“The belief that exponentiation, superexponentiation, and so forth, applied to numerals yield numerals is just that—a belief.” Heterodox opinions about what we should and shouldn’t think of as “known” about integers from Ed Nelson, previously seen thoughtfully smoking a pipe here.

## Warning signs of a possible collapse of contemporary mathematics

**Tagged**ed nelson, infinity, logic

I choked on the first paragraph and couldn’t continue.

I found actually two nice points in the paper (which dates apparently to July 2006): one in the last paragraphs about how “exponentiable” numbers are not stable under exponentiation; and one earlier about the fact that mathematicians do mathematics really mostly because it’s fun…

Favorite quote: If the world is deterministic, then it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I didn’t know Shakespeare refuted Einstein!

Einstein had no good arguments himself for determinism.

The paper starts of as condescending and religious, but fortunately it does turn into sane mathematics if you keep reading for a couple of pages.