User talk:CBM/Archive 3

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We were working simultaneously on 3jm. Check it out, should be OK now --P.wormer 13:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Seems fine, but if there is only one subsection then is the subsection title really necessary? CMummert 13:40, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I cut and pasted it without thinking --P.wormer 13:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

incompleteness theorem[edit]

You called me a crank and did not act in good faith. You are a bad person in my book. Try to make it up. sincerely, germanium

ps. what is the definition of everything?


I am well aware of Wikipedia policy, thanks. I reserve the right to revert low-quality edits to articles within the permissible limit, or vandalism anytime. I will now consider any replacement of the material in question to be vandalism, since I have very carefully explained to this user what the problem with it is. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I also put a vandalism warning on Germanium's talk page before his last revert. CMummert 23:23, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
That was probably incorrect. It was not vandalism if it was a good-faith, but erroneous edit. One hears "I've discovered the true meaning of 1/0!" from time to time from high school students and college freshmen who have encountered the expression but have been insufficiently instructed on it, or have not understood the instruction they've received regardless of claimed ACT scores. They sincerely believe they've discovered something new. He has obviously also read GEB:EGB but has not understood that either.
I am reminded of two articles deleted back in May, "Theory of one divided by zero" and "Walstad's Paradox" It came out only later that this user, User:Bossk2, was in fact the Walstad in question and considered himself enough of a genius to contribute an autobiography! He was an undergrad too. This does not sound like that person, who used a more pedantic tone. Might be a sock, I suppose, but there would be no point since he was never blocked.
Since this user seems prone to 3RR violations, a note on his talk page addressing that problem would not have been out of line. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:01, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate what you are saying, but the vandalism warning wasn't for 1/0 alone; he added material to 1/0, Everything, and Gödel's incompleteness theorems, including this edit to Everything. These edits were reverted multiple times in all three articles, but he kept adding them again, often mocking the edit summary of the person who reverted him (as on Gödel's incompleteness theorems). CMummert 00:16, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I saw that, but this looks to me more like a misguided newbie unfamiliar with Wikipedia policy than a deliberate vandal. (All but two of his edits happened over the past few hours [1].) Newbies often have trouble adjusting to the idea that a free-content encyclopedia has limits, and with the idea of civility, which really isn't all that common online. I think he simply failed to understand that his contributions are low-quality, or why. I've known many novice thinkers with inflated notions about the ideas that occur to them. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:25, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Wow, looks like it was the same guy. How persistent of him. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:40, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I suppose it's possible to take AGF too far. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:37, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Is there any man among us who can explain in their own words why 1/0 is supposedly meaningless? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alphanon (talkcontribs)

Sources in sub-articles[edit]

My interpretation of the policy is that a Wikipedia article itself cannot be a listed as a source, e.g. the article Hilbert cannot be listed explicitly as a reference source for Hilbert's second problem, something along this line:

Wikipedia, 2006, Article: Hilbert.
Constance Reid, 199X 2nd edition, Hilbert, etc.

But this is not quite the same as saying that "the references" will be found at the main article. But whatever. As you note it's not hard to fix, just adds complications -- I've created alot of subarticles. Do you know if there is a way to get "a ruling" on this? (Now I have two red squirrels invading my bird feeders. Yikes!) wvbaileyWvbailey 15:55, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

There isn't a system to get rulings per se. If you want, you can ask on the talk page of WP:CITE. Some people who frequent that page favor extremely strong sourcing requirements, however, so you have to take their advice with a grain of salt and some common sense. My advice is to avoid getting into protracted discussions there, because they tend to go around in circles.
On the practical side, there isn't any harm in leaving the articles unsourced for a while; there are about 2500 math articles that list no sources, out of about 12000 total. When and if the articles are polished up enough to go to peer review or featured article review, the reviewers will expect each article to carry its own references. CMummert 16:51, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


Perfectly good terms (whether they are English or Latin is a matter of definition); but the articles are dicdefs, and they should be at wiktionary. I see no reason to remove the prods. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Thank you for stepping in at Lavenski_Smith. I appreciate it. I hope that User:Smashingworth finds them satisfactory. Have a good day. Joie de Vivre 15:03, 8 January 2007 (UTC)


It's fine. I could happen to anyone. Regards, KazakhPol 03:22, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


Working Man's Barnstar

A Barnstar!
The Working Man's Barnstar

For your work :) --HIZKIAH (User • Talk) 13:09, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Well CMummert, seeing you are a professional mathematician, I repeat here my first concern with Gödel: With Gödel’s definitions 16 and 17 it is evident that Z(4) yields the Gödel-number of ffff0, but with y instead of 4 as input in these definitions, Z(y) can impossibly yield the symbol sequence fffffffffffffffffff0, which it would have to yield when we assume the Gödel-number of y to be 19 and as it is introduced in sub(y,19,Z(y)) ! Please explain how you want to get around this impossibility. My second concern is that in this term the symbol y appears in two different identities in violation of Russell - Whitehead’s requirement on page 1 of Chapter 1 of Principia Mathematica. Why do you accept such violation? With kind regards Biedermann 11:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


Hello CMummert, Please tell me what is wrong with my arguments! Biedermann 10:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Exponentiation, 0^0[edit]

Comment by Bo Jacoby 10:46, 12 January 2007 (UTC) moved to Talk:Exponentiation.

