Your Weakness, Revealed

Peter Woit quotes from a reminiscence by Peter Goddard from a physics conference in 1971:

With great technical mastery, he was covering the board with special functions, doing manipulations that I knew from my studies with Alan White (who was also at the School) could be handled efficiently and elegantly using harmonic analysis on noncompact groups. Just as I was wondering whether it might be too impertinent to make a remark to this effect, the lecturer turned to the audience and said, “They tell me that you can do this all more easily if you use group theory, but I tell you that, if you are strong, you do not need group theory.”

Count me among the weak.