Every aspect of our lives has been transformed by the invention of general-purpose programmable computers. As a result, it's tempting to believe that computers can solve any logical or mathematical problem; that if we throw enough time, money and nerds at a question, we can produce a program which answers it.
Unfortunately the universe is never that convenient. There are hard theoretical limits on what programs are capable of doing, and there will always be straightforward problems which are impossible for any computer to solve.
This talk uses Ruby to tell a nail-biting, math-free story about the source of a computer's power, the inevitable drawbacks of that power, and the impossible programs which lie at the heart of uncomputability.