RE: Final on this from the Hermit for now was RE: virus: maxims and ground rules and suppositions

Richard Brodie (
Wed, 19 May 1999 02:20:47 +0200


<<Go study. There are many good teachers in the world. Most of them will
disagree with you, many will disagree with me. Find the ones you disagree with most and start learning.>>

Do you take your own advice on this? Do you realize that there are people here who understand philosophy, Aristotle, set theory, and Occam's Razor quite well and yet still think they have something to contribute to YOU?

<<Hint 1: You are seeing a perfect circle every time you look at the
of a circle. It is only "quantitized" in so far as you want to make it so. Our descriptive function is linear, but it functions perfectly "usefully" in the "quantitized" world. A few years ago a physical circle might have been out by a couple of angstrom. Now we move electrons on the surface of atoms. And a Euclidean plane drawn through that cloud can yield a perfect circle.>>

The only sense I can make of this is that you are asserting that the idea of circle is invoked in my mind when I see an approximation of a circle. But this still leaves me with the assertion that perfect circles do not physically exist. With regards to subatomic particles, your explanation was vague about how they could be considered a circle, but by your argument that the absence of something is something, the nonexistence of God would be proof of the existence of God.

<<Space-time is. It does not require "understanding". It does not require
"proper frames of reference". Space-time just is. Space-time needs no reference. Space-time needs no reason. Space-time is the reference. Without space-time the universe would not exist. It came into being with the Universe, and enforces the "nature" of the universe. Space-time is the reason for the universe and everything in it. Including circles. Which require Euclidean planes, and the concept of distance, and more than one dimension. Which are all properties of Space-time. That's it. Finis. No more.>>

Carl, do you have a distinction in your worldview between what physically exists and what humans name things? To me, the concept of distance, or circle, is not something with physical existence. It is a very obvious "Good Trick" in Dennett's sense.

<<There are words for

people who construct their own universi and believe that this then forces the "real universe" to bend to their will. Delusional is one that most people would think of. What do you think people will say?>>

One test of whether someone is delusional is how closely his results match his intentions. If he is deluded, he will make decisions based on bad concepts and therefore produce poor results.

A poll, either of the plebiscite or of philosophers, is not a useful way to determine delusion.

<<Why are what these symbols represent so important that
every country that has produced mathematicians have a symbol (often different) for this value?>>

Why is God so important that every culture (even ones without mathematicians) have a symbol (often different) for this entity?

Both the idea of Pi and the idea of God are Good Tricks.

<<The universe provides a

background for the Snark, even if it does not make sense to you. But if you read the rules, "What I tell you three times is true" then it provides itself a context and becomes completely "logical" in the strictest (definitional) sense. The universe does the same for circles. It does not need you to say that "C-I-R-C-L-E" the sound or visual picture of "C-I-R-C-L-E" means "a sequence on a Euclidean plane of contiguous points bounding an area at a constant distance from an imaginary locus" or any other definition. If you follow the recipe in /i "our real space-time" /i then you will create a "circle" If you come across a thing with the attributes of a circle, in another universe, even if it is hiding under some other name, like "The Snark" then you will know that in that locality in that universe, space-time functions similarly to ours.>>

This is a very good description of Dennett's "Good Tricks."

<<Saying that the "thing with attributes", called "circle" is the "circle"
takes you directly back to mysticism. Why not call it a "god" and stop asking questions altogether? The "thing" with the attributes of a "circle" is "useful" to us in our "real space-time" (it would not be "useful" in many others) and as such, we have named the "things which closely (usefully) approach or match the definition (have the attributes) of a circle", "circles". >>

This is exactly right. But then you go astray...

<<But "things with the attributes of circles" exist no matter what
you call them.>>

No, they don't. We recognize things that have close approximations of the attributes of circles and find it useful to apply the laws of circles to them for our own purposes. No circles exist in physical reality.

The flaw in your syllogism is an equivocation on the word "universe." Sometimes you use it to mean the formal mathematical definition of the set of all sets; other times you use it to mean physical reality. Your assumption that they are the same thing is unquestioned and the resulting non sequitur falsifies your theorem.

<<1 All possible universii may be included in a set or sets (axiomatic set
theory: definitional antecedent).
2 No possible set can exist without being included in itself and in the "Universal set" of "universal sets" providing a "context" for that set(axiomatic set theory: definitional antecedent) 3 The "real" Universe is a possible universe (Universe: definitional antecedent)
4 Nothing which is not in a universe can interact with that universe (axiomatic set theory: definitional antecedent).

5 All possible universii are included in the "Universal set" of "universal sets" (axiomatic set theory: logical consequent from 1 and 2) 6 The "real" Universe is included in the "Universal set" of "universal sets" (axiomatic set theory: logical consequent B from 5 and 3) 7 The "Universal set" of "universal sets" contains (interacts with) the "real" Universe (mp 5 and 6)
8 The "real" Universe contains the "Universal set" of "universal sets" (mp 4 and 7)
9 All possible sets are included in the "Universal set" of "universal sets" (restatement of 2)
10 All possible sets are included in the "real" universe. (axiomatic restatement of 2 and imp from 8)
11 All possible universii are included in the "real" Universe. (axiomatic restatement of 1 imp from 10)>>

I hope I have not been too critical, but at this point in the pressure cooker I really think you are ready to have a breakthrough to level 3 like Eric had last year and Reed the year before that.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme" Free newsletter!