E. Kowalski's blog

Comments on mathematics, mostly.

Is the Kierkegaardian idea true? and other queries


In February, I was invited to give talks in Bristol and Oxford, and I spent the night after the second talk in a guest room of Worcester College. While looking at the brochure explaining the history of this college, I noticed that a previous guest had left a cryptic inscription, which I took a photograph of:



Can anybody make a guess of what is the first line? It is

What is the **** historical perspective?

but I can’t read the missing fourth word!

And what is the Kierkergaardian idea, really?

Written by Kowalski

May 18th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

4 Responses to 'Is the Kierkegaardian idea true? and other queries'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Is the Kierkegaardian idea true? and other queries'.

  1. “bald”, I think. Or maybe “bold”, but I think “bald” would make a bit more sense.

    D. Eppstein

    19 May 14 at 8:06     Reply

  2. The first letter looks more like a “w” to me (especially when comparing with the first word “What” of the sentence). The last letter seems to be a “d” and the second to last letter seems to be an “l” (compare with “historical”). So I’m guessing “world” might be the mystery word (although I cannot see an “r”…). Googling “World historical perspective”, the name of Kierkergaard pops up, e.g.



    19 May 14 at 11:30     Reply

  3. Florent’s guess seems right to me.

    I had also thought of “bold” or “bald”, but couldn’t figure what it might mean, and “world” certainly fits much better. The absence of visible ‘r’ is also noticeable in both of the next words “historical” and “perspective”, which makes it very convincing overall.



    19 May 14 at 11:35     Reply

  4. “What is the world historical perspective?
    Is the Kierkegaardian idea true?”

    David Stewart

    3 Jun 14 at 17:06     Reply

Leave a Reply