Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Part III of Do You Believe in Γ0?

The first two parts are here and there.

The late Edward Nelson did not believe in Γ0 or even in numbers:

The famous saying by Kronecker that God created the numbers, all else is the work of Man, presumably was not meant to be taken seriously. Nowhere in the book of Genesis do we find the passage: And God said, let there be numbers, and there were numbers; odd
and even created he them, and he said unto them, be fruitful and multiply; and he commanded them to keep the laws of induction.
This had a peculiar effect: When impredicative definitions are completely rejected (including any belief in infinite sets), it's impossible to prove that exponentiation is a total function. In other words, we have no rigorously-logical reason to believe in exponential growth. Malthusians sometimes accuse a critic of being an “exponential function denier” but here we have a real one.

When you start trying to find out about eccentric theories, you have no idea of how deep the proverbial rabbit hole goes … or is it an anti-rabbit hole?

But wait, there's more:

In addition to disbelieving in the natural numbers, he disbelieves in the reduction of the wave packet, political correctness, and the Big Bang, but he believes in the Holy Spirit.
I'm reminded of Paul Gordan's statement:
Das ist nicht Mathematik. Das ist Theologie.
I suppose this means Edward Nelson wasn't Russian Orthodox.


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