Entscheidungsproblem reference[edit]

I don't believe its Hodges, but maybe ... I have read something recently re Leibniz' desire for a "calculus racinator" or someting like that... a machine, but my memory fails me. It was in some depth, too. Oh,... scientific american had an article about ... not leibniz ...the other guy there...Babbage [had to find the article to remember his name, nothing there. This is what happens when you cross 50 years... you read it and you know you've read it and then it sort of goes into inaccessible deep storage. ]... but there was something about the calculator racinator somewhere ... in a book by Davis, I believe. I'll research it. I believe that Leibniz actually built some machines... Yes! found it.

Martin Davis, 2000, Engines of Logic, W.W. Norton & Company, London, ISBN 0-393-32229-7 pbk.

A whole chapter "Leibniz's Dream" (p. 3-20):

"Although Pascal had designed a machine that could add and subtract, Leibniz's was the first that could multiply and divide as well [*Davis's footnote re Pascal: he built his machine circa 1643, which "brought him considerable fame"]. This machine incorporated an inguenious gadget that beame known as a "Leibniz wheel," a device common to calculating machines well into the twentieth century. (p. 8)
"... he grasped the broader significance of mechanizing calculation. In 1674 he described a machine that could solve algebraic equations. A year later, he wrote comparing logical reeasoning to a mechanism, thus pointing to the goal of introducing reasoning to a kind of calculation and of ultimately building a machine capable of carrying out such calculations.5 [he references Couturat p. 115 for more about Leibniz (Couturat, L. La Logique de Leibniz d'Apres des Document Inedit. Paris: F. Alcan, 1901. Reprinted Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1961)] (p. 8)
"Leibniz saw his grand program as consisting of three major components. First, before the appropriate symbols could be selected, it would be necessary to create a compendium or encyclopedia encompassing the full extent of human knowledge. He maintained that once having accomplished this, it should prove feasible to select the key underlying notions and to provide appropriate symbols for each of them. Finally, the rules of deduction could then be reduced to manipulations of these symbols, that is to what Leibniz called a calculus racinator, what nowadays might be called symbol logic." (p. 16-17)

Davis goes on to describe how he jumped Boole by 150 years and gives an example. I really like Davis's book, I'm surprised it hasn't been cited more re history of mathematics, philosophy of mathematics, and computation. He has chapters on Leibniz, Boole, Frege, Cantor, Hilbert, Godel, and Turing. There is more, but I think the above should make the point. Hope this helps. Actually, this helped me too. I've been in controversy on the talk page of Law of Excluded Middle and I bumped into some good stuff on Brouwer (again... I knew I'd read stuff about him somewhere...) wvbaileyWvbailey 16:46, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

Hi, CMummert!

Thanks for fixing the "archivebox" template on the exponentiation talk page. I had just about gotten it figured out (that I made a mistake, I mean) when you happened along and fixed it up. I read all the instructions, but I generally have to hack my way through things once or twice before it really sinks in, and today marks the first time I have created an archive file.

Anyway, I'll try to help keep the article looking good, for a while at least. Give me a whistle if there's anything I can do to help you out. DavidCBryant 23:00, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello again. I got your note. I've put the "exponentiation" article on my watch list. I don't really want to get in the middle of a(nother) revert war, but I've read quite a lot of the stuff on the talk page, and I'm in your corner when it comes to indeterminate forms. DavidCBryant 00:21, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

You wrote (in reference to exponentiation)

Just having somone else follow the page for a few days will be helpful, so that it is clear that the new version of the article is accepted by someone besides myself.

If the article would stand still long enough for me to read it all the way through, I might be able to form an opinion. The way things are going, I barely get done fixing up some sloppy formulas and tweaking a few inappropriate prepositions before someone, either you or Bo, makes a wholesale change that wipes out a bunch of the stuff I put in just a few hours ago. This is nuts! I guess I'll have to read through an older, static version (say the one you "re-factored") to get a handle on the situation.

I'm pretty hardheaded, and reasonably intelligent, but in this case I'm not sure I can see the forest for the trees. I understand that Bo is holding out for 00 = 1, and you want to treat it as an indeterminate form. I also read some prior discussion indicating that Bo wants to use e2πi = 1 to assert that 1z ≠ 1, as some sort of general rule. So I guess that's serving as subtext for two different perspectives on the principal branch of the complex logarithm? Is that also part of what's going on? I've got to admit I'm a bit mystified when one of you (apparently) sticks the word "principal" into the article, and the other one strips it right out a few minutes later.

