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Who is Kurt Gödel and what did he do?:
I first heard his name from the boisterous mouths of nerds, chattering about set theories and the like with the excited fervour of lemons. I wonder, what was he so famous for? This is for a snide geeky reference I'm thinking of putting in as a major plot point.
DUMBHe was a logician. Usually known for his incompleteness theorems. I was going to go into a long technical thing here, but it's kind of complicated... the problem is that people tend to hear about the theorems and overestimate what they are. So let me see... basically, he proved that some true mathematical statements are impossible to prove deductively. I think that that's a fair description.
You can't even write racist abuse in excrement on somebody's car without the politically correct brigade jumping down your throat!
the it-thingyGodel's incompleteness theorems, in summary: (1) No system of logic can be devised that will separate all true statements from all false statements. * (2) Any logical system that both (a) contains arithmetic, and (b) can prove its own consistency, is inconsistent.
edited 30th Sep '10 8:39:13 PM by Noaqiyeum
Ja! Would there be any other quirks of his I need to know to distinguish him more from his other colleagues?
DUMBHe was loony. In his later years, he only ate food prepared by his wife, due to fear of poisoning by assassins. When his wife was hospitalized for a few weeks, he starved to death. He was also devoutly Christian, and looked like the Ur-Dork as he was younger.
edited 30th Sep '10 10:33:38 PM by Tzetze
ZzzzzzzzzzAnd between Noaqiyeum and Tzetze, you have Godel in a nutshell. So to speak.
Half the work on any project is done the week before the deadline. The other half is done the week after.
the it-thingyIf Nikola Tesla was the Real Life Trope Codifier of the Mad Scientist, by the same standards Kurt Godel was the Real Life Trope Codifier of the Mad Mathematician.
No, I think (by way of horrible memory) that while Tesla was in many ways unique, mathematics has an odd ability to pick up a lot more Mad Mathematicians. Paul Erdos, for example, was quite insane too. Cantor wasn't the stablest of men either, come to think of it... OH GODS WHAT AM I GETTING INTO!?
DUMBYou should read Logicomix, Latw PIAT.
No, I think (by way of horrible memory) that while Tesla was in many ways unique, mathematics has an odd ability to pick up a lot more Mad Mathematicians. Paul Erdos, for example, was quite insane too. Cantor wasn't the stablest of men either, come to think of it...Hey, now, I can think of plenty of Real Life Mad Scientists. Most of them were involved with the Manhattan Project (and Hungarian), but still.
One more thing about Gödel: He was good friends with Einstein in later life, and according to Oskar Morgenstern, Einstein told him (Morgenstern) that his own work wasn't that important any more, and that he (Einstein) only came to the Institute for Advanced Study so that he could walk home with Gödel....This I did not know. Win!
edited 1st Oct '10 3:36:38 PM by Noaqiyeum
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 11
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