f



"Shared" procedure division code

As a follow up on another thread ....

It seems to me that the most common place where I *used* to see the same source 
code (paragraph/section) repeated within a single program was in OLDER (IBM) 
CICS code where "locality of code" was an issue.  That was that it was important 
that the application not need to "page in and out" sections of machine code 
depending upon application logic flow. Although this is still a MINOR 
consideration in that (and possibly other) environments, I don't know where it 
happens with NEW code today.  However, in that older code, it was (medium) 
common to see the same (differently named) paragraph/section "near" multiple 
places in the program logic where it could be needed.

This was also one of the few places that I have ever seen (again infrequent - 
but occasionally) COPY statements within a paragraph, e.g.  (CAPS and '74 
Standard code)

PARA1.
    IF XYZ
       PERFORM PARA2
    ELSE
       PERFORM PARA3
     .
     PERFORM PARA4
     PERFORM WINDUP
       .
PARA2.
    lots of logic here
    IF XXX
        PERFORM PARA5-1
     .
    more logic
      .
PARA5-1.
       COPY P5LOGIC.
           .
PARA3.
     some logic - more than "one page" of memory required
       .
PARA4.
    lots of logic here
    IF XXX
        PERFORM PARA5-2
     .
    more logic
      .
PARA5-2
       COPY P5LOGIC.
           .

***

With this "copy in procedure division" approach one could "physically" store 
common source code in a single place - but also have "locality of code" for the 
generated machine code.

I neither recommend this approach nor (personally) know of any reason to use it 
in today's computing environment, but did think it was worth mentioning (both 
for the "use of duplicated code" and the solution to "maintenance of such code")


-- 
Bill Klein
 wmklein <at> ix.netcom.com 


0
wmklein (2605)
7/20/2005 10:23:48 PM
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"William M. Klein" <wmklein@nospam.netcom.com> wrote in message 
news:T9ADe.499087$3V6.422305@fe04.news.easynews.com...
> As a follow up on another thread ....
>
> It seems to me that the most common place where I *used* to see the same 
> source code (paragraph/section) repeated within a single program was in 
> OLDER (IBM) CICS code where "locality of code" was an issue.  That was 
> that it was important that the application not need to "page in and out" 
> sections of machine code depending upon application logic flow. Although 
> this is still a MINOR consideration in that (and possibly other) 
> environments, I don't know where it happens with NEW code today.

    With regard to "new code" (and not nescessarily just COBOL, but for 
programming in genenral), the advice I typically hear is don't try to 
outsmart the compiler. Rather, one should write their code in such a way as 
to make it as easy to understand as possible so that the compiler itself can 
figure out what you're trying to do, and optimize appropriately (of course, 
this assumes you're programming in some language for which code analysis is 
easier ;)).

    A lot of people who claim to optimize don't bother to actually profile 
their code to find out what parts of the program are running slowly, or even 
whether or not their "optimizations" haven't actually made the program run 
MORE slowly.

    If it turns out you ARE smarter than the compiler, you should contribute 
your ideas to the compiler developers (this is easier if you're using an 
open source compiler), so that you can then write your code clearly, and 
still have it perform just as fast as had you optimized it directly.

    The only situations I can think of where it might be desirable to do 
manual optimizations is for environments where the compilers haven't matured 
enough to actually accept optimization contributions even if you had them 
(e.g. compilers for cell phone, or "smart refrigerators", and things that 
have only recently become programmable).

    - Oliver 


0
owong (6177)
7/21/2005 1:32:20 PM
William M. Klein wrote:
> As a follow up on another thread ....
> This was also one of the few places that I have ever seen (again
> infrequent - but occasionally) COPY statements within a paragraph,
> e.g.  (CAPS and '74 Standard code)

We have a fair-sized DECLARATIVES section to handle file error conditions.

Otherwise, your point is well taken. 


-1
heybubNOSPAM (643)
7/22/2005 12:37:08 AM
> I neither recommend this approach nor (personally) know of any reason to use it
> in today's computing environment, but did think it was worth mentioning (both
> for the "use of duplicated code" and the solution to "maintenance of such code")

Maintenance of the code is the big reason to use such code.

If you have a routine that works and is used by a number of different
programs, putting it in a copybook is the quickest and easiest way to
stream line the maintenance. However If it starts getting to big there
is the question of making it it's own sub program.

0
7/26/2005 4:17:22 PM
> I neither recommend this approach nor (personally) know of any reason to use it
> in today's computing environment, but did think it was worth mentioning (both
> for the "use of duplicated code" and the solution to "maintenance of such code")

Maintenance of the code is the big reason to use such code.

If you have a routine that works and is used by a number of different
programs, putting it in a copybook is the quickest and easiest way to
stream line the maintenance. However If it starts getting to big there
is the question of making it it's own sub program.

0
7/26/2005 4:17:28 PM
"Caederus" <davidburnham@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1122394642.142312.250340@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>> I neither recommend this approach nor (personally) know of any reason to 
>> use it
>> in today's computing environment, but did think it was worth mentioning 
>> (both
>> for the "use of duplicated code" and the solution to "maintenance of such 
>> code")
>
> Maintenance of the code is the big reason to use such code.
>
> If you have a routine that works and is used by a number of different
> programs, putting it in a copybook is the quickest and easiest way to
> stream line the maintenance. However If it starts getting to big there
> is the question of making it it's own sub program.

    I think the issue Bill was trying to point out was that the code was 
inlined, or COPYed in two (or more) locations. If it were merely an issue of 
having correct code, and not wanting to touch that code for fear of breaking 
it, the code could have been put in a paragraph, and COPYed onced, and to 
simply PERFORM that paragraph.

    - Oliver 


0
owong (6177)
7/26/2005 9:51:04 PM
 

"William M. Klein" <wmklein@nospam.netcom.com> wrote in message 
news:T9ADe.499087$3V6.422305@fe04.news.easynews.com...
> As a follow up on another thread ....
>
> It seems to me that the most common place where I *used* to see the same 
> source
> code (paragraph/section) repeated within a single program was in OLDER 
> (IBM)
> CICS code where "locality of code" was an issue.  That was that it was 
> important
> that the application not need to "page in and out" sections of machine 
> code
> depending upon application logic flow. Although this is still a MINOR
> consideration in that (and possibly other) environments, I don't know 
> where it
> happens with NEW code today.  However, in that older code, it was (medium)
> common to see the same (differently named) paragraph/section "near" 
> multiple
> places in the program logic where it could be needed.
>
> This was also one of the few places that I have ever seen (again 
> infrequent -
> but occasionally) COPY statements within a paragraph, e.g.  (CAPS and '74
> Standard code)
>
> PARA1.
>    IF XYZ
>       PERFORM PARA2
>    ELSE
>       PERFORM PARA3
>     .
>     PERFORM PARA4
>     PERFORM WINDUP
>       .
> PARA2.
>    lots of logic here
>    IF XXX
>        PERFORM PARA5-1
>     .
>    more logic
>      .
> PARA5-1.
>       COPY P5LOGIC.
>           .
> PARA3.
>     some logic - more than "one page" of memory required
>       .
> PARA4.
>    lots of logic here
>    IF XXX
>        PERFORM PARA5-2
>     .
>    more logic
>      .
> PARA5-2
>       COPY P5LOGIC.
>           .
>
> ***
>
> With this "copy in procedure division" approach one could "physically" 
> store
> common source code in a single place - but also have "locality of code" 
> for the
> generated machine code.
>
> I neither recommend this approach nor (personally) know of any reason to 
> use it
> in today's computing environment, but did think it was worth mentioning 
> (both
> for the "use of duplicated code" and the solution to "maintenance of such 
> code")
>

Bill, I know you don't condone this and I don't want to shoot the messenger, 
but this is the biggest load of bollocks I have ever seen posted here, and I 
have seen some good ones...

There is not and never has been any way you  can guarantee 'locality of 
code' by duplicating procedure code, whether you copy it or not. You cannot 
know where the page boundaries are in generated code, by looking at source 
code, without a huge amount of effort, and even if you did, the first time 
you amend it, they are likely to change. The best you can hope for is to 
increase the probability of code sharing a virtual page, and even if you do, 
it doesn't matter by any amount of significance.

It is based on an assumption that was 'urban myth' when Virtual Storage was 
first invented. Prior to VS it was common practice for COBOL programmers to 
write their main line and place performed code into subroutines after the 
mainline. (Some people still do this; it doesn't impact performance and it 
never has...)

