Re: Raymond Smullyan

From: Christopher Maloney <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 22:46:38 -0400

Marchal wrote:
> Chris:
> >They're both [Smullyan in Mind's I] very good, but I wouldn't
> >have compared them to Jorges Luis Borges.
> I am a big big big big big fan of Jorges Luis Borges !
> But you shouldn't compare it with Raymond Smullyan, especially
> just after reading just his part in Mind's I. That's unfair !!!!

Unfair to whom, Smullyan or Borges?

> I know sometimes Raymond is a little irksome with his
> repetitive self-referential jokes. Please, look beyond !

No, you misunderstood me -- I liked the essays by Smullyan!
It's just that I was thinking of Lem when I said that he reminded
me of Borges. If you'd been a good practical epistemologist,
you'd have know that before I'd had to make this post.

> Apropos, for those who have some doubt about my own immortality,
> just read "forever undecided". It's a good atemporal
> interview of myself. (Dedicated to myself).

It's a little hard to get: it looks like it's out of print,
and I just went to the UM library, and it's checked out. :(

> For those who thinks I know what I am saying right now :
> They are wrong ! I BET !
> Shouldn't take so much wine at dinner ...
> Bruno :-)

Chris' Adventures at the Library:

Has anyone studied Model Theory? I was looking for the Smullyan
book and my eyes just happened to fall on some volumes on this.
>From the small amount I read, I gather that it is the study of
the mathematical structures that result from formal systems,
which seems exactly appropriate for this group. The "bible" of
model theory seems to be a book "Model Theory, Studies in Logic
and the Foundations of Mathematics", by C.C. Chang and H.J.

While skimming another book, I came across this quote:

  Ramanujan [a brilliant young Indian mathematician in the
  early part of this century] himself constructed a theory
  of reality using zero and infinity. (Most of Ramanujan's
  contemporaries in England could not understand what he
  was trying to say when he presented this arcane, mystical
  concept - can you?) To Ramanujan, zero represented
  "absolute reality". Infinity was the myriad
  manifestations of that reality. What happens if you
  multiply them together:
     0 X infinity
  To Ramanujan, the product (0 X infinity) was not a single
  number, but all numbers, each of which corresponds to an
  "act of creation". What could Ramanujan have meant by

Chris Maloney
"Knowledge is good"
-- Emil Faber
Received on Thu Jul 15 1999 - 20:51:45 PDT

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