3 May 2004 chalst   » (Master)

The ZF inconsistency proof of the day
Brian Ford and Randall Holmes are discussing Ford's claim on the FOM list. It's still up in the air, but it looks like (i) Ford's argument is interesting, and (ii) there is an argumentative hole in it.

My own investment in the question: I'd rather like ZF to be consistent, but I wouldn't be upset if it wasn't. You can avoid worries about strong axioms by using only geometric theories in your basis theory (or metatheory, if you prefer); these can be shown by simple proof-theortic means (cut elimination) to be consistent, and IIRC they can capture all Pi^0_1 consequences of any consistent theory, or in other words, they can be quite strong but are never too strong.

Carlin made her first strike against the system on May 1st, with an exercise of public nudity in the Tiergarten. She seems to have a talent for autonomiste activism. She's 15 weeks old tomorrow.

Posctscript: Ah, just read fxn's entry: he beat me to the above by two days, but there's extra information in my entry... There's actually something of a literature of correct-seeming ZF inconsistency proofs; someone should write up the history of them.

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