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Earlier I saw a transcription request which was accepted on MO: Transcription of an interview of Kazuya Kato

But the request I have here is on the discussion about Grisha Perelman on Russian television “Moscow time” on 30.04.2010. (Language of discussion: Russian) here.

Could anyone provide an English translation of some of the relevant parts, at least a summary?


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You didn't wait for a reply very long though. – Rasmus Bentmann Aug 7 '10 at 10:38
I think there aren't many users on meta. So, it may mean waiting for a long time if only a few users are online. – Unknown Aug 7 '10 at 11:02
I don't see the point in asking if you are not waiting for the response. – Rasmus Bentmann Aug 7 '10 at 12:26
@Unknown: Untrue, there are a lot of users on meta, and it's in general pretty active. Saturday and sunday on meta are sometimes pretty slow, but I couldn't have amassed 1200 posts on meta without it being active... – Harry Gindi Aug 7 '10 at 15:05
The content of the video appears as pure sensation seeking. There is no mathematical content. – Rasmus Bentmann Aug 7 '10 at 16:06
up vote 22 down vote accepted

Dear Unknown,

I don't think anything useful could be gained from this "panel discussion". It's from a talk show "Let them speak", one of the yellowest shows ever on the Russian TV. The panel, whose learned opinion you wish to know, included:

An actor

A mathematician (Polishchuk, Rostislav F., two papers are present in the MR),

An actress

A doctor

A member of parliament (deputat Gosdumy)

A writer

and a former Perelman's secondary school teacher.

Personally, I gave up watching after the telephone call from the teacher (whom I disliked almost instantly) to Perelman, initiated from the TV studio.

To give you a feeling let me translate this piece:

Perelman. Hallo.

Teacher. Grishen'ka, hello. Do you recognize me? Hallo?

P. Yeah...

T. It is Valentina Vasil'evna. Listen, Grisha, journalists surrounded me from all sides, all of them asking: why did you reject the million? Answer me, please.

P. Valentina Vasil'evna, I've already told them, not an interview to anybody.

T. No, eh? And to me?

P. And to you.

T. OK, that's clear. Subject to the general rule, am I? What do you do these days?

P. Let's not talk about that. I feel they're recording our conversation, I don't want...

T. Don't want, yeah? D'you think, the world around you is hostile, since you don't want so... That people are like hedgehogs to you? Or you are like a hedgehog to them?

P. Valentina Vasil'evna, could you please call me some time later?

T. I do.

P. All the best.

T. All the best.

(Panel's member reaction to "I don't want..." from Perelman.)

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VladAr, thanks very much. That's was the epitome of the whole show for me(even if you stopped watching it somewhere).I thought many mathematicians were commenting on the importance of his proof and also on his idiosyncrasies; as that did not occur I remembered what Franklin said in comment to my post before : "If there is something to be learned from eccentric mathematicians is their mathematics, not their eccentricities. " Acquit me of any guilt. – Unknown Sep 5 '10 at 13:19

Surprisingly, this was the only instance I heard the voice of Grisha Perelman. I thought his lectures in Stony Brook in April 2003 were videotaped and asked Dr.Christina Sormani whether that was so---she attended the lectures and had also posted her transparencies here. She told me that she believed he refused his lectures being videotaped. I still do not know what happened to his lectures in MIT…

Have you come across any other?

So, coming to the transcription, here is the translation of Perelman’s replies copied verbatim from Science 2.0 There you can find the whole story.

Grisha has picked up the phone. Here is approximately the dialog which followed:

Teacher: "Hello, can you hear me, do you recognize me ?"

Grisha: "Sure, of course, nice to hear from you."

Teacher: "Grisha, I am sorry but I am really overwhelmed by all these journalists who would like to know why you have refused to accept your prizes. May be you can tell me ?"

Grisha: "But I have already told all of them that I would not like to give any kind of interview."

Teacher: "But you know, I am not journalist !"

Grisha: "I will not tell you as well."

Teacher: "It is OK, sure I will conform to the common rule. But, please, you'd definitely benefit a lot, if you'd try not to be so adversarial to the people surrounding you ... Well, OK, tell me please, what are you doing right now ?"

Grisha: "Couldn't you please call me any other time ? I have a feeling that our present conversation is being recorded somehow ...".

Teacher: "No problem, I will definitely call you again soon and possibly even come to see you. Is it OK ?"

Grisha: "That's fine, thank you. Bye."

Teacher: "Yes, never mind, Grisha ! Bye !"

I admit that the above answer remains the best.

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Thanks, the linked site really satisfied me. – Unknown Sep 5 '10 at 13:20

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