“Life, love and romance are all about surprise: the surprise of an unexpected bouquet of flowers, a mysterious stranger met by chance at a party, the unannounced return of an old lover at your doorstep, the confusion of finding the unknown side of an old friend or acquaintance who becomes your partner. The freshness of a relationship kept new even after years.
“Alive equals surprise.
“The logical world … seems to be a world of no surprise, no serendipity, no romance. Axioms generate propositions, one deduction blindly follows another. The game is over almost as soon as it is begun. Where is the romance in that? No chance for the heart to overrule the head, contradiction to conquer cogitation, desperation and devotion to deliver you from derivation.
“Or is there?
“In the 1920s, a mathematician named Goedel proved that in any consistent logical system [the result is a bit weaker than that… AF], there will always be statements whose truth or falsity can’t be proved by the simple mechanical rules of logic. Even if these “undecidable” statements are appended to the list of axioms, as long as this enlarged system remains consistent, there will still be other statements whose proof or refutation lies outside the power of formal reasoning.
“The unknowable and the unpredictable is embedded in even the most simple of things. Romantically speaking, I like to think of this as saying that if we have a guarantee of truth, and thus the possibility of honesty, then from this we must necessarily have surprise, even mystery—and maybe then, just maybe, with a little bit of luck, we must have love. Q.E.D.”