us come to expect a fair degree of humility from its practitioners.

As Carl Sagan says in The Demon Haunted World,

*The opening words of*

Albert Einstein's 1905 paper are characteristic of the scientific

report. It is refreshingly unself-serving, circumspect, understated.

Contrast its restrained tone with, say, the products of modern

advertising, political speeches, authoritative theological

pronouncements - or for that matter the blurb on the cover of this

bookSo it is particularly jarring one sees a sentence like the

Albert Einstein's 1905 paper are characteristic of the scientific

report. It is refreshingly unself-serving, circumspect, understated.

Contrast its restrained tone with, say, the products of modern

advertising, political speeches, authoritative theological

pronouncements - or for that matter the blurb on the cover of this

book

following in the preface of a book:

*In a nutshell, Godel discovered*

incompleteness, Turing discovered uncomputability, and I discovered

randomness. Really.

incompleteness, Turing discovered uncomputability, and I discovered

randomness

While such gratuitous self-elevation to immortal genius is difficult

to swallow, the book in which that sentence appears,

*The*

Unknowable, is indeed a pretty good book. There are three

Unknowable

chapters that the legendary 'interested intelligent layman' would find

very stimulating. These chapters touch upon (a) Events in the field

of mathematical logic at the turn of the 20th century, including

Hilbert's famous formal system program and the lead up to the work of

Godel and turing, (b) Turing's work on uncomputability and a 'proof'

of the undecidability of the Halting Problem, and (c) Godel's work on

incompleteness, including a 'proof'. There are other chapters that

are support chapters on Lisp, and some others which are plugs to the

authors own work on randomness. Overall worth a read, if you are into

this kind of a thing. Just keep an open mind on the question of

whether Gregory J. Chaitin, is really worth his self-billing :)