The 'myth' seemed quite logical and I was persuaded by it at the time. If 
the new Virtual system was paging the code into 4K blocks it would have to 
do a heap of paging to get to the subroutines that were physically removed 
from the mainline. The theory was that the system would encounter a perform 
and start paging through the mainline to get to the subroutines. It would be 
much more efficient if the performed code was somewhere near to the place it 
was performed. (Less paging). Some people went even further and started 
duplicating code using COPY, exactly as you describe (I saw it too, in the 
late 60s/early 70s after VS was released.) The reasoning was that this would 
minimise paging. But the reasoning was flawed for the following reasons:

1. If there was memory available NO paging took place even in a VS 
environment. (So the duplicated code simply gave you less chance of getting 
your program loaded in the first place.)
2. The paging algorithm was not sequential and did NOT page through the 
program to get to virtual addresses that were already resident. In fact, the 
algorithm was much smarter than us COBOL programmers, and once something was 
resident it stayed there until it really needed to go. (I once had it 
explained to me by a Hungarian Mathematician who was also a Chess Grand 
Master. It wasn't even as simple as 'least frequently used' being paged out 
(which I believe is how the Windows Swap File works...))
3. The duplicated code was more problematic in increasing load time (and 
paging) than it was succesful in optimizimg performance.
4. As much faster paging devices became available, the whole question became 
more academic and these days it would be rare (and, in my opinion, stupid) 
to see people in CICS environments still using this practice.

I realise you were documenting something that is historic fact, but it would 
be wrong for people reading this to think it is good practice and 
reincarnate a stupid practice that was buried in the 70s. In today's 
environment this is irrelevant.

My personal preference is to encapsulate functionality into components that 
can be shared from one location (by a .dll, suitably wrapped for the 
environment). In environments that don't support this (like the mainframe), 
called subroutines have to be a better solution than duplicated source.

I covered all of this in:  http://66.152.52.10/archives/v3/v30201.asp and 
http://66.152.52.10/archives/v5/v50101.asp where I also discuss the pros and 
cons of called modules vs components.

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
7/27/2005 11:34:57 AM
"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3kp9r4Fvcc0pU2@individual.net...

> It is based on an assumption that was 'urban myth' when Virtual Storage
was
> first invented.

From the Unisys History Newsletter, Vol. 3 #5 (10/1999), available through a
search of "Burroughs virtual memory" on the internet:

"IBM's 1972 announcement of virtual storage for its large 370 series
machines was taken by Burroughs as validation of the virtual memory concept.
The company held a well-publicized tenth birthday party for the B5000 at the
old ElectroData plant in Pasadena, where a B5500 (which had been rebuilt
from a B5000) was still in operation. By the early 1970s, both the large and
medium Burroughs computers had inspired a high degree of loyalty among their
users, who were proud of the advanced features incorporated in the Burroughs
architecture. It would still be several more years before IBM really moved
into multiprocessing, while it was commonplace to Burroughs users. "

Have you checked your forehead lately?  Sounds to me like a blue-ink tattoo
of three block letters thereupon might be starting to show through!    ;-)

>Prior to VS it was common practice for COBOL programmers to
> write their main line and place performed code into subroutines after the
> mainline.

It was common practice on the B5000 and is still common practice on its
descendants, if you're talking about paragraphs and sections, as distinct
from ANSI-85 "nested programs", which of course weren't available in
standard COBOL until something like thirteen years after the introduction of
Virtual Memory on the IBM S/370 (and twenty-three or more years after the
introduction of Virtual Memory on the Burroughs B5000).

>(Some people still do this; it doesn't impact performance and it
> never has...)

Some people do this, and whether it impacts performance or not depends on
the architecture of the system and where the code segment boundaries fall.

It may never have impacted performance on the systems with which you are
most familiar, but because something is true for a subset of the universe
does not make it universally true; ditto for false!

> The 'myth' seemed quite logical and I was persuaded by it at the time.

I still am, actually, to a degree, particularly if a segment boundary falls
within a critical path in the program.

> If
> the new Virtual system was paging the code into 4K blocks it would have to
> do a heap of paging to get to the subroutines that were physically removed
> from the mainline.

Our experiments showed that in an era in which memory was a precious
commodity arbitrary-length data paging combined with unmodifiable object
code led to a *much* higher virtual-to-real ratio than was practical on
fixed-page virtual memory architectures.   I am not convinced that what you
describe as the "new Virtual system" is somehow more advanced or
fundamentally more efficient than what the B5000 had a decade before.

> The theory was that the system would encounter a perform
> and start paging through the mainline to get to the subroutines. It would
be
> much more efficient if the performed code was somewhere near to the place
it
> was performed. (Less paging).

That may be the theory on certain Virtual Memory systems, but it does not
apply to all.

> 1. If there was memory available NO paging took place even in a VS
> environment. (So the duplicated code simply gave you less chance of
getting
> your program loaded in the first place.)

If there was -- and is -- memory available, a code segment is loaded when it
is first touched, just as is true when memory is not available.  If there
isn't memory available there's a good chance the code will be marked absent
and will have to be reloaded.

> I realise you were documenting something that is historic fact, but it
would
> be wrong for people reading this to think it is good practice and
> reincarnate a stupid practice that was buried in the 70s. In today's
> environment this is irrelevant.

While I understand your arguments about repeating code in a program, in the
broader sense there are practices that you might deem irrelevant in the
machines *you* work on, but that might have significant benefit for machines
*others* work on.  To dismiss out of hand that with which you are not
familiar because it is irrelevant *to you* is one thing; to proclaim it more
universally irrelevant quite another.

> My personal preference is to encapsulate functionality into components
that
> can be shared from one location (by a .dll, suitably wrapped for the
> environment). In environments that don't support this (like the
mainframe),
> called subroutines have to be a better solution than duplicated source.

By "called subroutines" do you mean nested programs, separately-compiled
programs, or PERFORMed paragraphs/sections?

> I covered all of this in:  http://66.152.52.10/archives/v3/v30201.asp and
> http://66.152.52.10/archives/v5/v50101.asp where I also discuss the pros
and
> cons of called modules vs components.

Ah.  That puts us into the OO model, and I don't have a quarrel with that
approach to application design.  I think it more an efficient approach to
the *design* process (just as Structured Programming is viewed as an
improvement over "spaghetti") bement , but I think it more than anything
else an appropach  to *design* for its own sake than an approach that will
always and everywhere produce applications that consume fewer resources at
execution time compared to all competitive design approaches.

But have you verified the efficacy of all of these conclusions on, oh, say,
a large Unisys ClearPathPlus Libra 580 system?   On such a system, it's
probable that a monolithic one-megaline COBOL program will outperform a
hundred 10K-line COBOL programs doing the same thing (regardless of whether
memory is constrained on the system or not).  And how code is arranged in
the program may impact its efficiency, whether it's one of the 10K line
programs or the monolithic monster.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
7/27/2005 3:10:07 PM
 
Oh Dear! I pressed a button... sorry Chuck.

Yes, my post was intended for IBMers. In future I'll make that clear.

And, within THAT universe my comments were general.

It was implicit  (I thought) because I was responding to a post from Bill 
Klein.

I did not mean to denigrate Unisys by implication and if Burroughs were into 
virtual storage 10 years sooner than IBM, well , good for them. I worked on 
B500 which did not employ it.

Probably because of your annoyance, you seem to have missed what I was 
getting at in places, but I have no intention of labouring it. Suffice to 
say I am aware that on occasions, large monolithic programs can run faster 
than many smaller ones; that is why I was careful to specify the environment 
I'm talking about. (The discussion was specific to CICS and IBM environments 
that are doing online processing, not batch...)

Everything I want to say about this I said already in the two linked 
articles.

If you have issues with what is stated there, I might be prepared to 
respond... (then again, I might not... I'm getting pretty laid back about 
programming these days...:-))

Pete.

TOP POST No more below.

