Wolfe's From the Cradle; The Obsolescence of the Gabelsberger Shorthand

Fri Jul 21, 2006

I’ve turned some of my recreational reading attention to Starwater Strains, and the aforementioned story is worth teaching as an introduction to reader-response theory. A lot of Wolfe might be, actually, but this exemplifies precisely.

Another of the many interesting things that happened in 1926 was the switch to the Einheitskurzschrift system of shorthand in Austria from the Gabelsberger method (“Godel’s Gabelsberger Shorthand,” Cheryl A. Dawson, Collected Works III: 7).

Another bit from Godel:

A real contradiction between relativity theory and Kantian philosophy seems to me to exist only in one point, namely as to Kant’s opinion that natural science, in the description it gives of the world, must necessarily retain the forms of our sense perception and can do nothing else but set up relations between appearances within this frame (“Theory of Relativity and Kantian Philosophy,” CW III: 257).

I’m really hoping to learn what Godel thought of automated proof discovery (“invention?”), and what, if anything, connected this to his theological (and scattered demonological) notes. But this is something. Though I admire Chomsky and Fodor a great deal, their complete dismissal of almost all scholarship as essentially clerical in nature (or “natural history”) has always rankled me, as one who holds out little hope for discovery of the fundamental processes of literature (though I do work on problems in narrative theory that could be optimistically described this way, I suppose).