On Monday, October 8, 2012 2:08:20 PM UTC+1, David C. Ullrich wrote: > On Sat, 6 Oct 2012 13:32:33 -0700 (PDT), Paul <firstname.lastname@example.org> > > wrote: > > > > >David Ullrich used to append this quotation to his newsgroup postings: > > > > > >"Understanding Godel isn't about following his formal proof. > > >That would make a mockery of everything Godel was up to." > > > > Didn't recall that. Looked up a few old posts. Context matters. > > The sig was this: > > > > >"Understanding Godel isn't about following his formal proof. That would make a > > > mockery of everything Godel was up to." (John Jones, "My talk about Godel to > > >the post-grads." in sci.logic.) > > Yes, I should have given the full quote. Sorry about that. I thought that by saying (correctly) that your signature was a quotation, I had said enough.
Regarding the actual quote in the sig, I still don't find it silly or ridiculous. But I interpret the quote differently to you. The part that you object to is "That would make a mockery...". But what is indicated by the word "That"? I interpret "That" to indicate [the belief that Godel's work can only be understood by knowing every technical detail]. Whereas you interpret it to mean [the following of the formal proof of Godel's theorems]. Under your interpretation, I agree that the quote in your former sig is ridiculous.
It's possible that my interpretation is silly/wrong/ignorant etc. But that's what I thought, and that's why I didn't think it was so silly or ridiculous.