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Meta Math! by Gregory Chaitin

  1. Feb 24, 2006 #1
    I bought the book and am finding it very interesting (perhaps the only flaw is that Mr. Chaitin at times assumes the typical reader is nearly as smart as he is). But when searching on arxiv.org for more of his work, I noticed that this entire book is on-line. I assume it is there because he wants folks to be able to access it, anyone interested in a basic book on number theory/incompleteness can at least give it a glance and decide if they want to purchase it.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2006 #2


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    Are you sure he isn't just a crackpot?
  4. Feb 24, 2006 #3

    matt grime

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    No, he's not a crackpot. He is however very opinionated and not afraid to voice his opinions frequently and vocally, not to mention unnecessarily, and seemingly in a way that makes you think: what was the point of that article?

    I looked at one of the hits for him at arxiv, a 1994 collection of rebuttals to an article by two people about 'theoretical mathematics' the first of which was be Sir Michael Atiyah. The few I read were informed discussions about the philosophical basis of mathematics and its practice. Except for Chaitin's which read as him trying to make himself sound like the cleverest, most important person in foundational mathematics.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006
  5. Feb 24, 2006 #4
    Cant classify him as a crackpot. He just sounds pretentious in most of his articles :smile:

    Probably, you might just read this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Chaitin
    Just to be sure, that this guy "can" make sense at times :biggrin:

    The book was up at arxiv and initially at his own homepage, even much before the book got printed.

    The book is available here,

    There are several reviews, available but they all seem biased at certain points to me. Its better to read it up yourself and make your own comments anyways.

    -- AI
  6. Feb 26, 2006 #5


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    Okay, so he's an arrogant d**khead who tries to make his own discoveries seem more revolutionary than they are.
    Plenty of those about, unfortunately.
  7. Mar 14, 2006 #6
    I bought this book thinking I could handle it, but alas, it was far beyond me. I enjoyed reading it at times, but since some of the eariler concepts I wasnt able to grasp left the latter parts in the book usless to me. I didnt find the writing to be difficult just the number theory.
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