RE: virus: maxims and ground rules and suppositions

TheHermit (
Wed, 12 May 1999 14:11:53 -0500

I think we should hold off on the maxim business and explore the fringes of the statement first. I started off unhappy about the "supposition". But this discussion with you has left me positively convinced that the entire maxim is fundamentally flawed.

Tim, I think I have met your request. You did not preclude the use of other reference frames in your request - only that I avoid "waveform and length". To cavail now about context is grossly unfair. Especialy as the next stage would be to look at electron volt quantum energy levels - which is of course where the energy level I used and discernable "blue" come from - and I could have followed that by Hgamma - which is the spectral line which defines blue as an energy level in the Hydrogen Spectrum. I could also define blue as an absence of Red and Green in the primary additive environment e.g. Blue = B1,R0,G0" or even as "B1Y0" or in an almost infinite variety of other ways.

I started using "Blue" simply because a few people, you included, seemed fixated by the use of symbolic logic and I thought that providing a concrete example might help avoid the difficulties that my use of a statement about the nature of the equivalence operator seemed to be generating. As it is, if I had been planning to demonstrate truth without using a reference frame, I would have started with a different set of examples. Which I now will attempt. The fact that I was able to respond to your requests at all, is because everything "real" has complex interrelationships - which I exploited. Which brings us back to: "All statements of truth are embedded a particular frame of reference from which they cannot be separated without becoming suppositions." The "frame of reference" for my "Blue period" is the reality of the universe and the nature of "Blue". It has nothing to do with the actual notation used to denote an attribute of blue.

I am going to try to remove the "frame of reference" e.g. Joules, that you so object to, and using just the universe's attributes still provide "statements of truth". The "useful" statements I made about "Blue", are so tied into the fabric of our universe that no matter where I looked they crept out. Few people would recognise the numbers I gave as being "blue" without help - a context if you would. Yet if I had removed the "J" from this last statement - thus "Blue=4.1684x10^-19" - and seeing as you seem to imagine there is something "special" about exponential notation, perhaps "Blue=0.000 000 000 000 000 000 416 840", the essential truth remains that that energy level represented is only available from a "blue photon". I would suggest that the notation is largely irrelevant. That to all intents and purposes, "Blue" provided the context. To claim that notation forces context or meaning in a general sense means that you are attempting to isolate your notation from the real world - and then attempting to make your notation more significant than the thing you are describing. In every logic system I know of, that would be regarded as a fairly significant confusion of cause and effect. Value is the defining limit - not the form that is used to describe the value. There is nothing "special" about any one number, rational or irrational in the base 10 system (or any other base). There are special things about the values that those numbers represent. For example, a few statements that I think are "useful and truthful" follow...




I have used base 10 simply because that is how most people will recognize them. But using some other base or even using completely different symbols will not alter their values. These numbers (and patterns) crop up over and over again, and so, most engineers, mathematicians, statisticians and scientists will recognize them on sight. A few of them are so common as to be recognizable to most educated people. Because most of them are irrationals, they are recognizable by value, whether qualified or not. Some of them are so global that they are more easily recognized without qualifiers.

As another example, Computer Engineers will probably recognise 0x55 and 0xee as being special. Although if you show them 85 and 238 they might not recognise them immediately, even though they still have the same value. And anybody, seeing them in binary, will immediately recognise them as being "different".

So, if you agree with me that these digit sequences (numbers and progressions) are "useful truths" in that they denote certain "special" values tied into the fabric of the universe or the nature of numbers, and that they remain "useful truths" without a particular "frame of reference", then we need to look again at the postulated maxim.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of Tim Rhodes
> Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 1999 11:56 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: maxims and ground rules and suppositions
> 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