*'I believe, and hope, that a future generation will laugh at this hocus pocus.' - Wittgenstein.*

It seems like the mainstream view today is that Cantor showed something wonderful and surprising, namely that there are 'higher infinities'. Anyone who is suspicious or negative about this is liable to be written off as a crank.

There is a paper by Wilfrid Hodges on crank attempts to disprove Cantor's theorem called 'An Editor Recalls Some Hopeless Papers' (there's currently a copy on scribd). He actually dedicates the paper to them, but I wonder about his sincerity. More importantly, he doesn't in my opinion shed any real light on the question of what motivates the cranks.

Of course, to try to refute Cantor's theorem is folly - the theorem certainly holds. But I think what the cranks who do try this are dimly feeling is something I feel too, only I have the good sense to realize that it lies not in the mathematics itself being false, but our interpretation of it being idiotic.

David Foster Wallace wrote a book which includes stuff on Cantor's work called *Everything and More*. I seem to recall a reference to it as *Beyond Infinity*. Maybe that was the working title. In any case, I think '*Beyond Infinity*' is a horrible title. It almost offends me, which I find interesting.

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