"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message 
news:dc8854$4gp$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
>
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:3kp9r4Fvcc0pU2@individual.net...
>
>> It is based on an assumption that was 'urban myth' when Virtual Storage
> was
>> first invented.
>
> From the Unisys History Newsletter, Vol. 3 #5 (10/1999), available through 
> a
> search of "Burroughs virtual memory" on the internet:
>
> "IBM's 1972 announcement of virtual storage for its large 370 series
> machines was taken by Burroughs as validation of the virtual memory 
> concept.
> The company held a well-publicized tenth birthday party for the B5000 at 
> the
> old ElectroData plant in Pasadena, where a B5500 (which had been rebuilt
> from a B5000) was still in operation. By the early 1970s, both the large 
> and
> medium Burroughs computers had inspired a high degree of loyalty among 
> their
> users, who were proud of the advanced features incorporated in the 
> Burroughs
> architecture. It would still be several more years before IBM really moved
> into multiprocessing, while it was commonplace to Burroughs users. "
>
> Have you checked your forehead lately?  Sounds to me like a blue-ink 
> tattoo
> of three block letters thereupon might be starting to show through!    ;-)
>
>>Prior to VS it was common practice for COBOL programmers to
>> write their main line and place performed code into subroutines after the
>> mainline.
>
> It was common practice on the B5000 and is still common practice on its
> descendants, if you're talking about paragraphs and sections, as distinct
> from ANSI-85 "nested programs", which of course weren't available in
> standard COBOL until something like thirteen years after the introduction 
> of
> Virtual Memory on the IBM S/370 (and twenty-three or more years after the
> introduction of Virtual Memory on the Burroughs B5000).
>
>>(Some people still do this; it doesn't impact performance and it
>> never has...)
>
> Some people do this, and whether it impacts performance or not depends on
> the architecture of the system and where the code segment boundaries fall.
>
> It may never have impacted performance on the systems with which you are
> most familiar, but because something is true for a subset of the universe
> does not make it universally true; ditto for false!
>
>> The 'myth' seemed quite logical and I was persuaded by it at the time.
>
> I still am, actually, to a degree, particularly if a segment boundary 
> falls
> within a critical path in the program.
>
>> If
>> the new Virtual system was paging the code into 4K blocks it would have 
>> to
>> do a heap of paging to get to the subroutines that were physically 
>> removed
>> from the mainline.
>
> Our experiments showed that in an era in which memory was a precious
> commodity arbitrary-length data paging combined with unmodifiable object
> code led to a *much* higher virtual-to-real ratio than was practical on
> fixed-page virtual memory architectures.   I am not convinced that what 
> you
> describe as the "new Virtual system" is somehow more advanced or
> fundamentally more efficient than what the B5000 had a decade before.
>
>> The theory was that the system would encounter a perform
>> and start paging through the mainline to get to the subroutines. It would
> be
>> much more efficient if the performed code was somewhere near to the place
> it
>> was performed. (Less paging).
>
> That may be the theory on certain Virtual Memory systems, but it does not
> apply to all.
>
>> 1. If there was memory available NO paging took place even in a VS
>> environment. (So the duplicated code simply gave you less chance of
> getting
>> your program loaded in the first place.)
>
> If there was -- and is -- memory available, a code segment is loaded when 
> it
> is first touched, just as is true when memory is not available.  If there
> isn't memory available there's a good chance the code will be marked 
> absent
> and will have to be reloaded.
>
>> I realise you were documenting something that is historic fact, but it
> would
>> be wrong for people reading this to think it is good practice and
>> reincarnate a stupid practice that was buried in the 70s. In today's
>> environment this is irrelevant.
>
> While I understand your arguments about repeating code in a program, in 
> the
> broader sense there are practices that you might deem irrelevant in the
> machines *you* work on, but that might have significant benefit for 
> machines
> *others* work on.  To dismiss out of hand that with which you are not
> familiar because it is irrelevant *to you* is one thing; to proclaim it 
> more
> universally irrelevant quite another.
>
>> My personal preference is to encapsulate functionality into components
> that
>> can be shared from one location (by a .dll, suitably wrapped for the
>> environment). In environments that don't support this (like the
> mainframe),
>> called subroutines have to be a better solution than duplicated source.
>
> By "called subroutines" do you mean nested programs, separately-compiled
> programs, or PERFORMed paragraphs/sections?
>
>> I covered all of this in:  http://66.152.52.10/archives/v3/v30201.asp and
>> http://66.152.52.10/archives/v5/v50101.asp where I also discuss the pros
> and
>> cons of called modules vs components.
>
> Ah.  That puts us into the OO model, and I don't have a quarrel with that
> approach to application design.  I think it more an efficient approach to
> the *design* process (just as Structured Programming is viewed as an
> improvement over "spaghetti") bement , but I think it more than anything
> else an appropach  to *design* for its own sake than an approach that will
> always and everywhere produce applications that consume fewer resources at
> execution time compared to all competitive design approaches.
>
> But have you verified the efficacy of all of these conclusions on, oh, 
> say,
> a large Unisys ClearPathPlus Libra 580 system?   On such a system, it's
> probable that a monolithic one-megaline COBOL program will outperform a
> hundred 10K-line COBOL programs doing the same thing (regardless of 
> whether
> memory is constrained on the system or not).  And how code is arranged in
> the program may impact its efficiency, whether it's one of the 10K line
> programs or the monolithic monster.
>
>    -Chuck Stevens
>
>
> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
7/28/2005 12:45:49 PM
"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3ks2bvF100lu4U1@individual.net...

> Oh Dear! I pressed a button... sorry Chuck.

Well, yeah; the question is what does that button imply?

> Yes, my post was intended for IBMers. In future I'll make that clear.

I think it goes deeper than that.  You used phrases like "urban myth",
"reincarnate a stupid practice that was buried in the '70's" and "in today's
environment this is irrelevant".   Such categorizations *encourage others*
to limit their views to the IBM environment *and* to hold all other
environments in similar contempt.

> And, within THAT universe my comments were general.

Well, that's part of the problem.  Planetary system, maybe.  Galaxy,
arguably.  By definition there is but *one* universe, and the Unisys MCP
environment is part of that universe.

How do such things strike me?  Try this as a *reductio ad absurdum* example,
tongue planted firmly in cheek:

"After all, everybody who's anybody knows that there's been no excuse for
operating in any environment  in which it's inappropriate to align a packed
field (at either end) on anything but an 8-bit boundary, or to declare such
a field as unsigned, for at least 35 years.  Machines that impose or even
endorse such stupid practices and limitations should have been consigned to
the trash heap of history and are certainly irrelevant to any well-informed
professional in today's computer science environment, and any programmer who
thinks such conventions have any value whatever is clearly a dinosaur ... "

It's not just the fact that your remarks didn't include the explicit caveat
that they were limited *strictly* to a particular environment, it's the
categorical nature of your characterizations that bothered me, in and of
itself.  We've been through this a while back with Other Folk on this forum,
and I had some hope you wouldn't descend to that level of contemptuous
categorizations, particularly when there are clear exceptions ...

    -Chuck Stevens


0
7/28/2005 8:35:56 PM
 

"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message 
news:dcbfk4$2gbb$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
>
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:3ks2bvF100lu4U1@individual.net...
>
>> Oh Dear! I pressed a button... sorry Chuck.
>
> Well, yeah; the question is what does that button imply?
>
>> Yes, my post was intended for IBMers. In future I'll make that clear.
>
> I think it goes deeper than that.  You used phrases like "urban myth",
> "reincarnate a stupid practice that was buried in the '70's" and "in 
> today's
> environment this is irrelevant".   Such categorizations *encourage others*
> to limit their views to the IBM environment *and* to hold all other
> environments in similar contempt.

That's just silly. I already said my comments applied to the IBM 
environment. There is no question of contempt for other environments  (or 
even for the IBM one) and I believe you are so oversensitized on this issue 
it is affecting your judgement. I am not the enemy of Unisys (or any other 
company) and I have worked in most environments. I stand by the quoted 
comments above, within the stated context.
>
>> And, within THAT universe my comments were general.
>
> Well, that's part of the problem.  Planetary system, maybe.  Galaxy,
> arguably.  By definition there is but *one* universe, and the Unisys MCP
> environment is part of that universe.
>

It isn't if I choose to limit my comments to a particular environment. I 
would suggest that the Unisys MCP is your WHOLE universe and you are 
absolutely as quilty of what you accuse me of.

> How do such things strike me?  Try this as a *reductio ad absurdum* 
> example,
> tongue planted firmly in cheek:
>
> "After all, everybody who's anybody knows that there's been no excuse for
> operating in any environment  in which it's inappropriate to align a 
> packed
> field (at either end) on anything but an 8-bit boundary, or to declare 
> such
> a field as unsigned, for at least 35 years.  Machines that impose or even
> endorse such stupid practices and limitations should have been consigned 
> to
> the trash heap of history and are certainly irrelevant to any 
> well-informed
> professional in today's computer science environment, and any programmer 
> who
> thinks such conventions have any value whatever is clearly a dinosaur ... 
> "
>
I have never written anything even approaching that.

