- Series: Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science
- Hardcover: 124 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 1999 edition (August 5, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9814021725
- ISBN-13: 978-9814021722
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,093,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Unknowable (Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science) 1999th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
But let's now focus on the parts of the books that I did not like. His exposition is mixed with an account of how he first learned these result. I am charmed the first time when he explains how he read so many books as a kid. But soon I do not want to hear again what he felt as 12 year old. Also he keeps comparing his own work to that of other scientist. We really need to now that he is just as good as Godel and as Turing.
For example he takes pages to explain that Kolmogorov ripped of his ideas. What I also find funny as well is both chapter 1 and chapter 6 give an identical link to "my first major paper".
Sigh. He's the best, we get it, ok?, now please move on.
Then one more thing. The computer programs that he uses are in lisp. That is fine by me, lisp is a beautiful language. But do you think he uses any of the available dialects? No, of course not, he introduces he own strange version. The programs given do not run in clisp for example.
So to sum it up. I learned his own result on incompleness (that one cannot produce the shortes program for a particular function) and that is a nice result. Reading the rest of the book is more annoying than amusing.
Firstly I agree that Chaitin is not a modest man. I don't think that really matters, because he has made a major contribution to my understanding of this whole area which previously I had found almost impenetrable. The only other criticism I had is the excessive use of the exclamation mark!
In all other respects this is a superb book. I found the chapter introducing LISP a little dense (much like me) but I read a book called "The Little Lisper" which is a great book in itself and that helped me.
The real beauty of this book for me was working through the various LISP exercises and beginning to understand, to feel almost, the logic and concepts behind the work of people such as Godel and Turing.
In other words I felt able to walk for a while in the footsteps of geniuses - and I would count Chaitin among that number. END
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the 21st century mathematicians will debate the meaning of Chaitin's theorems just as we now debate the meaning of Godel's and Cantor's theorems. Read morePublished on May 12, 2000 by Rodwell B. Watson
This Book is horrible. The only point of the Unknowable is to prove that Chaitin is as smart as Godel and Turing. The entire book can also be retrived off his homepage. Read morePublished on May 12, 2000 by Aaron