Ted Nelson’s Take On Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is

May 19th, 2013 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

Ted Nelson, who I have always been a fan of this brilliant and funny maverick, and pioneer of Xanadu, one of the very earliest conceptions of hypertext or what is now called the “world wide web”, thinks he knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. I think he’s wrong and have my own suspicions, but it’s worth a watch, if nothing else to enjoy the always entertaining and stimulating Mr. Nelson.

So who is Shinichi Mochizuki? He was born in Japan, but was raised in the United States from the time he was 5, meaning he speaks perfect English with an American accent. He attended Exeter Academy and graduated second of his class (salutatorian) at Princeton, and probably first if he took his time and finished in 4 years, instead of his crazy 3 years. He is now full professor at mathematics at Kyoto University.

Here is his personal website.

As mentioned in the video, he’s pioneered a new mathematics called inter-universal geometry –  A brief introduction to inter-universal geometry(pdf) – by Shinichi Mochizuki, as well as introduce a new mathematical entity known as a Frobenoid.

In 2011, he claimed to have formulated a proof for the ABC Conjecture (source: Wikipedia):

The abc conjecture (also known as Oesterlé–Masser conjecture) is a conjecture in number theory, first proposed by Joseph Oesterlé (1988) and David Masser (1985) as an integer analogue of the Mason–Stothers theorem for polynomials. The conjecture is stated in terms of three positive integers, ab and c (hence the name), which have no common factor and satisfy a + b = c. If d denotes the product of the distinct prime factors of abc, the conjecture essentially states that d is usually not much smaller than c. In other words: if a and b are composed from large powers of primes, then c is usually not divisible by large powers of primes. The precise statement is given below.

The abc conjecture has already become well known for the number of interesting consequences it entails. Many famous conjectures and theorems in number theory would follow immediately from the abc conjecture. Goldfeld (1996) described the abc conjecture as “the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine analysis“.

In August 2012, Shinichi Mochizuki released a series of four preprints containing a serious claim to a proof of the abc conjecture. Mochizuki calls the theory on which this proof is based “inter-universal Teichmüller theory“, and it has other applications including a proof of Szpiro’s conjectureand Vojta’s conjecture.[1][2] Experts were expected to take months to check Mochizuki’s new mathematical machinery, which was developed over decades in 500 pages of preprints and several of his prior papers.[3] When an error in one of the articles was pointed out by Vesselin Dimitrovand Akshay Venkatesh in October 2012, Mochizuki posted a comment on his website acknowledging the mistake, stating that it would not affect the result, and promising a corrected version in the near future.[4] He proceeded to post a series of corrected papers of which the latest dated March 2013.[1]

Mochizuki is certainly a very impressive mathematician! If his proof of the ABC conjecture is legit, he will probably be awarded the Fields Metal or something equivalent. However, I am not as convinced as Ted Nelson that Mochizuki is Satoshi Nakamoto. I’ve seen several other very compelling theories as to the true identity of Nakamoto, and the leading one in my opinion, is he is a composite figure, composed of at least two or three people.

Great video review of Mochizuki’s work on the ABC Conjecture and Inter-Universal Geometry by Numberphile:


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