X-Message-Number: 10310
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10298 - #10303 
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 18:35:31 -0400
From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>

> From: Paul Wakfer <>
> Perry appears to be like so many people who hold views different from
> the masses in one area (cryonics and capitalism in his case), but cannot
> imagine how the contrary views of others could be right about something
> else.


Paul, you can't even prove the oldest proof in number theory, that
there are infinitely many primes, without a proof by
contradiction. You literally *cannot*. There is no algorithm that will
generate prime numbers, and the only way to prove the theorem itself
is an existance proof.

Sure, you can do some interesting math with your hands tied behind
your back, but there is no obvious reason to bother. The entire notion 
that some kinds of math were "purer" than others should have gone out
after Hilbert's madness about finitistic methods and proofs of the
consistancy of formal systems was tossed out, but people don't seem to

I find Donaldson's whole schtick about how formal methods are bad
(because, presumably, Godel showed that once you formalize math you
can see the flaws) but how if you use this "purer" subset we can all
be happy amusing, though I suppose he'll never the contradiction.


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