# [FOM] 629: Boolean Algebra/Simplicity

Akshay R akshayr.tiss at gmail.com
Tue Oct 6 03:31:25 EDT 2015

```Dear Group members any comment on this?

Below excerpt is written by Mary who is a better half of George Boole.

The equation*0=x(1 — x), *or *zero equals anything fused with its
polar-opposite,*might be called the equation of *Nirvana*, as opposed to *zero
equals no specialization, no idiosyncrasy, no "wrongness" *which is the
equation of death.

On Sat, Oct 3, 2015 at 7:11 PM, Harvey Friedman <hmflogic at gmail.com> wrote:

> There are many axiomatizations of Boolean Algebras, using various sets
> of primitives.
>
> I want to focus only on the purely equational axiomatizations.
>
> Recall my posting on Simplicity
> http://www.cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2012-March/016357.html
>
> Here with BA, I am thinking that with the imaginative help from
> computer technology, it may be possible to determine good lower and
> upper bounds on the "simplest" axiomatization of BA.
>
> Take the following specific formulation. Use the particularly natural
> language 0,1,and,or,not. All axioms must be equations.
>
> We count the total number # of signs used, excluding parentheses and =.
>
> I found the following relevant comments in the Wiki entry
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_algebra#Basic_operations
>
> "In 1933 Edward Huntington showed that if the basic operations are
> taken to be x∨y and ¬x, with x∧y considered a derived operation (e.g.
> via De Morgan's law in the form x∧y = ¬(¬x∨¬y)), then the equation
> ¬(¬x∨¬y)∨¬(¬x∨y) = x along with the two equations expressing
> associativity and commutativity of ∨ completely axiomatized Boolean
> algebra. When the only basic operation is the binary NAND operation
> ¬(x∧y), Stephen Wolfram has proposed in his book A New Kind of Science
> the single axiom (((xy)z)(x((xz)x))) = z as a one-equation
> axiomatization of Boolean algebra, where for convenience here xy
> denotes the NAND rather than the AND of x and y."
>
> Incidentally, all of the axiomatizations of BA that I have seen use
> three variables. Must be a classic result that you can't get away with
> 2 variables? And also, are we going to gain any simplicity (low #) by
> using more variables?
>
> Of course, the same study can be done for Heyting Algebra.
>
> So realistically, how are we going to start using a computer for this
> kind of study?
>
> I would start by proving that there is no axiomatization of BA with
> complexity k, in the above mentioned complexity measure #. Start with
> k = 1, and move up, and see how far you can get. I can even handle k =
>
> **********************************************************
> My website is at https://u.osu.edu/friedman.8/ and my youtube site is at
> This is the 629th in a series of self contained numbered
> postings to FOM covering a wide range of topics in f.o.m. The list of
> previous numbered postings #1-599 can be found at the FOM posting
> http://www.cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2015-August/018887.html
>
> 600: Removing Deep Pathology 1  8/15/15  10:37PM
> 601: Finite Emulation Theory 1/perfect?  8/22/15  1:17AM
> 602: Removing Deep Pathology 2  8/23/15  6:35PM
> 603: Removing Deep Pathology 3  8/25/15  10:24AM
> 604: Finite Emulation Theory 2  8/26/15  2:54PM
> 605: Integer and Real Functions  8/27/15  1:50PM
> 606: Simple Theory of Types  8/29/15  6:30PM
> 607: Hindman's Theorem  8/30/15  3:58PM
> 608: Integer and Real Functions 2  9/1/15  6:40AM
> 609. Finite Continuation Theory 17  9/315  1:17PM
> 610: Function Continuation Theory 1  9/4/15  3:40PM
> 611: Function Emulation/Continuation Theory 2  9/8/15  12:58AM
> 612: Binary Operation Emulation and Continuation 1  9/7/15  4:35PM
> 613: Optimal Function Theory 1  9/13/15  11:30AM
> 614: Adventures in Formalization 1  9/14/15  1:43PM
> 615: Adventures in Formalization 2  9/14/15  1:44PM
> 616: Adventures in Formalization 3  9/14/15  1:45PM
> 617: Removing Connectives 1  9/115/15  7:47AM
> 618: Adventures in Formalization 4  9/15/15  3:07PM
> 619: Nonstandardism 1  9/17/15  9:57AM
> 620: Nonstandardism 2  9/18/15  2:12AM
> 621: Adventures in Formalization  5  9/18/15  12:54PM
> 622: Adventures in Formalization 6  9/29/15  3:33AM
> 623: Optimal Function Theory 2  9/22/15  12:02AM
> 624: Optimal Function Theory 3  9/22/15  11:18AM
> 625: Optimal Function Theory 4  9/23/15  10:16PM
> 626: Optimal Function Theory 5  9/2515  10:26PM
> 627: Optimal Function Theory 6  9/29/15  2:21AM
> 628: Optimal Function Theory 7  10/2/15  6:23PM
>
> Harvey Friedman
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