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What the Tortoise Said to Achilles (www.math.dartmouth.edu)
32 points by sytelus 2 months ago | hide | past | web | 6 comments | favorite

Wrong title. The linked piece is called "What the Tortoise should have said to Achilles." In this case in particular, this makes a huge difference.

Actually, the piece is called "What Achilles should have said to the Tortoise" still a big difference though.

"Come a little bit closer and I'll tell you. Come just a little bit closer still and I'll tell you..."

The actual "original" by Lewis Carrol:

"What the Tortoise Said to Achilles," Mind 4, No. 14 (April 1895): 278-280

is available online, and should be read before the linked article:


Solvitur ambulando

In other words: you can hand someone a proof, but you can't force them to read it. If the tortoise is unwilling to tell you what exactly a proof must entail, then he's effectively not interested in being a rational agent who is compelled to agree to facts logically derived from premises.

The logical conclusion of this is Achilles inventing tortoise soup.

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