From what little I can glean, the Incompleteness theorems, truths established by the mathematical logician Kurt Gödel in 1931, show us that not all arithmetic is consistent or can be proven from within axiomatic systems of arithmetic. Godel’s theorems utilize “set theory” regarding how we think of “infinity”; and paradoxes such as the familiar “liar’s paradox” (This sentence is false) to illustrate and prove his theories of logic. Since neither mathematics nor logic are in my realm of expertise, that’s about as deep as I can go by way of explanation without mucking it up. Gödel’s scientific oeuvre is considered among the most significant contributions to the field of Mathematics in the 20th century, analogous in its importance to Einstein’s work on general relativity, the photo-electric effect, and unified field theory in Physics.
Happy birthday to Joni Mitchell. The polymath artist turns 71 today. Here’s a song from her album Court and Spark, released forty years ago. Down To You was never a hit, in fact it’s probably one of the lesser known tunes on the album. This track is really much more than a song, it is an important poetic work from the oeuvre of one of the most accomplished poets of our time. Enjoy.
~Joni Mitchell 1974
I am currently listening to an audiobook entitled Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel which features a super-virus with the sweet sounding name of the Georgia Flu (since patient zero is from Russia). This flu is apparently much worse than the Ebola virus rampaging through West Africa since it is airborne and has a gestation period of only a few hours. In Mandel’s apocalypse, the hospitals fill up exponentially throughout perhaps a few days until things break down completely and it’s all over for everyone but a small percentage of humanity; poor bastards who happen to be immune. Sound familiar? Stephen King’s The Stand begins similarly. But in King’s epic there is a strange force drawing the survivors to a central location somewhere in the US.