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XKCD on Gödel…

August 27, 2008
They eventually resolved this self-reference, but Cantors everything-in-the-fetish-book-twice parties finally sunk the idea.

They eventually resolved this self-reference, but Cantor's 'everything-in-the-fetish-book-twice' parties finally sunk the idea.

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3 comments

  1. I hate to overthink it…
    But wouldn’t it be the case that if someone’s fetish was everything in the fetish book twice, the list would look something like

    1.yada yada
    2.so and so
    3.everything in the fetish book twice
    4. such and such

    And so on, resulting in the person whose fetish was everything in the fetish book twice would simply have no fetishes…

    Someone help me understand the paradox…


  2. that’s true, it will result in the person with no fetishes. he will then have no choice but to start a pro-fetish advocacy club, as this won’t entail any actual fetishes and thus will spare him by omission from the pain of the paradox you’ve identified. this person needs to take a fetish position. come to think of it, so do i.


  3. To understand the caption, we need some set theory, and some history!

    “Cantor’s Paradox” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantor's_paradox states that there is no greatest cardinal number, and is proved by contradiction. Suppose that C is is the greatest cardinal. Then the power set of C is a cardinal which is greater than C, contradiction.

    Cantor’s parties show that making a list that is finite and comprehensive is impossible. Suppose that the list has 5 entries. Then Cantor’s next party introduces 5 new fetishes, not previously on the list. This contradicts the comprehensiveness of the list.



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