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Topic: David Ullrich on Godel
Replies: 19   Last Post: Oct 11, 2012 7:02 AM

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Paul

Posts: 407
Registered: 7/12/10
Re: David Ullrich on Godel
Posted: Oct 11, 2012 7:02 AM
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On Wednesday, October 10, 2012 11:37:08 PM UTC+1, Charlie-Boo wrote:
...
>
> > David was quoting a crank.  Somebody much like you two.
>
>
>
> Who's that? So Ullrich is a crank? "If you lie with dogs you are a
>
> dog."


I don't think David Ullrich is a crank. Nor do I think that quoting cranks makes him a crank.

> What Ullrich was doing is something people occasionally do - but only
>
> if they are emotionally weak and aren't very smart.
>

I agree that it was wrong of David Ullrich to quote something he disagreed with for the purpose of mocking it. I'm not sure that this qualifies as "emotionally weak" though, unless I argue tautologically by defining "emotionally weak" behaviour as being behaviour that I disapprove of. I don't know what you mean by "emotionally weak."
I disagree re the smartness. I find him extremely intelligent, based on his postings. I've never met him.



>
> 1. Someone points out (as I have) a weakness in literature on
>
> Mathematical Logic, in this case, that nobody has published a formal
>
> derivation of incompleteness results (Godel, Rosser, Smullyan) -
>
> especially if they show such a result themselves (also as I have.)


I disagree with that -- Mendelson's proofs are probably ok. Of course, not every step is spelled out in full formal logic because that would take thousands of pages, but that's true of all mathematical proofs.



>
> 2. Emotionally weak professors want to deny they are unable to
>
> formalize incompleteness results.
>
> 3. Two ways come to mind:
>
> a. Say that it's a good idea but it has already been done.


a. is correct.

> b. Say that it's stupid and everyone knows that.
>
> 4. Professors who aren't that smart try to do both i.e. maintain that
>
> "That's stupid and it is already a well-known result." Of course,
>
> this is absurd, but what do you expect from people who aren't that
>
> smart?
>
> 5. For (a) Ullrich says (or quotes?) Godel himself did that in the
>
> originlal paper, referring to "his formal proof." For (b) he says it
>
> would be "a mockery of Godel" (without explanation.)


No, the "mockery of Godel" quote comes originally from John Jones. You're making exactly the same mistake I did. I assumed that his quotation was an endorsement.
>
> 6. Put it together you have: Godel already formally proved his result
>
> and to study that would be a mockery of Godel.
>
>
>
> LOL
>
>
>
> In other words, we see the sad effects of inbreeding.
>
>
>
> BTW Ullrich was blatantly prejudicial to non-professors.

...
This seems correct, based on my experience of his postings. But I would substitute "was" for "is" and I would substitute "non-academics" for "non-professors". I often feel that he doesn't take my comments as seriously as I would if I were an academic mathematician. For example, he strongly doubts that very many people were confused by his John Jones quote. He wouldn't have such strong doubts if I were an academic mathematician questioning what he meant by quoting it.
It's easier to identify such prejudices than it is to say what can be done about them. Of course, Nelson's views about the inconsistency of mathematics would have been taken less seriously if expressed by a non-academic. People act on prejudices based on prior belief.

I also agree that David Ullrich dismisses statements as "silly" too readily. It's unnecessarily insulting. It's much better style to say something's "wrong" or "meaningless" etc.

Paul Epstein




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