Das Kalenderblatt 090717

16/07/2009 - 23:01 von WM | Report spam
Consistency and Madness

Go to a mental hospital and I'll bet you will meet people there who
call themselves Napoleon, or Jesus Christ, or Elvis Presley, or Albert
For the sake of simplicity, let us take the man with the Einstein
complex. Now suppose that you take such a man apart and you decide to
talk with him, in order to convince him that Albert Einstein is dead
and buried. And that his real name is Johnson. And that he is just the
man around the corner. No genious at all. Do you think you are going
to be successful?
You talk to him for more than one hour, trying to convice him that he
should give up his picture of the world. At last, you ask him if he
has understood your arguments. I'll bet his answer will be like the
following: "Yes, of course I understand ! Because Albert Einstein, he
is a genious. He is so clever that he can understand, of course, any
of your arguments. That's why. And what's more, I am Albert
Now replace "Einstein" by any mainstream mathematician and you're
Nobody can deny that people in a mental hospital have a consistent
picture of the world. Now the good news of consistency is that, once
you are on the right track, you will remain on the right track. The
axiom system for Euclidian Geometry is a good example of this manner
of being consistent.
But here comes the bad news.
Once you are on the wrong track, you will always be on the wrong
There is no way to tell a mathematician that the axioms of the Zermelo
Fraenkel / axiom of Choice (ZFC) system are "not good". Because then
he will defend himself as our would-be Einstein character did. All of
his arguments will be consistent with the system he believes in. He
wants to remain in his vicious circle, safe and well. Calling
everybody else a "dude" and a "crank" and a "zealot". And there is no
way out. There is no cure for his madness. Because mathematics is what
mathematicians do.

[Han de Bruijn Natural philosophy]


Gruß, WM

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#1 Vogel
17/07/2009 - 03:25 | Warnen spam
WM wrote in news:9303775f-0fbc-4857-94cc-

Consistency and Madness

[Han de Bruijn Natural philosophy]


Wer ist Han de Bruijn?
Welches naturwissenschaftliche Gebiet ist seine Beschàftigung?

Selber denken macht klug.

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