X-Message-Number: 10236
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 01:23:27 EDT
Subject: note

In my post #10225 I deflated the trivial "paradox" of the Barber, but forgot
to mention that it exactly parallels the celebrated Bertrand Russell "paradox"
of "the set of all sets that are not members of themselves." This was actually
said to "make the foundations of mathematics tremble." 

Some readers--some of them in print--have wondered how I can have the chutzpah
to challenge all those mathematical eminences, all of them so much smarter
than I am. Well, it doesn't really take all that much gall. Some of those
tremendous brains made some tremendous blunders. Occasionally, common sense
beats superficial sophistication.

By the way, Quine said that the Barber statement proves the barber cannot
exist. As usual, I found this out long after my own dissection, which I still
think is a little better. (I showed that the statement was self-contradictory,
not apparently paradoxical e.g. in the sense of the Liar.) 

I plan--erratically no doubt, as time allows--to produce more notes on the
road to dethroning Goedel. Because of the limited relevance, I will usually
not inflict them on this venue, but will make them available to anyone who
expresses an interest.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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