Monday, September 18, 2006

Passing it on

I've just put another full draft of the Gödel book online. There's an amount of work still to be done (in particular, I've yet to take account of some comments I've had on the last chapter); but things are progressing towards a terminus. One task now, while I'm thinking about more substantive things as well, is to decide what kind of index or indexes to do. What a thrill.

I've been distracting myself a bit by dropping into the newsgroup sci.logic and posting in some of the threads. Which probably shows that I need to get a life. Yet I can't help finding it irritating (indeed offensive) when loud-mouthed ignorant blockheads are allowed to dominate a public forum which can occasionally can be very useful. So I've been diving in and trying to help sort things out here and there.

Two enthusiastic book recommendations, one logic-related, one not. First, I didn't know Piergorgio Odifreddi's Classical Recursion Theory before, but I've been quickly working through it and it is excellent -- I very much like the style and pace. In a way, I'm quite glad that I didn't read it before or I might have been tempted to follow some of his nice modes of presentation. As it turns out, the treatment in my book is nicely complementary at various points.

The other, my late-night book at the moment, is Alan Bennett's Untold Stories. Perhaps I should take the words at the end of his Introduction, which he quotes from his own play The History Boys, as the motto for the Gödel book: "Pass it on. Just pass it on." For that's exactly what I'm trying to do ...

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