*From a Vox Popoli thread:*

Idle,

How long would it take you and a small group of similar minds to rebuild the various fields of physics from scratch and compare notes for consistency? What about mathematics?

I haven’t decided whether I’m only asking out of curiousity.

How long would it take you and a small group of similar minds to rebuild the various fields of physics from scratch and compare notes for consistency? What about mathematics?Do you mean “scratch” like sitting with a shovel and a kerosene lamp in a house like it is 1500 again and there’s no Law of Gravity, or from “scratch” like going through the data we have, double checking it, and/or constructing it from scratch from there using a new axiomatization method?

Mathematics, using the latter approach, would be rather fast actually. David Hilbert did it with some help at the beginning of the 20th century using Set Theory. Then the axiomatization continued until Kurt Gödel destroyed it in the 1930s.

I haven’t decided whether I’m only asking out of curiousity.…Whether what or what?

And I just realized, Franz Kafka = Starchild.

**Do you mean “scratch” like sitting with a shovel and a kerosene lamp in a house like it is 1500 again and there’s no Law of Gravity, or from “scratch” like going through the data we have, double checking it, and/or constructing it from scratch from there using a new axiomatization method?**

Good question. My original question was about math alone, and then I changed it, and then I changed it back, and the phrasing became pretty threadbare and useless.

I mean reconstructing physics empirically. If we could reconstruct math axiomatically then the analytical physical shenanigans could be verified over time, but cleverly designed, inexpensive experiments and good data would be absolutely essential or we’d get the same problems all over again.

The intention would be to create a reliable canon for future geniuses to use. Canon, that’s a good word for it. I figure a couple bookcases’ worth of work in its final draft form. Not impossible, but very difficult.

**Mathematics, using the latter approach, would be rather fast actually. David Hilbert did it with some help at the beginning of the 20th century using Set Theory. Then the axiomatization continued until Kurt Gödel destroyed it in the 1930s.**

Yeah, the nice thing about math is that we really only need a couple of really good resources. Even a list of definitions and a couple of useful conclusions would be just fine, so long as they are reliable.

You could probably get it down to a single bookshelf.

**…Whether what or what?**

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know yet. I’m floundering through a lot of ideas for which I’m simply not biologically equipped. I am almost certainly anti-civilization at this point, although it’s extremely unlikely that anything I do will matter with respect to all of this. (The weather will probably decide for us.) So I’m trying to work through some basic stuff about how I should then live. a la Francis Schaeffer.

I believe it may be possible to preserve culture between generations without the specialization of labor that makes civilization so undesirable*. Tomorrow’s genius may have to spend his day tending the farmstead and work his magic in his free time, which strikes me as a swell way to live anyway (as long as the necessary skills transfer between generations).

*I’m sorry for trying to cover so much ground in so few words. I don’t even know if you agree with me on this point.