> It's not just the fact that your remarks didn't include the explicit 
> caveat
> that they were limited *strictly* to a particular environment, it's the
> categorical nature of your characterizations that bothered me, in and of
> itself.  We've been through this a while back with Other Folk on this 
> forum,
> and I had some hope you wouldn't descend to that level of contemptuous
> categorizations, particularly when there are clear exceptions ...
>
>    -Chuck Stevens
>
I do not have contempt for ANY environment. My post was strongly condemning 
a practice that was based on urban myth on the sites where I encountered it. 
It is personal experience. Everyone, including myself, accepted it. It 
wasn't until I was sat down with someone who knew the reality that the 
scales fell from my eyes.

I wouldn't like to see this practice resurging. That was the only reason I 
posted.

Interestingly, no one from ICL or Honeywell or NCR or any other major 
company that was around at the time has taken offence at this or considered 
my post contemptuous. Not even the IBMers who know what I'm talking about. 
That's because it wasn't.

It is very wrong of you to take anything I post as a personal attack or to 
conclude that I am showing contempt for anybody or anything.

I don't come here to denigrate companies or environments; not even by 
omission.

Think about your position.

Pete.



0
dashwood1 (2140)
7/28/2005 11:10:31 PM
"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3kt6vbFvvrqoU1@individual.net...

> That's just silly. I already said my comments applied to the IBM
> environment. There is no question of contempt for other environments  (or
> even for the IBM one) and I believe you are so oversensitized on this
issue
> it is affecting your judgement. I am not the enemy of Unisys (or any other
> company) and I have worked in most environments. I stand by the quoted
> comments above, within the stated context.

I wear two hats:  one in support of the Unisys MCP COBOL environments, and
one in support of the enhancement of the standard for COBOL.

One of the ways in which I believe users, and customers, can protect their
investment in their COBOL code is to do what they can to ensure that the
coding conventions in it are *not* specific to a particular vendor.  That's
one of the big reasons I choose to be involved with the standardization
process.  Coding conventions may be obviously vendor-specific, but sometimes
standard code can be written in such a way that it presumes a particular
implementation.  The latter can be very subtle.

> It isn't if I choose to limit my comments to a particular environment.

Well, you did that after the fact.  More importantly, although you responded
to a post that had a mention of "older (IBM) CICS code", your post limited
the context to IBM environments only in a few details.

I know you didn't use the following phrases, and I'm not accusing you of
that.  These are *my* examples of categorizations.  There's a big difference
among "everybody knows that ...", "everybody knows that in an <xyz>
environment  ..."  and "everybody in an <xyz> environment knows that ...".
The first two *invite* counterexamples which can almost certainly be found.
The third might actually be true (although I suspect counterexamples might
exist there as well), but if I am not a member of the specified subset I am
not qualified to know one way or another.

Although the first two aren't quite so bad as saying "When I wrote 'all
mainframes' I really meant 'all real mainframes' " or "When I wrote
'everybody knows' I should have written 'everybody who's anybody knows' ",
I'm not convinced any such generalizations are *entirely* and *inherently*
devoid of an edge of categorical contempt, intentional or otherwise.

> I
> would suggest that the Unisys MCP is your WHOLE universe and you are
> absolutely as quilty of what you accuse me of.

No; in fact I would argue that I tend more toward
*implementation-nonspecific* recommendations far more than Unisys
MCP-specific recommendations in this forum, precisely because the
Unisys-specific ones are implementation-specific and thus run counter to the
goal of protecting client investment.

To my intentionally absurd example, you responded:

> I have never written anything even approaching that.

And I don't think the phrases I cited earlier from your posting like "urban
myth", "doesn't impact performance and never has", "stupid practice that was
buried in the 70's" and "in today's environment this is irrelevant"  differ
all *that* much in categorical dismissiveness from phrases like "everybody
who's anybody", "no excuse", "stupid practices", "trash heap of history" and
so forth that I chose in that *reductio ad absurdum*.

The problem is, that example isn't all that absurd:  I have heard its almost
exact *opposite* from highly-paid (albeit newly-hired) and highly-placed
system analysts at a Unisys MCP site ("packed fields are always signed
internally and are always aligned at both ends on byte boundaries for
anything approaching reasonable performance, so that's why we changed all
our programs, and that means it's the fault of the Unisys MCP environment
that our programs use more memory and take more processor resources than
they used to before we changed it.").    See below for further discussion on
this particular case.

> I do not have contempt for ANY environment. My post was strongly
condemning
> a practice that was based on urban myth on the sites where I encountered
it.
> It is personal experience. Everyone, including myself, accepted it. It
> wasn't until I was sat down with someone who knew the reality that the
> scales fell from my eyes.

> I wouldn't like to see this practice resurging. That was the only reason I
> posted.

Actually, I don't think you *do* have contempt for particular environments.
But you have used what I believe is contemptuous terminology for practices
that, while of dubious merit in the environments in which you currently
operate, might be of less dubious -- or even positive -- merit in other
environments.  It's not that you don't like the practices, it's that you
dismissed their value in general (and then subsequently limited the
context).

> Interestingly, no one from ICL or Honeywell or NCR or any other major
> company that was around at the time has taken offence at this or
considered
> my post contemptuous. Not even the IBMers who know what I'm talking about.
> That's because it wasn't.

It may also be that the people who support ICL or Honeywell or NCR COBOL
compilers and support software aren't active participants in this forum.   I
have no say over the actions or inactions of those who do not make
themselves visible.

Moreover, I don't think you were contemptuous toward Unisys.  That wasn't my
point.  I think you used contemptuous language about practices that others
might find of positive merit on grounds which might, or might not, have
anything to do with the operating environment (IBM, Unisys, or anyone else).

Note that I maintain several software products whose origins lie firmly in
the era when appropriate code was as clever, and as obtuse, as possible.
These products remain very, very widely used.  Do I argue that they need to
be replaced by the latest technology?  No, I don't; that's not going to
happen.  I try to slay the dragons I find as I find them and bring pieces of
the code up to a modicum of legibility as I have time and resources to do
so.  Interestingly, I often do so with significant risk to the stability of
the products, which causes our customers grief.   The *product*, as far as
its end users go, was often better off before I modernized it until we got
it stable again.    Maintainability is but *one* aspect of a given piece of
software that might be considered in whether it is useful or not.

> It is very wrong of you to take anything I post as a personal attack or to
> conclude that I am showing contempt for anybody or anything.

I did not take it as a personal attack; I took it as an unqualified
expression of contempt against certain programming practices.  Words and
phrases like "stupid practice" and "irrelevant" *express* contempt.

> I don't come here to denigrate companies or environments; not even by
> omission.

That's good; I'm glad you clarified your intent.

> Think about your position.

I do that all the time, and in this instance I'm taking a position that
designing for portability, and for optimal performance on the widest
possible variety of platforms, is a primary goal.

Going back to my packed-decimal example, one of the biggest performance
problems that our client encountered was the result of changing a whole
passel of PIC 9 PACKED-DECIMAL items that were used solely as Boolean flags
to PIC S9 PACKED-DECIMAL.  Comparisons of the former could reasonably be
done "bitwise" in our environment; the latter were handled numerically and
were quite a bit less efficient.    My recommendation, *in the interests of
portability as well as maximized performance on the widest variety of
platforms*, was to switch to PIC 9 DISPLAY or even PIC X DISPLAY, neither of
which occupied any more (or less) space than the signed PACKED-DECIMAL
encoding.  I do not know whether the client followed my recommendation.  My
"Unisys-only" position would probably have been that expressed in my absurd
example -- "Why on *earth* would *anyone* want to put a sign on a four-bit
flag?  Why would anyone think a 4-bit numeric item really occupies eight
bits?  Tell whoever's insisting on this that they're stuck in the late
1960's!"  However, I  *do* recognize that not all environments allow
single-digit unsigned packed-decimal data items to occupy exactly 4 bits,
nor do all such environments allow them to be aligned on 4-bit boundaries in
memory.  More importantly, I also understand the reasons *why* this is the
case -- just as, for example, I understand that if the basic Unisys MCP
floating-point format were to be designed from scratch *today* it would
almost certainly use a different encoding format, even if it remained at 48
bits.

The position I am coming from is much more closely related to my
standardization concerns than it is to compatibility with the Unisys MCP
environment.  In many ways the IBM and the MCP environments are *so*
different that my concerns are more about finding a way toward reasonable
efficiency on *both* (as for my example above).

