X-Message-Number: 10315
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 14:27:01 -0700
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10310 The Essense of Metzger
References: <>

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

> Paul, you can't even prove the oldest proof in number theory, that
> there are infinitely many primes, without a proof by
> contradiction.

The simple answer to this is: so what? What practical benefit is there
to such a proof besides the generation of mathematical "games" within
the body of "art" that is non-constructive mathematics?
> Sure, you can do some interesting math with your hands tied behind
> your back, but there is no obvious reason to bother.

Perhaps to delineate what is real from what is purely abstract and to
develop more powerful methods to apply to reality instead of using an
"easy way" to generate proofs which are then quite useless for producing
material benefits for us.

You "bother" for the same reason that you don't invoke ghosts, UFOs,
gods, or psychic powers to explain the operation of reality, when doing
so would often be ever so much easier and more fun.

> 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.

For those who don't know, David Hilbert was a true "giant" among
mathematicians, whose ideas about mathematics rate as much respect and
consideration as do those of Feynman, Hawking, Einstein, etc. in
physics. Only in Perry's mind have any of his ideas been "tossed out".

Here, at last, Perry reveals the essential nature of all his criticisms
of other viewpoints.

***They are not HIS viewpoint!***

Perry, in the future it would save us all a lot of wasted reading time,
if in response to any statement made on CryoNet, you simply stated: "I
agree" or "I don't agree".  

-- Paul --

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