NHK Special “Can Mathematicians Connect the Universe?”

I watched the program. Many people who saw it might take it that Mochizuki is a new-age genius who is pioneering “new mathematics” and that many mathematicians who object are old guard who cannot understand “new mathematics”. My impression is that this is somewhat misleading.

I can understand why people are waiting for a hero. In these gloomy times, it is understandable that the average Japanese would like to see a genius like Shohei Ohtani or Sota Fujii in the world of mathematics (and hopefully it will be a Japanese). But such sentiments have nothing to do with whether a certain person’s theory is correct or not.

As I have written many times, there are countless examples of research misconduct encouraged by the atmosphere of people waiting for their heroes. Hendrik Schön, Hwang Woo Suk, Shinichi Fujimura, Haruko Obokata, and many others. Certainly, IUT is not research misconduct, but I cannot help but feel the same “unhealthiness” as research misconduct in the way Mochizuki’s paper was forced to be published without substantive revisions despite the objections of the world, and in every word and action of Mochizuki and his sympathizers.

Specifically speaking about this program, I found the following points to be problematic.

  • No mention of the fact that Mochizuki’s paper was published in an “inside” journal PRIMS, which is published by Mochizuki’s organization and for which he serves as the editor-in-chief.
  • The wrong explanation is given: “If it is peer-reviewed in a professional journal, it can be regarded as a recognition of (a certain degree of) correctness by the academic community.
  • The program emphasizes only the unnecessarily grandiose assertion that “the clash of opinions on IUT is a debate over the state of mathematics itself,” and fails to mention the specific point that there is a gap in the Mochizuki paper, Corollary 3.12.
  • The explanation is given as if Scholze was the only person who had a seminar with Mochizuki at Kyoto University and there is no mention of Stix.
  • No mention of Mochizuki’s dishonesty in continuing to use the derogatory term “Redundant Copies School (RCS)” in his rebuttal paper instead of mentioning Scholze-Stix’s name.
  • No mention of the fact that zbMATH adopted Scholze’s review in which he says that Mochizuki’s paper does not prove the ABC conjecture.
  • Only discusses Fumiharu Kato’s comment that “This is my opinion, but it is by no means a gap in a mathematical sense” and “I think it is a difference in epistemology towards the subject”, and fails to mention Scholze-Stix’s point that “there is a specific mathematical gap in Cor.3.12.”
  • Despite the seminar between Scholze, Stix and Mochizuki (and Yuichiro Hoshi) in 2018, where Scholze and Stix raised doubts about Cor.3.12, the final version of the Mochizuki paper, published in 2020, does not cite or acknowledge Scholze-Stix at all. No mention of it in the program.
  • In the program, Thomas Tucker (University of Rochester) says “If ABC is proved, it will be …”, but that part is not translated in Japanese. Only the Japanese dubbed voice and subtitles, “This is the greatest advance in the history of number theory,” and “There is no greater achievement,” are superimposed on the audio, and the video is edited as if Tucker is admitting the correctness of Mochizuki’s paper.

It seems that NHK BS Premium will broadcast the “complete version” expanded to 90 minutes on April 15, but NHK BS is not available in my house…