The documentary discusses three great mathematicians namely Turing, Cantor, and Godel and a physicist known as Boltzmann.Cantor is known for the set theory, Godel for incompleteness theory, and Turing built on the work of Godel to lay the foundation of computer science. Boltzmann contribution to statistical thermodynamics and mechanics is well acknowledged. Their pursuit for knowledge is what contributed to the concept of infinity and knowable or unknowable in mathematics. However, their love for a matrix of pure mathematics and how it is used to explain the nature of science later drove all them to folly and ultimately suicide.This paper gives a review of the dangerous knowledge documentary.
The narrator opens the documentary by informing the viewers on the journey that he will take them so as to understand the journey of the four great mathematicians. He explains that their discovery is useful to the world today though people only understand the basics(Bulgin, 2015). This introduction is done by three interviewees who have a small piece to say about the topic in about ten seconds and the narrator goes back to explain the meaning of the documentary.
The documentary proposes that the recognition of uncertainty in science and mathematics was an echo of the days and times that this people lived. For example, the flop of the monarchical empires united with the dismays of WWI created a loss of faith in both God and certainty. Nevertheless, Cantor the first person to be scrutinized was stirred by religious belief making him feel like he had been called by the Lord to unearth the furtive of infinity that had defeated great thinkers such as Galileo.
Cantor claims that there were a mass of infinities beyond the preceding infinity. However, he failed to prove the existence of the theory mathematically through the use of continuum hypothesis. The concept of infinity made him disliked by his mathematical lords as it challenged the certainty and logical clarity of the discipline.
The second erudite scholar scrutinized in this documentary is the German physicist known as Ludwig Bolzmann.He was involved in undermining the notion of aptness order in physics.Bolzman idea was that the behavior of atoms was unpredictable and physics could only be discussed in terms of probability and not truths. The second law of thermodynamics called entropy holds that the globe was in a continuous change and deterioration.This meant that there is no order that can last forever.His idea was ahead of time as it was later proven pleasant after WWI.
Kurt Gödelis the greatest mathematician who formulated the incompleteness theorem in the 1930s. He essentially demonstrated that within any mathematical edifice there would be true declarations that could never be confirmed to be true.Godel idea was that there was truth outside of logic and the prescribed rules of mathematics. The only way that human could prove such knowledge and develop new principles is through intuition. The problem was now on how to prove the existence of intuition.
Alan Turing, is considered as the father of computer science and the great Bletchley Park code breaker. Turing idea was to make Godel’s theory of incompleteness that was more solid to be more meaningful by the use of computers(Keler, 2015). The incompleteness theory was of the idea that there would always be hurdles that could not be handled by a computer. The challenge in this was to determine whether a problem was provable or unprovable which seems like impossibility.
Turing had this view that the potential of the computer was just like that of humans. The limitation of the computer due to logic also occurs to human beings. If a human being can be able to understand a computer, then he can be able to understand their inner self and ability. The distinguishing feature of the computers from the human is that unlike men, it lackshypocrisy.
All the four distinguished scholars ended up committing suicide. However, unlike the other three great thinkers discussed in this video, Turing endured a tragic ending. First, Turing was homosexual. It was in this period that the British government locked the homosexuals as they were regarded as security menace after the end of the cold war and WWII. He was arrested on the foundation of his sexual alignment and was chemically sterilized by being inoculated with female hormones to lessen his sensual libido. Later, he committed suicide.
The documentary is a persuasive video of the importance of science and mathematics in the day to day running of affairs. It shows how alterations in mathematics and science were affected by broader development of the society. It also shows how knowledge can be dangerous to the extent of great thinkers committing suicide.
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