Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 184.108.40.206
Forum Moderators: open
Well, Ive taken a short break from a dinner party to ask this question:
My friend tells me that there is some inconsistency in mathmatical theory, though she cant' give me a good example.
I thought 1+1=2 and all maths was basically that 'with knobs on'?
So, if there are theoretical inconsistencies or differences of opinion, would someone be kind enough to 'rough it out' for a non scientist?
Many thanks.... ;)
It's not quite easy to grasp. I recommend the excellent book "Gödel, Escher, Bach - an Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas Hofstadter.
It is not really about "1+1=2"; it basically says that it's not possible to have a system that is both complete and consistent.
I just finished Stephen Wolfram's recent book "A New Kind of Science" -- highly recommended. He gets into this area of completeness and consistency with some real intensity - and introduces some remarkable insights that he feels will change the way we do science altogether, and he just might be right.
The book can appear foreboding at nearly 1200 pages, but it is written in common English, and not formal math. Amazing diagrams.
what mathematicians like is asking why 1+1=2 and how you might go about making it be something else...which, of course, lends itself beautifully to inconsistency, argument, and TV documentaries...all the things that make the world of academia go round