Monday, January 18, 2010

Limits of Knowledge

Just finished a terrific book about Alan Turing and Kurt Godel titled A Madman Dreams of Turning Machines by Janna Levin, a work, acting as catalyst, encourages one to think about computability, incompleteness and uncertainty, three concepts defined by Turing, Godel and Werner Heisenberg, which, in every way imaginable, has changed man's view of reality forever.

Alan Turing, the seminal genius who rightfully can be called the father of computing and Artificial Intelligence, articulated the premise of computability via the Universal Turing Machine, the predecessor to all things digital and AI.

Kurt Godel, the sly, paranoid logician, formally proved truth and provability forever reside in different domains...

"The proof of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem is so simple, and so sneaky, that it is almost embarassing to relate. His basic procedure is as follows:

As for Werner Heisenberg, his Uncertainty Principle proves that man's ability to truly see all aspects of reality will remain beyond his reach until the end of time.

"In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. This statement has been interpreted in two different ways. According to Heisenberg its meaning is that it is impossible to determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of an electron or any other particle with any great degree of accuracy or certainty."

"One must know one's limitations." - Dirty Harry
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