Welcome to the home page of Dick Pitt
The Evolution of Ideas The vast bulk of us reject many if not most of our ancestors’ beliefs. We tend not to believe the Earth is flat, that bleeding people will cure them, or that burning witches is a good idea. Perhaps our descendents will show similar disdain for our own cherished beliefs. Anyone who uses modern science should reject the relativist approach that holds that all ideas are equally valid. The Earth is not flat, aeroplanes do fly relativity is not a bad model of how the universe works. Some of our ideas however must logically be wrong. Each religion is a minority one. This means that either some or all religions are different approaches to a single truth or that most of us are wrong. We could ask one of two questions. Are this person’s beliefs true? Or why does this person believe what he or she believes. I have been pondering the latter question for a number of decades. I have written a book on the subject. It came out in 2009 under the Title The tangled Brain –The Natural and Unnatural evolution of ideas. The introduction can be seen here. The conclusion can be seen here. It can be bought from here.
Politics I come from a fairly left wing family. My father was for a time chair of the local Labour Party, and we had relatives that were humanists and communists. My brother and I became socialists in the turbulent times of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of our generation have made their peace with the set of immoral greedy warmongers who run the planet. Some have not. My brother and I are with the latter group.
My education was long and is continuing. I obtained a PhD in Mathematics in Leicester in 1971. Other details can be viewed here.
Mathematics For the last 24 years I have been a lecturer then senior lecturer in Mathematics at Sheffield Polytechnic/ Sheffield Hallam University, England. One of the important things we have done as a group is to launch popmaths-a way of popularising mathematics. A flavour of the work and approach can be seen here.
Running One of the joys of living in Sheffield is to be able to run in the Peak District. In 1998 a group of us got together to form the Access Warriors’ running club. As its name suggests it was formed to fight for greater access to the peaks.
Photography The planet we live on is incredibly beautiful. I enjoy photographing it. A few pictures are here.
Drawing As I come nearer to retirement I have been toying with drawing cartoons. (I have no intention of making it a profession but…) A few can be seen here.
Talks I have given a number of public talks. Most of them are on one of Mathematics, Economics, or Politics. Given that I was a participant of the events in 1968 in Paris, I have given a number of talks on this subject. Probably the most challenging was a short talk on the evils of Thatcherism to the Department of Political Economy at Donetsk University in Russian in 1992. One I was particularly proud to give was at Sheffield University during their occupation in protest against Israel’s attack on Gazain 2009. It is here.
Contact I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org