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Kolmogorov's Mathematical Theory of Artillery Fire

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Post 08 Oct 2013, 13:54
The outstanding work of Soviet mathematicians is of special interest to Marxists in exploring the relationship between dialectical and mathematical logic. I've also been fascinated by the role of mathematics in artillery ballistics, especially the role young Napoleon Bonaparte's mathematical aptitude played in making him a brilliant artillery officer. In the Ancien Regime army, artillery was the most 'bourgeois' branch relying on mathematical intellect as opposed to being a dashing, aristocratic cavalry officer. The vast majority of casualties in conventional warfare are inflicted by artillery.

Kolmogorov did very important work on mathematical ballistics published during the dark days of September 1941. It was supposedly published openly in an academic journal during the middle of the war. And it was important enough for RAND to translate it after the war. ... 08/T14.pdf

It is extremely technical, but it is interesting to see the mathematics behind artillery calculation.

Ironically the most popular use of this great Soviet mathematician's work in today's world is for Hedge Fund Quants on Wall Street, who use his probability models to predict future prices based on the Chicago School's Efficient Market Hypothesis. Because the options price contains perfect information, future prices are entirely random and thus Kolmogorov's probability theory can be applied. Prices are as random as falling artillery shells and do just as much damage to human life.
Post 08 Oct 2013, 19:08
Damn, that is ironic. Very interesting, thanks!

I do believe in the special relationship between Marxism and mathematical logic. I would say that despite all their problems 20th century, Marxists came closest to creating a new society based in scientific and humanitarian knowledge. Their goal was to eliminate the chaotic market system's effect on the human psyche, along with the liberal capitalist rationale justifying inequality, suffering and repression through the construct of 'human nature'.
Post 08 Oct 2013, 21:57
Slightly off-topic, but has anyone read Marx's mathematical manuscripts? Highly fascinating stuff. Differentials and integrals seem to be impossible without dialectical thought.
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