> In a message dated 4/2/2001 3:15:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> email@example.com writes:
> > ...might be true but TOTALLY unproveable (i.e., the consequence
> > of an infinite number of independent mathematical facts)...
> > I find it both plausible and chilling.
> I wonder why E.Y. finds this "chilling"?
Presumably because it means mathematics might contain
all sorts of simple assertions that seem fairly obvious
(to folks who have some talent for number theory!) but
that can't be proved. That sort of indeterminacy about
the world is **not** what most mathematicians bargained
for; so it's not surprising that they would find it both
deeply disturbing and rather demoralizing.
However, that seems to be the direction math has been
headed in for most of the last century -- it's part of
what Noel Coward called "the 20th century blues" ;->.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:44 MDT