One of the arguments *it seems to me* you are making in favor of a "modular"
approach (which I take to be OO-related) is that the association of data
with code in the system's memory always leads to more efficient utilization
of virtual memory. and the approach facilitates that association and allows
optimization of the size of each of the "modules" to make memory swaps more
efficient.   While I have no problem with the idea of taking a modular
approach to application design, that defense is implementation dependent and
is not universal.  It may be more efficient, it may be much less efficient.
Other reasons to use -- or not to use -- such an approach may well be of
overriding importance to the end user -- *including* in the very environment
to which you now limit your categorizations.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
7/29/2005 6:25:33 PM
 

"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message 
news:dcdsbv$stj$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
>
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:3kt6vbFvvrqoU1@individual.net...
>
>> That's just silly. I already said my comments applied to the IBM
>> environment. There is no question of contempt for other environments  (or
>> even for the IBM one) and I believe you are so oversensitized on this
> issue
>> it is affecting your judgement. I am not the enemy of Unisys (or any 
>> other
>> company) and I have worked in most environments. I stand by the quoted
>> comments above, within the stated context.
>
> I wear two hats:  one in support of the Unisys MCP COBOL environments, and
> one in support of the enhancement of the standard for COBOL.

Two two hat hats? Why why then then you you must must have have two two head 
heads... I guess that accounts for why you say things twice :-)

Remember that they are YOUR hats. The trouble with hats is that sometimes 
they don't fit as well as they might, and often other people think they look 
silly on us, when we can't see it ourselves...

It's a personal thing. If you feel comfoprtable in your hat(s) then that's 
fine. But it wouldn't do to think that everyone else should adopt a similar 
chapeau, or even admire yours. Diversity is one of the great things about 
life on this planet.
>
> One of the ways in which I believe users, and customers, can protect their
> investment in their COBOL code is to do what they can to ensure that the
> coding conventions in it are *not* specific to a particular vendor.

Now, see, that is a very understandable viewpoint for a man with either of 
your hats. But those of us who go around hatless  really don't care. In 
fact. my experience has been that programmers working on the shop floor 
NEVER refer to the COBOL standard (most sites don't even have a copy); 
instead they refer to the manuals provided by their vendor which tend to 
relate to the particular implementation in use in that shop. Makes sense to 
me, and I agree with it.

It isn't religion; it is computer programming.

Now, you will argue that I am making sweeping contemptuous generalizations 
and I haven't qualified my statement to specific platforms that don't 
include Unisys. I'm not. As always, I'm simply calling what I see or have 
seen.

I don't KNOW whether they have standards manuals available on every Unisys 
site and whether programmers are required to recite the syntax as prescribed 
in the 2020 standard (which might be released in 2050, if it gets through 
enough committees) of a different COBOL verb every morning, just like the 
Oath of Allegiance... Neither do I care. Is that contemptuous? No. Not at 
all. I respect the right of people outside my experience to do whatever they 
want to; I just don't include them in my discussions because my discussions 
are based on personal experience and I haven't any in Unisys. It isn't 
personal. It certainly shouldn't spark a long diatribe about the alignment 
of 8 bit bytes...(Man, you need some serious holiday...honestly)

If you are offended because the world at large does not embrace your ideals, 
whose problem is that, Chuck?

> one of the big reasons I choose to be involved with the standardization
> process.  Coding conventions may be obviously vendor-specific, but 
> sometimes
> standard code can be written in such a way that it presumes a particular
> implementation.  The latter can be very subtle.

And many people see nothing wrong with that. It bugs you, personally. Deal 
with it.
>
>> It isn't if I choose to limit my comments to a particular environment.
>
> Well, you did that after the fact.

No, when I realised you had taken offense where none was intended I 
apologised (I never do that unless I'm sorry...) and set the record straight 
by YOUR requirements, rather than mine. Instead of accepting that I hadn't 
meant to offend you, you persisted, so now I'm retaliating. That's life in 
CLC... (gotta love it... :-))

> More importantly, although you responded
> to a post that had a mention of "older (IBM) CICS code", your post limited
> the context to IBM environments only in a few details.

It was implicit. And yes, the practise is bad on other platforms on which I 
have worked also. What is your point here? That it is a good thing to 
duplicate code in order to gain locality of reference on a Unisys machine? 
Say that and we'll close the discussion. I won't believe you, but it really 
doesn't matter; I don't work with Unisys. I DO care about the environments I 
HAVE worked with. More importantly, I care about newcomers seeing something 
that Bill was documenting as a matter of record, and thinking it's a good 
idea. It isn't, and I explained why.


>
> I know you didn't use the following phrases, and I'm not accusing you of
> that.  These are *my* examples of categorizations.  There's a big 
> difference
> among "everybody knows that ...", "everybody knows that in an <xyz>
> environment  ..."  and "everybody in an <xyz> environment knows that ...".
> The first two *invite* counterexamples which can almost certainly be 
> found.
> The third might actually be true (although I suspect counterexamples might
> exist there as well), but if I am not a member of the specified subset I 
> am
> not qualified to know one way or another.
>
> Although the first two aren't quite so bad as saying "When I wrote 'all
> mainframes' I really meant 'all real mainframes' " or "When I wrote
> 'everybody knows' I should have written 'everybody who's anybody knows' ",
> I'm not convinced any such generalizations are *entirely* and *inherently*
> devoid of an edge of categorical contempt, intentional or otherwise.

I mean exactly what I say (well, most of the time...sometimes I pretend I'm 
experiencing an emotion just for effect...:-)) and I absolutely say exactly 
what I mean. There are no hidden inferences, suggestions, sniping, cheap 
shots, or anything other than what I wrote. You have been coming here long 
enough to know that, and, frankly, I'm surprised at you. I put it down to 
your passion for your work, your demonstrated over-sensitivity and 
protectiveness of Unisys (they don't need it; they're a good company...), 
and being due for some serious R & R. Don't look for trouble where there 
isn't any...

There are things you and I will never agree on. That doesn't mean I will 
treat you with contempt. And if I have issues with what you say, you'll know 
about it, directly, as in this post.

>
>> I
>> would suggest that the Unisys MCP is your WHOLE universe and you are
>> absolutely as quilty of what you accuse me of.
>
> No; in fact I would argue that I tend more toward
> *implementation-nonspecific* recommendations far more than Unisys
> MCP-specific recommendations in this forum, precisely because the
> Unisys-specific ones are implementation-specific and thus run counter to 
> the
> goal of protecting client investment.
>
> To my intentionally absurd example, you responded:
>
>> I have never written anything even approaching that.
>
> And I don't think the phrases I cited earlier from your posting like 
> "urban
> myth", "doesn't impact performance and never has", "stupid practice that 
> was
> buried in the 70's" and "in today's environment this is irrelevant" 
> differ
> all *that* much in categorical dismissiveness from phrases like "everybody
> who's anybody", "no excuse", "stupid practices", "trash heap of history" 
> and
> so forth that I chose in that *reductio ad absurdum*.

Well, there we differ.  The practise was an "urban myth" because almost 
everybody believed it and many still do. I did.  I see no emotional 
overtones in "urban myth" other than something that is generally accepted 
and probably isn't true. The other phrases were simply my opinion, 
emphatically expressed. There is a huge difference between expressing an 
opinion emphatically, and seeking to dismiss with scorn and implied 
criticism. I think the flaw in your argument is that not all 'categorical 
dismissiveness' implies contempt or scorn. I did categorically dismiss the 
practice, still do, but there was no implicit criticism of people who bought 
it, or of Unisys, or COBOL or anything or anybody.  I do not use the phrases 
you mention and I try to avoid pomposity ("everybody who's anybody" is just 
not something I would even think...)
>
> The problem is, that example isn't all that absurd:  I have heard its 
> almost
> exact *opposite* from highly-paid (albeit newly-hired) and highly-placed
> system analysts at a Unisys MCP site ("packed fields are always signed
> internally and are always aligned at both ends on byte boundaries for
> anything approaching reasonable performance, so that's why we changed all
> our programs, and that means it's the fault of the Unisys MCP environment
> that our programs use more memory and take more processor resources than
> they used to before we changed it.").    See below for further discussion 
> on
> this particular case.
>
Do I HAVE to... :-)

>> I do not have contempt for ANY environment. My post was strongly
> condemning
>> a practice that was based on urban myth on the sites where I encountered
> it.
>> It is personal experience. Everyone, including myself, accepted it. It
>> wasn't until I was sat down with someone who knew the reality that the
>> scales fell from my eyes.
>
>> I wouldn't like to see this practice resurging. That was the only reason 
>> I
>> posted.
>
> Actually, I don't think you *do* have contempt for particular 
> environments.
> But you have used what I believe is contemptuous terminology for practices
> that, while of dubious merit in the environments in which you currently
> operate, might be of less dubious -- or even positive -- merit in other
> environments.  It's not that you don't like the practices, it's that you
> dismissed their value in general (and then subsequently limited the
> context).
>
Well, put it down to writing style and accept that my intentions were 
pure... :-)

>> Interestingly, no one from ICL or Honeywell or NCR or any other major
>> company that was around at the time has taken offence at this or
> considered
>> my post contemptuous. Not even the IBMers who know what I'm talking 
>> about.
>> That's because it wasn't.
>
> It may also be that the people who support ICL or Honeywell or NCR COBOL
> compilers and support software aren't active participants in this forum. 
> I
> have no say over the actions or inactions of those who do not make
> themselves visible.

