Friday, December 07, 2007

Lou Reed and Godel

My brother sent me a link to a post from Emanuel Derman's blog called "Lou Reed and Godel," which is appropriate for this blog in more ways than one. Here's a bit of it:
Doug Hofstadter's book about Godel's theorem, "I am a Strange Loop", points out that mathematicians before after Hilbert and Russell and Whitehead thought that in axiomatic systems,

(a) if you could prove it, it must be true, and

(b) everything true could be proved.

Godel threw a monkey wrench into (b).

There's a similar set of assumptions people often make about human beings:

(a) If you can persuade someone of the logic of something, they should experience the same feeling as you about it; and

(b) if people experience some feeling, there must be a logical cause.

I think that I can prove the Advanced Theory, so therefore it must be true. If not, would Bob Dylan make Victoria Secret in the middle of his "artistic renaissance"? Anyway, click the link to find out why telemarketers should listen to more Lou Reed.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does this proof, then, make the Advanced Theory the "Advanced Law?"

Teacherfriend

JW said...

Also a consequence of Gödel is that if you can introduce any contradiction into an axiomatic system, then any proposition follows. Ha ha!

Jason said...

I think you blew my mind.