Anyway, I'll try to hang in there long enough to understand what's really going on. But I want to get back to nice quiet stuff like Euler's continued fraction formula, where I can write about things that interest me and not have to worry about endless disputations. DavidCBryant 22:26, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello again. I just stuck a reference to Whittaker and Watson in the talk page for the article, which may be of some help in arguing with Bo. Probably not, though. Oh, I think I finally understand what this dispute is about. If 1 = e2πi and we don't have to write 1z = 1 all the time then we can argue
and conclude that there's only one "real" number, or "all real numbers except zero are equal", or maybe "1 = 0, in the limit", or something just as ridiculous. Am I close? DavidCBryant 15:15, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
To David: generally. JRSpriggs 09:21, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Right, like 4^4 = 256 but (2^2)(2^2) = 16. But I know what he means; he is thinking of examples like
I will try to work this into the exponentiation article some time. CMummert · talk 14:19, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

RFC on SteveWolfer[edit]

Message posted on multiple user pages: as you've been a figure to some degree in the multi-article, Rand-related dispute involving SteveWolfer, I thought it would be appropriate to let you know that I've initiated an RFC on him. You are invited to join in the proceedings if you are so inclined. Simões (talk/contribs) 22:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Complex logarithm[edit]

Hello again, CMummert!

Now that's weird! I had just added the reference to Whittaker and Watson to this article, and was giving it the once-over when I thought "I really shouldn't be saying that log(z) = a sequence of complex numbers." So I started editing the section to use a ~ sign, with an explanation of "is associated with". But I got an edit conflict! You were in there fixing it before I could complete my edit. Oh – just so you know, that wasn't my formula. It was in the "cut-and-paste" version of the article I started with just a few days ago. I probably should have thought of it before I did, but the fact that you fixed it while I was working on it with the same basic intent is bizarre. Have a great day! ;^> DavidCBryant 23:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

peer review talk page[edit]

There's a very wide latitude on these, as you know. I was about to ask your reason until I notice the guy said it was also posted to 2 other pages, I will check if they are still there, & remove them, since this is quite enough to show a failure to understand. DGG 23:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

What does the incompleteness theorem say about itself?[edit]

Is there a problem where you cannot answer my question? I thought you knew, professional mathematician! Or maybe you've never thought about it. Well, be my guest. I am patient, but I haven't got all day. What's the matter Mr. Mathematician? You haven't got all the answers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alphanon (talkcontribs)

To Alphanon: Why are you being hostile to mathematicians? Gödel's incompleteness theorems say nothing about themselves. JRSpriggs 09:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Signature timestamps[edit]

In reference to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Signature_timestamps:

I've changed my signature to try and incorporate all of everything we talked about. However, as the only way I could get it to work in is in the form of a table, like so:

 {| border="0" cellpadding="0"
 | <font face="Verdana">'''[[User:Jrockley|Jack]]'''</font> •
 | <font face="Verdana"><small>'''[[User talk:Jrockley|talk]]'''</small></font> •
 | title="Coordinated Universal Time" | <font face="Verdana"><sub>{{CURRENTTIME}}, {{CURRENTDAYNAME}}, {{CURRENTDAY}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTYEAR}}</sub></font>

...I ran into two problems; it won't lie inline with the text and the background colour doesn't match talkpage backgrounds. The latter is easily fixed (you don't happen to know the the code to generate that colour?), but I'm not sure about to other. Could you help?

Jack talk 21:18, Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Thanks very much for your help :) Jack · talk · 13:53, Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Nav[edit]

Thanks for moving the page; I was planning to do it once I thought it was accepted by the project. I'm writing to point out that when you move a page that uses Portal:Boxheader you have to fix the edit link, which has the location of the page hardcoded into the article source code. Otherwise the edit link points to the old location instead of the new one. CMummert · talk 02:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Cool, didn't know about that template. —Mets501 (talk) 03:34, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Maths rating template[edit]

Thanks for giving me a heads-up on this one. I made a few minor tweaks as follows:

  • Got rid of line break in "This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mathematics" appearing in the large version.
  • Put a &nbsp; in between "Mathematics" and "grading" to prevent an undesirable line break on non-small version
  • Made the field cell a non-fixed width. The reason is that the message-box is a percentage of a user's screen width. If you fix every cell's width, then they will all be stretched out or squashed in proprotion to these widths. (So I had an annpoying gap after"mathematcis grading). If you have all but one fixed width, then that one cell will expand to use all available room, while the other cells' widths will be truely fixed. I chose the field cell as that has the most text (potentially) on that row.

Hope you're OK with these changes... if not, feel free to revert them. I'm not 100% convinced about the border under the image, as it comes out too close to the bottom of the image. (Possible fix: expand the "This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mathematics" to include more about the project - see Talk:David Hilbert for examples). The other borders are a definate plus - good move. Tompw (talk) 20:35, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Much better with the image now :-) I see the border now goes all the across, which is good. I've also did some chanegs to improve the layout of the small version - merging the image and "This page is part of WP:math" cells, and also putting the field onto a new line for the small version. Tompw (talk) 23:48, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I put in four &nbsp; to stop the text being too close to the image... I've now center-aligned it instead. Tompw (talk) 11:44, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


Making everyone happy ;-))SomeHuman 11 Feb2007 19:02 (UTC)

Your note[edit]

I added it because it gives the impression that there's a strong objection, but in fact it's an account that is almost certainly a sockpuppet, not a new editor. However, if you feel it's out of order, by all means remove it or replace it with something else. I won't revert again. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 04:08, 23 February 2007 (UTC)