May 9th, 2011

beartato phd

(no subject)

Got to hang out with spoons yesterday since he got back in town. Biked around prospect park in gorgeous weather, played some portal 2 co-op. Good times. Felt crappy in the evening, went to sleep early; got up this morning not feeling a whole lot better. Gonna blame seasonal allergies. Eyes are kind of burny 24-7 lately.
beartato phd

(no subject)

The general meta self-referential-ish tangled can't-get-there-from-here feel of Gödel's theorem is widely known, even outside mathematics at a certain very vague level of detail, thanks in part to excellent popularizations like GEB. But there's a very cute technical number-theoretic trick (one that GEB omits, although there's a puzzle Hofstadter puts to the reader, namely how to encode "is a power of 10" in TNT, which very blatantly hints at it) that is, in a certain sense, what actually makes the theorem get off the ground.

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So yeah. The very first part of the proof doesn't get as much press as the fancy self-reference bits, and it's still pretty cute.