At 10:33 PM 12/29/2005, George Levy wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:## Advertising

Godel's result, known as Godel's second incompleteness theorem, isthat no consistent machine can prove its own consistency:IF M is consistent then M cannot prove its consistencyBruno,After I read your email, we had a gathering of family and friends,and my head being full of the subject of this post. I wanted to testthe idea of Godel's second incompleteness theorem on the averagepeople just to see how they would respond. I found the right placein the discussion to insert the paraphrase:If I am sane, it is impossible to know for sure that I am sane.This povoked some hilarity, especially with my kids (young adults)who probably view me as some kind of nutty professor. While thisstatement is mathematically true, it was not considered serious bythe people I was talking with. I guess that the average human has nodoubt about his own sanity.(But my kids had some doubts about mine)One way to prove that you are crazy is to assert that you are sane.This means that the average human is crazy! :-)George Hm. . .

`Godel was discussing sharply defined mathematical constructs,`

`specifically, proof of N requires knowledge of non-N. As I'm sure you`

`know, sanity is a *legal*, rather than a mathematical term. While`

`this sort of logical fuzziness is probably in keeping with these`

`times, I doubt if it really applies to Godel's theorem.`

`RMiller`