Re: virus: maxims and ground rules

psypher (
Wed, 12 May 1999 23:42:22 -0400 (EDT)

> Thanks man. I could be wrong (I haven't checked) but I suspect that
> "blue" at 475nm is pretty universal as that is the color of the
> Hgamma line - which by a curious coincedence (Not!) just happens to
> be the color of the sky. I tend to agree re attributes and
> boundaries. Attributes are how we split things up into sets. People
> with an inadequate grasp of set theory seem to assume that because
> something falls into a particular set, that it is precluded from
> being in other sets.... set boundaries are only world-boundaries for
> the petty minded. @ 475 nm is universal to a species that experiences the electromagnetic spectrum as we do. Beings with our sensory apparatus could hardly perceive a more salient stimulus than the colour of the sky, but a hypothetical being with a different apparatus for sensing and interpreting electromagnetic phenomena might not make the same distinction. don't really have to go all that far to encounter these theoretical beings. Certain tropically-dwelling people divide the colour realm into two or three simple categories and do not make meaningful distinctions outside these categories - eg. all our subtle distinctions of blue might fall into a batch set of "white colours" for 'em, and the sky loses its salience because they rarely see it through the canopy. [If anyone insists that I drag up references for this assertion and not base my argument on "certain tropically dwelling people" who shall remain nameless I'll do it]. ...Anyhow, taking that into account and looking at the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (which proposes that linguistic structures form boundaries to what can be considered real - and yes, I'm paraphrasing) we can see that the distincions on which the statement

blue=475 nm

rests are based on a certain conceptualization of the world and the role of people in it.'s the same with any other assertion of truth. Hopefully I addressed this concern with my reformulation in another post, please let me know. far as Spengler goes:

'...we must first be clear as to what culture IS, what its relations are to visible history, to life, to soul, to nature, to intillect, what the forms of its manifestation are and how far these forms - peoples, tongues and epochs, battles and ideas, states and gods, arts and craft-works, sciences, laws, economic types and world ideas, great men and great events - may be accepted and pointed to as symbols.'

-[sounds awfully virian to me]

With all rigour I distinguish (as to form, not substance) the organic from the mechanical world-impression, the content of images from that of laws, the picture and symbol from the formula and the system, the instantly actual from the constantly possible, the intents and purposes of imagination according to plan from the intents and purposes of experience dissecting according to scheme; and -...- the domain of CHRONOLOGICAL from that of MATHEMATICAL number.'

-[emphasis mine]

'Number is the symbol of causal necessity. Like the conception of God, it contains the ultimate meaning of the world-as-nature. The existence of numbers may therefore be called a mystery, and the religious thought of every culture has felt their impress.'

-[we certainly seem to have :) ]

-psypher Fastmail's Free web based email for Canadians