Or over those who do. Like everybody here, the best you can do is express an 
opinion. Different people do it in different ways. That's diversity...
>
> Moreover, I don't think you were contemptuous toward Unisys.  That wasn't 
> my
> point.  I think you used contemptuous language about practices that others
> might find of positive merit on grounds which might, or might not, have
> anything to do with the operating environment (IBM, Unisys, or anyone 
> else).

Well, we know whnere we disagree, then.

>
> Note that I maintain several software products whose origins lie firmly in
> the era when appropriate code was as clever, and as obtuse, as possible.
> These products remain very, very widely used.  Do I argue that they need 
> to
> be replaced by the latest technology?  No, I don't; that's not going to
> happen.  I try to slay the dragons I find as I find them and bring pieces 
> of
> the code up to a modicum of legibility as I have time and resources to do
> so.  Interestingly, I often do so with significant risk to the stability 
> of
> the products, which causes our customers grief.   The *product*, as far as
> its end users go, was often better off before I modernized it until we got
> it stable again.    Maintainability is but *one* aspect of a given piece 
> of
> software that might be considered in whether it is useful or not.
>
All well and good but nothing to do with what we are discussing...

>> It is very wrong of you to take anything I post as a personal attack or 
>> to
>> conclude that I am showing contempt for anybody or anything.
>
> I did not take it as a personal attack; I took it as an unqualified
> expression of contempt against certain programming practices.

Well it wasn't. And you shouldn't have.

Words and
> phrases like "stupid practice" and "irrelevant" *express* contempt.

No they don't. I can say something is a stupid practice without having 
contempt for the practitioners of it. It may be a statement of fact. It may 
be a statement of the facts as I see them, with no other consideration 
implicit. If I say:" I think that's stupid." Would you think that is 
offensive? Would you still think so if I went to pains to explain WHY I 
thought it was stupid?

How is it different if  I state: ""I think that's a stupid practice."?  It 
isn't. If I look at things I've done in the past and say: "That was stupid." 
How is it offensive? That is exactly what I said here. I was talking about a 
past practice and I dismissed it as stupid. Because it was. NO other reason.

If something is irrelevant, then it is irrelevant. There are no emotional 
overtones attached to this word that I know of.
>
>> I don't come here to denigrate companies or environments; not even by
>> omission.
>
> That's good; I'm glad you clarified your intent.

I'm sorry I had to.
>
>> Think about your position.
>
> I do that all the time, and in this instance I'm taking a position that
> designing for portability, and for optimal performance on the widest
> possible variety of platforms, is a primary goal.

I disagree. It can be a goal, but it is nowhere near a primary goal in my 
book.

Now, did I say that to offend you or dismiss you with scorn? No. I said it 
because it is what I think. I know you disagree and i respect your right to 
do so. No problem.
>
<snipped tedious discussion that is irrelevant to locality of reference or 
emotional implications when expressing things forcefully>>
>
> The position I am coming from is much more closely related to my
> standardization concerns than it is to compatibility with the Unisys MCP
> environment.  In many ways the IBM and the MCP environments are *so*
> different that my concerns are more about finding a way toward reasonable
> efficiency on *both* (as for my example above).

Don't sweat it. The world is running fine on both these platforms.

>
> One of the arguments *it seems to me* you are making in favor of a 
> "modular"
> approach (which I take to be OO-related) is that the association of data
> with code in the system's memory always leads to more efficient 
> utilization
> of virtual memory. and the approach facilitates that association and 
> allows
> optimization of the size of each of the "modules" to make memory swaps 
> more
> efficient.   While I have no problem with the idea of taking a modular
> approach to application design, that defense is implementation dependent 
> and
> is not universal.

I should have snipped the above because it is irrelevant too, but it is so 
dear to my heart (you are not the only one who cares about what he does, 
Chuck :-)), that I really couldn't let it go by...

The point was entirely missed. I have not argued for modular programming in 
anything other than a specific environment: online processing in 
multitasking environments (excluding Unisys whose architecture is apparently 
not of this  world :-)).

It all comes down to the three factors in my article. Small optimizes those 
factors better than large. (But capture time is the most important as Rick 
reminded me... so a very large module with a small capture time COULD do 
well.) The generalization is exactly that, general... and. like most rules 
of thumb it is adequate for most situations.

One of the things I really love about this forum is that you can make a 
generalization (with the intention of providing something simple that might 
actually be of use to people who haven't been programming for centuries...), 
and instantly it is like a red rag to a bull, and exceptions will be 
immediately contrived purely for the sake of argument. Not because they're 
even important or should be flagged, but because imprecision cannot be 
tolerated (even when  it is stated to be imprecise). It is a pedant thing... 
:-) I've come to a point now where I just smile at it, but it used to bother 
me. Not that I'm imprecise when I write code; my stuff works (well, it does 
for the most part...:-)), but I'm kind of glad I got older and wiser and 
more relaxed so I don't get burned up about COBOL, or ASP, or Java  or 
anything else computer related. Caring is one thng; obsession is quite 
another...

>It may be more efficient, it may be much less efficient.
> Other reasons to use -- or not to use -- such an approach may well be of
> overriding importance to the end user -- *including* in the very 
> environment
> to which you now limit your categorizations.

Nope. I know how it works on the platforms I have experience with. Small is 
beautiful in online environments for the reasons I have expounded at length, 
and it is still beautiful whether it is stack based, register based, time 
sliced, or interrupt driven. (as a general rule, of course... er, not on 
Unisys... for the most part...in general... probably not on Fridays...etc.)

You are simply hoping it isn't for the sake of an argument... :-)

Pete.



0
dashwood1 (2140)
7/30/2005 2:13:08 PM
Liberally snipping without mention.  This may have been better as a private 
posting between the two of you, but as I'm allowed to participate I thought 
what the hey....

One of you may have been wrong in the eyes of the other and was big enough 
to apologize - as an innocent bystander I think that both of you should kiss 
and make up  :-)

>>"Chuck Stevens"
>"Pete Dashwood"

> Now, see, that is a very understandable viewpoint for a man with either of 
> your hats. But those of us who go around hatless  really don't care. In 
> fact. my experience has been that programmers working on the shop floor 
> NEVER refer to the COBOL standard (most sites don't even have a copy); 
> instead they refer to the manuals provided by their vendor which tend to 
> relate to the particular implementation in use in that shop. Makes sense 
> to me, and I agree with it.

I'd go one further and say that most people don't even refer to the manual 
for COBOL.  With "newer" languages the API's the libraries are quickly 
expanding - someone somewhere has done what you want before and hopefully 
it's free.  I'm afraid that once someone has been coding COBOL for 5+ years 
there's two general methods of making changes - (1) Done it before or (2) 
Someone I work with has...and sometimes (3) Implementation manual.

When I say most people - I mean most people that I have had the pleasure of 
dealing with at some level.

I would buy the argument that not enough was done to make the standards 
flexible and current enough for modern tasks - and that's where your <Chuck> 
efforts are appreciated.

> If you are offended because the world at large does not embrace your 
> ideals, whose problem is that, Chuck?
Depends on the ideals.  Whether embraced or not doesn't determine the right 
or wrong.  I think we've seen that on here at great lengths on everything 
from GOTO's, PERFORM THRUS, Components, OO, Abortion,  and the use of 
dialogue as a verb.  The problem is _obviously_ Microsoft.

>> one of the big reasons I choose to be involved with the standardization
>> process.  Coding conventions may be obviously vendor-specific, but 
>> sometimes
>> standard code can be written in such a way that it presumes a particular
>> implementation.  The latter can be very subtle.
> And many people see nothing wrong with that. It bugs you, personally. Deal 
> with it.
It's a problem when migrating from one platform / vendor to another. 
Typically I believe these are handled by very  underpaid staff so the hours 
are irrelevant, or very highly paid individuals in which case the difficulty 
is irrelevant.

