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Randomness, Information Theory, and the Unknowable

In the 1960s, mathematician and computer scientist Gregory Chaitin published a landmark paper in the field of algorithmic information theory in the Journal of the ACM – and he was only a teenager. Since then he’s explored mathematics, computer science, and even gotten a mathematical constant named after him. Robert J. Marks leads the discussion with Professor Gregory Chaitin on algorithmic information theory, randomness, unknowability, and philosophy in this bingecast.

Show Notes

  • 0:00:09 | Introducing Gregory Chaitin
  • 0:05:12 | Chaitin’s Youth
  • 0:06:44 | Chaitin’s journey to computer science
  • 0:08:38 | Chaitin’s thoughts on Leonard Euler
  • 0:12:53 | Chaitin’s near brush with Kurt Gödel
  • 0:17:21 | The quirks of Gödel
  • 0:21:00 | Chaitin’s landmark paper published in his teen years
  • 0:21:51 | Chaitin’s definition of randomness
  • 0:28:30 | Metaphysics
  • 0:30:07 | Chaitin’s philosophical interest
  • 0:39:46 | Fermat’s Last Theorem
  • 0:43:55 | Is Math Discovered or Invented
  • 0:45:08 | The Pressure or Publish Papers
  • 0:53:18 | A human-computer symbiosis?
  • 0:56:40 | Computer Software Proofing Mathematics
  • 1:03:26 | Bureaucratic Obstacles to Genuine Research
  • 1:10:57 | A Simple Explanation
  • 1:13:39 | Is Creativity Non-Computable?
  • 1:15:07 | Defining Creativity
  • 1:20:20 | Chaitin’s number of Chaitin’s Constant?
  • 1:42:49 | Panpsychism
  • 1:45:58 | The usefulness of philosophy and the impractical
  • 2:04:30 | Could Chaitin’s number be calculated to a precision which would allow for a proof or disproof of something like Goldbach’s Conjecture?
  • 2:06:33 | The Jump of the Omega Number

Additional Resources


Randomness, Information Theory, and the Unknowable