Godel’s Theorem

This is a book I bought a few years ago and started reading immediately but put aside and only this summer read it fully from cover to cover. In order to appreciate its content you need some degree of mathematical and computer science maturity. For example, if you have never heard of his theorems and only read Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel or similar popular book then you would have difficulty going through the book and it would appear boring. It is not an entertaining or bedside reading. This is why I put it aside on the first reading although I knew about this theorem since I read “Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty” more than 25 years ago being a schoolboy (in Russian translation). Just before writing this review I ordered “There’s Something About Godel: The Complete Guide to the Incompleteness Theorem” and the latter looks like less heavy reading judged from excerpts from its publisher website. Putting all these reminiscences aside I really enjoyed second reading of “Godel’s Theorem”. It really clarified some points from ¬B->¬A or PA & ¬Con(PA) perspectives and made me curious about fixpoints. I even borrowed the latter term and introduced them for crash dump analysis and debugging: “a dereference fixpoint”. I also liked chapters 4 and 6 about using Godel’s theorems outside mathematics and clarifying misconceptions in Rucker’s and Penrose’s books. However, after a few months I cannot recall anything definite what I read from that book although I felt good that I understood everything while reading so perhaps the book requires the 3rd reading for me :-) I’m going to give it another try after “There’s Something About Godel” and update this review.

Godel’s Theorem: An Incomplete Guide to Its Use and Abuse

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- Dmitry Vostokov @ LiterateScientist.com -

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