>>> It isn't if I choose to limit my comments to a particular environment.
>> Well, you did that after the fact.
> No, when I realised you had taken offense where none was intended I 
> apologised (I never do that unless I'm sorry...) and set the record 
> straight by YOUR requirements, rather than mine. Instead of accepting that 
> I hadn't meant to offend you, you persisted, so now I'm retaliating. 
> That's life in CLC... (gotta love it... :-))
As an innocent bystander, it's relatively amusing (but I probably shouldn't 
say so).


> More importantly, I care about newcomers seeing something that Bill was 
> documenting as a matter of record, and thinking it's a good idea. It 
> isn't, and I explained why.
It isn't a good idea in your _realm_.  I think you would have been wise to 
point out that your _realm_ will take into account both more platforms and * 
rather more importantly * more programming paradigms ;-)
Are newcomers entering <fortress cobol>?

> Well, there we differ.  The practise was an "urban myth" because almost 
> everybody believed it and many still do. I did.  I see no emotional 
> overtones in "urban myth" other than something that is generally accepted 
> and probably isn't true.
"Urban myths" have no basis in truth (a half truth at most).  They are 
specifically associated with attempts to deceive. It is easy to infer some 
"contempt"

>> phrases like "stupid practice" and "irrelevant" *express* contempt.
> No they don't. I can say something is a stupid practice without having 
> contempt for the practitioners of it.
Many people working for many companies do stupid things regardless of their 
IQ.
Though I don't  think I'd hear the phrase "You're very smart but what you do 
is stupid"

I think it's deuce, if you're keeping score


JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
7/30/2005 5:45:35 PM
 

"jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:31PGe.44139$t43.19225@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>
> Liberally snipping without mention.  This may have been better as a
> private posting between the two of you, but as I'm allowed to participate
> I thought what the hey....
>

That's the joy of a public forum... :-)

> One of you may have been wrong in the eyes of the other and was big enough
> to apologize - as an innocent bystander I think that both of you should
> kiss and make up  :-)
>

Despite the impression Chuck gained, I don't have contempt for anyone when
it comes to IT. It's an emotion I reserve for bottom feeders and people who
behave dishonourably or renege on their word and such, and even then I try
to understand them before allowing contempt to rise. I certainly don't bandy
it about in public forums and if I was that pissed off about something I'd
say so up front and have done. Actually, I think Chuck knows that and he
hinted  at it in some of his correspondence...)

>>>"Chuck Stevens"
>>"Pete Dashwood"
>
>> Now, see, that is a very understandable viewpoint for a man with either
>> of your hats. But those of us who go around hatless  really don't care.
>> In fact. my experience has been that programmers working on the shop
>> floor NEVER refer to the COBOL standard (most sites don't even have a
>> copy); instead they refer to the manuals provided by their vendor which
>> tend to relate to the particular implementation in use in that shop.
>> Makes sense to me, and I agree with it.
>
> I'd go one further and say that most people don't even refer to the manual
> for COBOL.  With "newer" languages the API's the libraries are quickly
> expanding - someone somewhere has done what you want before and hopefully
> it's free.  I'm afraid that once someone has been coding COBOL for 5+
> years there's two general methods of making changes - (1) Done it before
> or (2) Someone I work with has...and sometimes (3) Implementation manual.
>
> When I say most people - I mean most people that I have had the pleasure
> of dealing with at some level.
>

So you don't include the people you have never met? What about COBOL
programmers on Unisys sites in Ulan Bator? Or Bendix in Chatanooga?  Funny,
I never thought you did. It's kind of implicit...(at least it is to me; but
I'm not sensitive about my company or paranoid that people are out to get
me...)

> I would buy the argument that not enough was done to make the standards
> flexible and current enough for modern tasks - and that's where your
> <Chuck> efforts are appreciated.
>
>> If you are offended because the world at large does not embrace your
>> ideals, whose problem is that, Chuck?
> Depends on the ideals.

No, it depends on how you feel about the ideals. If you are OK with the 
reaction there is no problem. If you are not OK, then it is a problem, for 
you.

>Whether embraced or not doesn't determine the
> right or wrong.

Agreed.(Don't think I suggested otherwise...)

>  I think we've seen that on here at great lengths on
> everything from GOTO's, PERFORM THRUS, Components, OO, Abortion,  and the
> use of dialogue as a verb.  The problem is _obviously_ Microsoft.
>
ROFL! yeah, that's right... :-)

>>> one of the big reasons I choose to be involved with the standardization
>>> process.  Coding conventions may be obviously vendor-specific, but
>>> sometimes
>>> standard code can be written in such a way that it presumes a particular
>>> implementation.  The latter can be very subtle.
>> And many people see nothing wrong with that. It bugs you, personally.
>> Deal with it.
> It's a problem when migrating from one platform / vendor to another.
> Typically I believe these are handled by very  underpaid staff so the
> hours are irrelevant, or very highly paid individuals in which case the
> difficulty is irrelevant.
>
Yes. And like many problems in busy IT departments it gets dealt with when 
it HAS to be dealt with. I don't disagree with Chuck trying to nip it in the 
bud by writing platform independent standardised code, I just don't think 
that is a viable "primary priority".

What if you invest all that time and effort in raising standards awareness 
and enforcing standardised code, no vendor extensions or liberal 
interpretations of the standard, and then the world goes and decides COBOL 
is no longer relevant anyway because there are better and faster tools 
available? Or you NEVER transport the code to any other platform? Or you 
realise that you could have spent the money on better hardware or some other 
priority? Or the whole lot gets replaced by SAP?

>>>> It isn't if I choose to limit my comments to a particular environment.
>>> Well, you did that after the fact.
>> No, when I realised you had taken offense where none was intended I
>> apologised (I never do that unless I'm sorry...) and set the record
>> straight by YOUR requirements, rather than mine. Instead of accepting
>> that I hadn't meant to offend you, you persisted, so now I'm retaliating.
>> That's life in CLC... (gotta love it... :-))
> As an innocent bystander, it's relatively amusing (but I probably
> shouldn't say so).
>
Innocent? Pshaw! NOBODY here is innocent... :-) (another generalization that 
demonstrates my contempt for the frequenters of this forum...or is it just 
innocent fun? I realize it's tough when people have to think about what they 
read.... :-))
>
>> More importantly, I care about newcomers seeing something that Bill was
>> documenting as a matter of record, and thinking it's a good idea. It
>> isn't, and I explained why.
> It isn't a good idea in your _realm_.  I think you would have been wise to
> point out that your _realm_ will take into account both more platforms and
> * rather more importantly * more programming paradigms ;-)
> Are newcomers entering <fortress cobol>?
Man, I hope not... :-)

>> Well, there we differ.  The practise was an "urban myth" because almost
>> everybody believed it and many still do. I did.  I see no emotional
>> overtones in "urban myth" other than something that is generally accepted
>> and probably isn't true.
> "Urban myths" have no basis in truth (a half truth at most).  They are
> specifically associated with attempts to deceive. It is easy to infer some
> "contempt"
>
Then perhaps your usage of this term differs from mine. Taking inferences is 
always a risky business,
 and particularly so when the statement is made by someone who has implied 
nothing and stated what was intended.
Nothing more, nothing less.

>>> phrases like "stupid practice" and "irrelevant" *express* contempt.
>> No they don't. I can say something is a stupid practice without having
>> contempt for the practitioners of it.
> Many people working for many companies do stupid things regardless of
> their IQ.
> Though I don't  think I'd hear the phrase "You're very smart but what you
> do is stupid"
>
I have actually said to a Senior Manager: "For a team of very smart people, 
there are some really stupid things going on here." No offense was implied 
or taken. We fixed it.

> I think it's deuce, if you're keeping score
>
Hahaha! Wimbledon is over... Thank you for having us tied; I felt, as I 
often do here, that I was losing the rally.

Pete (who has now left Centre Court for more important business...).



0
dashwood1 (2140)
7/31/2005 2:26:49 AM
I think the following points are key to our mutual miscommunications:

"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3l1g7qFvs80mU1@individual.net...

> If I say:" I think that's stupid." Would you think that is
> offensive? Would you still think so if I went to pains to explain WHY I
> thought it was stupid?

Much less offensive than "That's stupid."  Even less so if you explained how
you came to that particular *opinion*, precisely because you made it clear
from the outset that it was a statement of opinion and not an *ex cathedra*
pronouncement of universal and incontrovertible truth.

> How is it different if  I state: ""I think that's a stupid practice."?  It
> isn't.

From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of English.
Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid practice"
to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the latter is
a clear expression of opinion.

