home. But this is because whenever I touched laboratory equipment it broke, which is why I got out of chemistry. In the hands of a competent chemist, there's nothing to fear.)

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