A classical logician professor and set theorist was teaching a class on David Hilbert, known formalist.

”Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Hilbert and accept that he is the most highly-evolved being the world has ever known, even greater than L. E. J. Brouwer!”

At this moment, a brave mathematician and AMS officer who had advised over 1500 doctoral students and understood the superfluity of the law of excluded middle stood up and held up a piece of chalk.

”What are the composite factors of M₆₇, pinhead?”

The arrogant professor smirked quite paradoxically and smugly replied, “No one knows, and no one will ever know, you stupid intuitionist. It's proven that M₆₇ must be composite, and that is proof enough for all time.”

”Wrong.” Without speaking another word, the mathematician went to the blackboard and raised 2 to the 67th power, then subtracted one.

Show thread

On the other side of the board, he multiplied 193,707,721 × 761,838,257,287 and got the same number, then returned to his seat.

The students all applauded. An eagle named “Constructive Proof” flew into the room and perched atop the Soviet Flag and shed a tear on the chalk. God himself showed up and distributed swords to go slay the dragon but you do not know if the sword is good enough but you go anyway!

Show thread

The professor lost his tenure at CCNY and was fired the next day. While driving on the highway, he crashed because the road was not locally non-constant. He died on the weekend but not on Saturday or on Sunday.

P.S. That mathematician's name? Frank Nelson Cole.

Show thread
Sign in to participate in the conversation

Mastodon is a server for a federated social network: everyone can run a server if they want to, including me. So this is a Mastodon server for me (Vierkantor) and my friends.