Bertrand Russell
Thinking hard, or hardly thinking? 
Major trains of thought 
The good, the bad and the brain fart 
Come to think of it 
“”The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

—Bertrand Russell, Mortals and Others 
Bertrand "Bertie" Russell (1872—1970) was a British mathematician, liberal, pacifist, socialist,^{[1]} philosopher and logician. He also wrote books and essays for popular audiences; a good many of these were full of his signature snark about religion. Russell's Teapot is a good example of this. Along with Gottlob Frege and Ludwig Wittgenstein, he is considered one of the founders of modern analytic philosophy^{} and one of the greatest logicians of the 20th century.
Contents 
[edit] Mathematics
He coauthored Principia Mathematica with A. N. Whitehead (not to be confused with Isaac Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica), which attempted to use symbolic logic to derive mathematics from basic axioms (1+1=2 is proved in Volume II). It is highly regarded by many mathematicians, but is pretty unreadable unless you have a brain the size of a planet, or no life (and that's still no guarantee). The book was an attempt to make Hilbert's Program a reality by its use of a finite and small set of axioms with which one could (in principle) derive all of modern mathematics. PM is essentially an attempt to make all of mathematics constructive.
Austrian logician Kurt Gödel eventually proved that PM is incomplete, which means that it does not have the ability to produce theorems that prove everything within its particular domain (all of mathematics in this case). The reason for this was essentially that Russell and Whitehead overlooked metamathematics, and did not believe (or it did not ever occur to them) that their system could be used to reason about metamathematical concepts. Gödel observed that you could in fact use PM with metamathematics, and he promptly invented Gödelnumbering, which allows one to prove things about PM itself in PM. Contrary to popular belief, he did not prove that it was "wrong", "inconsistent", "useless", or any other adjective that implies incorrect.
[edit] Other stuff
Russell's crowning achievement was having the character of Professor Yaffle from the much loved UK children's television series Bagpuss^{} modelled on him.
On a slightly less positive note, Russell also was a JFK conspiracy theorist, who did not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the killer.^{[2]} However, he was over ninety years old when Kennedy was killed so let's cut him some slack.
[edit] Wellknown publications
 History of Western Philosophy (1946)
 Why I Am Not a Christian (1929)
[edit] See also
[edit] External links
 Bertie's Principia Mathematica^{} from Wikipedia
 The Theologian's Nightmare, science fiction by Bertrand Russell
 Slides talking about the constructivism in PM
 Bertrand Russell Stanford Encyclopedia on Bertrand Russell
 Bertrand Russell
 In Praise of Idleness, Bertrand Russell's famous essay on economics and socialism.
 Bertrand Russell Discusses Mankind's Future (1960)