Twenty Years Ago, On Usenet

It’s been twenty years since we were active on Usenet. The post below was included in the then Best of Usenet archive, since destroyed by google via its ravenous consumption of the toxic dejanews. Back on dem days.

Wherever you are, Eisen, thank you for showing me around your hometown, Chicago. If it hadn’t been for meeting you on Usenet I might never have visited the amazing city you call Home.

The year 1996 was the hey-day of Usenet, so mention of either Hitler, a celebrity or historical character riding a bicycle, or both (tandems inclusive) was mandatory. Being beastly to Germans was still in fashion in those post-WWII days of the Nineteen-nineties, and thanks to Angela Merkel it’s back in fashion today. So we feel free to repost in its original, more or less, unredacted form.

Subject:      Re: Famous Flames (Vol 27 - "Victorian Mathematicians")
From:         #######################
Date:         1996/08/28
Message-ID:   <841248492snz@########################>
Newsgroups:   alt.nuke.the.USA,alt.nuke.the.usa,alt.nuke.europe,

In article <4vuuuh$>
  "Eisen Chao" writes:

> :       R is the set of all sets that aren't members of themselves!
> :       
> :       --
> :       Bert
>   Are you sure about this ?

Of course I'm bloody sure, drop-out.

>   I thought that the guy that came up with dis shit was a Kraut 
>   named Goedel.

Well he was a Kraut - from Austria, and his name was G"del, but 
that was not until thirty years after Russell made that post. 
Apparantly, Austria didn't join Usenet until 1929 and then the 
Nazis cut off the telephone connection just after the Anschluss. 

I digress, back to matters mathematical.

> was 'Ol Bertie who tried to make some kinda greand 
>   theory of mathmatics and it was Goedel who shot him down.

Russel's flame (as given above) was the original inspiration for
Principia Mathematica which, together with Alfred Whitehead, he
wrote as a supposed complete and consistant description of maths.

However, after a lifetime's work and only 6 HOURS after 
publication, the brilliant young G"del (who was later executed 
at Nuremburg for crimes against humanity that he committed whilst 
serving as an SS Sturmbahnfuhrer at Ravensbruck KZ) posted the 
following rebuke of R&W's wasted efforts: also available on 
DejaNews (Europe)

 	From: (Kurt Godel)
 	Newsgroups: math.flame, alt.flame.jews, soc.culture.aryan,
          soc.culture.untermensch.kill.kill.kill, ss.general
 	Subject: On Formally Undecideable Propositions in 
                 /Principia Mathematica/ and Related Systems I 
 	Date: Wed, 31 Oct 1931 16:23:02 GMT
        Follow-up To: misc.test
 	Organization: GEheimeSTaatsPOlizie
 	Lines: 13
	X-Approved-By: Nationale Socialismus Deutche Arbeit Partei 

        Ruzzell und Vhitehead speilt:

        > We've done it! At last!

      	To every omega-consistent recursive class K of formulae there 
	correspond recursive /class-signs/ r, such that neither v Gen 
        r nor Neg(v Gen r) belongs to Flg(K)(where v is the free 
        variable of r).
	Heil Hitler!
	Kurt Godel (provably non-jewish), 
	c/o Stadthausebruke 8, Unter den Linden, Berlin.

Personally I prefer Godel's Flame, but to the layman Russell's is
the more superficially appealing - mainly because of its instantly
recognisable paradox given in the true Epimenidean spirit. I'm sure
you saw it straight away Eisen, as did everyone else.

But that stuff is strictly for amateur flamers. Godel's Flame is 
the superior not least because of it's provability, nor for the
way it utterly destroyed the life's work of not one but two (count
'em) mathematicians, but for it's sheer elegance and economy. 

It's just a shame that Kurt was such a bastard in his life outside
of the realm of science. For more information consult Douglas
Hofstadter's "Godel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid" which
won't tell you much Eisen, but at least you'll be able to truthfully
say that you've read /Henrik's favourite book. hth

                 'You're a Jerk, Dent'
                         Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged

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