Leibniz, Complexity and Incompleteness
published: Oct. 15, 2008, recorded: September 2008, views: 3989
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I will discuss Leibniz's ideas on complexity (Discours de metaphysique, 1686), leading to modern work on program-size complexity, the halting probability and incompleteness. Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason asserts that if anything is true it is true for a reason. But the bits of the numerical value of the halting probability are mathematical truths that are true for no reason. More precisely, as I will explain, they are irreducible mathematical truths, that is, true for no reason simpler than themselves.
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