Re: virus: maxims and ground rules and suppositions

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 12 May 1999 09:56:02 -0700

TheHermit wrote:

>Blue=4.1684x10^-19 J

Can you see how this one needs not only an outside reference to joules (which brings with it work and energy and basically every principle in physics from mass on up to James Joules namesake), but it also requires a knowledge of scientific notation--which is itself a reference to exponents and mathematical powers--before this statement can even begin to have any meaning whatsoever?

But my point was never about wavelength, per se. Rather about the fact that any meaningful statement about the world is embedded in a lattice of context from which it can not be removed without loosing its informational value.

"Blue=Blue" was closer to the mark in this regard, but its informational value drops very close to zero at this point, doesn't it? Saying nothing anymore about light or color or energy, and at best conferring as much information as the even more simple statement "Blue." (Yes, it does confer some data about self-referential equivalence. But only as a definition of "=", which is really just an act of naming properties in the universe rather than that of describing them. "Blue}/*&@^fart^@*%\{Blue" is equal in its objective truth to "Blue=Blue" in this regard. (Except it is defining the operator "}/*%@^fart^@*%\{" instead.))

But since it seems your real problem with the statement:

>> All statements of truth are embedded a particular frame of
>> reference from which they cannot be separated without becoming
>> suppositions.

was with the word "supposition", can I ask, why are we even having this conversation at all?

More to the point: Would you care to offer another word (or words) that could take the place of "supposition" while retaining the intent of the statement above? A word that might make this bandersnatch acceptable to you and yours?

-Prof. Tim