Just back from the 2017 Arizona Winter School on perfectoid spaces. First of all, I should say that everything was impressively well-organized, and that the lecturers did a fantastic job, especially considering the technical weight of this material. (Watch the videos if you don’t believe me.) Jared Weinstein, in particular, has an almost supernatural ability to make a lecture on some technical thing feel comforting.
Now to the jokes.
- In his opening lecture, Scholze called perfectoid spaces a “failed theory”, on account of his inability to completely settle weight-monodromy. “You see, I’m Prussian, and when a Prussian says he wants to do something, he really feels responsible for doing it.”
- Audience member: “Why are they called diamonds?”
Scholze: “[oral explanation of the picture on p. 63 of the Berkeley notes]”
Weinstein: “Also, diamonds are hard.”
- Anon.: “When you’re organizing a conference, the important thing is not to give in and be the first one who actually does stuff. Because then you’ll end up doing everything! Don’t do that! Don’t be the dumb one!”
Me: “Didn’t you organize [redacted] a couple of years ago?”
Anon.: “Yeah… It turned out that Guido Kings was the dumb one.”
- Mazur: “It just feels like the foundations of this area aren’t yet… hmm…”
Mazur: “Yes, exactly. I mean, if Grothendieck were here, he would be screaming.”
- “Do you ever need more than two legs?”
- During the hike, someone sat on a cactus.
- Finally, here is a late night cartoon of what a universal cohomology theory over might look like (no prizes for guessing who drew this):
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If I am not mistaken, it was Tom Lovering who made the comment about diamonds being hard. Of course there may have been two voices in that very large room.