Search All of the Math Forum:
Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by
NCTM or The Math Forum.


Math Forum
»
Discussions
»
sci.math.*
»
sci.math
Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.
Topic:
Matheology § 187
Replies:
3
Last Post:
Jan 9, 2013 3:27 PM




Matheology § 187
Posted:
Jan 9, 2013 1:42 AM


Matheology § 187
Whatever the choice of language, there will only be a countable infinity of possible texts, since these can be listed in size order, and among texts of the same size, in alphabetical order. {{Here is a simple example: 0 1 00 01 10 11 000 ... }} This has the devastating consequence that there are only a denumerable infinitely of such "accessible" reals, and therefore the set of accessible reals has measure zero. So, in Borel's view, most reals, with probability one, are mathematical fantasies, because there is no way to specify them uniquely. Most reals are inaccessible to us, and will never, ever, be picked out as individuals using /any/ conceivable mathematical tool, because whatever these tools may be they could always be explained in French, and therefore can only "individualize" a countable infinity of reals, a set of reals of measure zero, an infinitesimal subset of the set of all possible {{interesting question: what are /possible/ properties of /possible/}} reals. Pick a real at random, and the probability is zero that it's accessible  the probability is zero that it will ever be accessible to us as an individual mathematical object. {{How can we pick? By picking it, a real number would be finitely defined already. That means an undefined real number can never be picked mathematically. And with finger or beak nobody could succed.}} [Gregory Chaitin: "How real are real numbers?" (2004)] http://arxiv.org/abs/math.HO/0411418
The enumeration of all rational numbers is tantamount to an infinite sum of units. One gets the divergent sequence of all finite cardinal numbers and maintains that a limit exists. That is a mistake. The fact that we can count up to every number does not imply that we can count all numbers. After every finite cardinal number there are infinitel many but not after all. In a similar way it is impossible to sum all terms of the series SUM 1/2^n. But contrary to a diverging sequence, the sequence of partial sums of this series deviates from 1 less and less. Therefore 1 can be called the limit.
Regards, WM



