Friday, January 19, 2007

Spluttering into life again ...

I did slightly lose the will to blog, partly through overwork, partly through the blog being spammed, partly through other distractions. But the mood takes me again, so let's see how things go ...

The Gödel book hasn't left my desk yet, and won't for another month or so. I'm still waiting to hear back from the CUP proof reader; and meanwhile I'm working through 126(!) comments sent over the holidays with immense kindness by Richard Zach. Thanks Richard! I've had to take the book off-line now that it is going through the press, at the reasonable insistence of CUP: but making it available on the web certainly made the whole business of writing it so much more enjoyable, and has made the result much, much better. (More enjoyable, because of encouraging feedback along the way: it can be a pretty lonely and sometimes dispiriting business writing a long book. Nice comments kept me going. And the book might still have its many flaws, but it has certainly been much improved by comments from literally dozens of people. I'm immensely grateful.)

I'm beginning to wonder what to do next. The Preface to the Introduction to Gödel's Theorems promises a sequel, Incompleteness after Gödel, but that's going to be a long job, getting really on top of and then organizing the materials. I promised this term to talk about Gentzen's proof of the completeness of arithmetic to a group of grad students, and have found there isn't anything treating quite what I had in mind to cover at the level I wanted to cover it. So a tempting smaller project suggests itself, and I've even a title: Ordinals, Cuts and Consistency. But we'll see: watch this space ...

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