"Charles Matthews" <charles.r.matthews(a)ntlworld.com> wrote in message
Over in the recondite if productive arena of
fresh eyeballs have been looking over articles in areas that retain a
structure imposed up to five years ago, and not much liking what they
see. Basically there were POV forks introduced in areas, to calm down
edit wars, at a time when the "POV fork" concept was not so well
understood. I remember well the relief with which User:Kevin Baas was
given a sandbox for his treatment of tensors.
So now it doesn't all look so good any more. This cuts to fundamentals,
because mathematicians feel that the topic sentence in an article should
serve as a definition. For comparison, I looked at [[quantum field
theory]] for a comparison: reads "Quantum field theory (QFT) provides a
theoretical framework for constructing quantum mechanical models of
systems classically described by fields or of many-body systems." So it
tells you what QFT does, not what it is (unsurprising, with the jury
still out). The mathematicians' take is clearly limited to areas where
you can say definitely what something is (i.e. the domain of axiomatic
That being said, there seems to be the scope for clarifying how an area
that is axiomatic should be organised according to our revered
principles of summary style (WP:SS). There are numerous instances, it
seems, where we have "menu style" in place of "summary style", i.e.
different treatments according to taste. The foundational issue does
seem to need addressing, and could cause quite some upheavals (such as
we have got out of the habit of living with). It could be that we now
accept articles with titles like [[introduction to string theory]], as
pedagogic stepping stones. But neutrality means, surely, that treatments
that are really "introduction to X from the POV of Y" are out of place,
or at least to be seriously deprecated.
In "The Edge of Tomorrow", Isaac Asimov did a good treatment of
forks in mathematics. Three of them stem from variations on
Euclid's fifth postlate, which defines parallel. It's an excellent book;
alternates fact with tangential fiction.
Quantum Mechanics, n.: The dreams from which stuff is made.