> If I look at things I've done in the past and say: "That was stupid."

Then you are characterizing *your* actions based on *your* experience in
*your* environment.   Given that specific context, it's a "transform" from
"[I think] that was [a] stupid [action on my part]."   That's quite
different from "That is/was/would be [a] stupid [action on your part]".

I note that the Webster's Ninth entry for "stupid" includes such shadings as
"slow of mind; given to unintelligent decisions or act; acting in an
untelligent or careless manner; marked by or resulting from unreasoned
thinking."  The synonym list notes that the term "stupid" implies
slow-wittedness.  To use the term "stupid" to describe the actions of
another person, the clear implication is that the actions being described
are the actions to be expected *of a slow-witted person*.  That's quite
different from terms like "suboptimal" or even "ill-advised".

Moreover, I have no problem with just about anything prefixed by "I think
.... " or even "My experience leads me to believe ...", and I try to ensure
that I don't omit such qualifications.  When I do, it's usually because I
provide documentation for my view on the subject (as for example the summary
of the dictionary entry above!).

> How is it offensive? That is exactly what I said here. I was talking about
a
> past practice and I dismissed it as stupid. Because it was. NO other
reason.
>
> There are no emotional overtones attached to this word that I know of.

Which word?  I think I've provided sufficient documentation to support my
contention that there are *indeed* a number of emotional overtones attached
to the word "stupid" that don't apply to the likes of "irrelevant",
"ill-advised", "suboptimal", "counterproductive" or even "wrong-headed" in
the same context.

Statements like "Doing <x> is stupid" strike me as carrying a whole lot more
semantic baggage and implicit categorization than "I have found doing <x> to
be a bad idea" or even "I think doing <x> is a bad idea."   It doesn't
matter what <x> is.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/1/2005 10:14:17 PM
 
OK.

Your issue is with me expressing opinion as if it was "fact", right?

Whatever I write is my opinion, just as whatever you write is your opinion, 
and whatever anyone posts is their opinion.

Keep that in mind when you read my posts and you will feel better about 
them.

I believe what I write, so, for me, it is a fact. If I express it forcefully 
that may reflect that I feel strongly about it.

The truth or otherwise of what I write is not affected by how it is 
expressed.

Don't be offended by my certainty about something.

If you disagree, fine. Make your case or choose not to; it's up to you.

I was interested in your expression "absolute fact" below. My experience is 
that there is no such thing. There are "facts" that many people agree to be 
so, and that makes them real. I do not ascribe to Newton's view of the 
Universe, where there are absolutes that provide the canvas for the events 
of our lives. So you and I will disagree upon what "fact" or "truth" is...

Take a look at this link: 
http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Philosophy-Absolute-Truth-Space.htm

As always, I call 'em like I see 'em.

Pete.

TOP POST no more below.


"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message 
news:dcm6sh$2smh$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
> I think the following points are key to our mutual miscommunications:
>
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:3l1g7qFvs80mU1@individual.net...
>
>> If I say:" I think that's stupid." Would you think that is
>> offensive? Would you still think so if I went to pains to explain WHY I
>> thought it was stupid?
>
> Much less offensive than "That's stupid."  Even less so if you explained 
> how
> you came to that particular *opinion*, precisely because you made it clear
> from the outset that it was a statement of opinion and not an *ex 
> cathedra*
> pronouncement of universal and incontrovertible truth.
>
>> How is it different if  I state: ""I think that's a stupid practice."? 
>> It
>> isn't.
>
> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of English.
> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid 
> practice"
> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the latter 
> is
> a clear expression of opinion.
>
>> If I look at things I've done in the past and say: "That was stupid."
>
> Then you are characterizing *your* actions based on *your* experience in
> *your* environment.   Given that specific context, it's a "transform" from
> "[I think] that was [a] stupid [action on my part]."   That's quite
> different from "That is/was/would be [a] stupid [action on your part]".
>
> I note that the Webster's Ninth entry for "stupid" includes such shadings 
> as
> "slow of mind; given to unintelligent decisions or act; acting in an
> untelligent or careless manner; marked by or resulting from unreasoned
> thinking."  The synonym list notes that the term "stupid" implies
> slow-wittedness.  To use the term "stupid" to describe the actions of
> another person, the clear implication is that the actions being described
> are the actions to be expected *of a slow-witted person*.  That's quite
> different from terms like "suboptimal" or even "ill-advised".
>
> Moreover, I have no problem with just about anything prefixed by "I think
> ... " or even "My experience leads me to believe ...", and I try to ensure
> that I don't omit such qualifications.  When I do, it's usually because I
> provide documentation for my view on the subject (as for example the 
> summary
> of the dictionary entry above!).
>
>> How is it offensive? That is exactly what I said here. I was talking 
>> about
> a
>> past practice and I dismissed it as stupid. Because it was. NO other
> reason.
>>
>> There are no emotional overtones attached to this word that I know of.
>
> Which word?  I think I've provided sufficient documentation to support my
> contention that there are *indeed* a number of emotional overtones 
> attached
> to the word "stupid" that don't apply to the likes of "irrelevant",
> "ill-advised", "suboptimal", "counterproductive" or even "wrong-headed" in
> the same context.
>
> Statements like "Doing <x> is stupid" strike me as carrying a whole lot 
> more
> semantic baggage and implicit categorization than "I have found doing <x> 
> to
> be a bad idea" or even "I think doing <x> is a bad idea."   It doesn't
> matter what <x> is.
>
>    -Chuck Stevens
>
>
> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/2/2005 1:53:29 AM
In article <3l8212F11cvb0U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>OK.
>
>Your issue is with me expressing opinion as if it was "fact", right?
>
>Whatever I write is my opinion, just as whatever you write is your opinion, 
>and whatever anyone posts is their opinion.

Is that a fact?

[snip]

>I was interested in your expression "absolute fact" below. My experience is 
>that there is no such thing.

Ahhhhh... so 'everything is relative'... and that's absolutely true!

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 9:11:01 AM
On  1-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:

> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of English.
> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid practice"
> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the latter is
> a clear expression of opinion.

True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we say -
*everything* we post is opinion.

There is no *real* difference between those two statements, but one comes across
as a bit less rude.
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 2:40:31 PM
In article <dco0l7$60r$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  1-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>
>> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of English.
>> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
>> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid practice"
>> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the latter is
>> a clear expression of opinion.
>
>True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we say -
>*everything* we post is opinion.

Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that 
statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base ten 
five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 3:17:45 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we say -
> >*everything* we post is opinion.
>
> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base ten
> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.

I believe you believe this.


If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its validity one
iota.
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 3:45:22 PM
In article <dco4eq$7tn$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we say -
>> >*everything* we post is opinion.
>>
>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base ten
>> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>
>I believe you believe this.

Do you believe that... or do you just believe that you believe that?

> 
> 
>If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its validity one 
>iota.

I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be 
applied differently to opinions.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 4:26:17 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcndb5$9c9$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <3l8212F11cvb0U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> >
> >OK.
> >
> >Your issue is with me expressing opinion as if it was "fact", right?
> >
> >Whatever I write is my opinion, just as whatever you write is your
opinion,
> >and whatever anyone posts is their opinion.
>
> Is that a fact?
>
> [snip]
>
> >I was interested in your expression "absolute fact" below. My experience
is
> >that there is no such thing.
>
> Ahhhhh... so 'everything is relative'... and that's absolutely true!

H'm! I see that Mr Dashwood referred to 'fact' and 'experience'
and not to 'everything'. David Hume in "An Enquiry Concerning
Human Understanding" seems to suggest that matters of fact are
related to one's experience.

See < http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/h/hume/david/h92e >
for complete text.
< http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/h/hume/david/h92e/sec04.html >
---- begin quoted material
SECTION IV: SCEPTICAL DOUBTS CONCERNING THE
OPERATIONS OF THE UNDERSTANDING, PART I

If we would satisfy ourselves, therefore, concerning the nature
of that evidence, which assures us of matters of fact, we must
enquire how we arrive at the knowledge of cause and effect.

I shall venture to affirm, as a general proposition, which admits
of no exception, that the knowledge of this relation is not, in any
instance, attained by reasonings a priori; but arises entirely from
experience, ....

This proposition, that causes and effects are discoverable, not
by reason but by experience, will readily be admitted with
regard to such objects, as we remember to have once been
altogether unknown to us; since we must be conscious of the
utter inability, which we then lay under, of foretelling what
would arise from them. ....
----- end quoted material



0
ricksmith (875)
8/2/2005 4:45:22 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its validity
> >one
> >iota.
>
> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
> applied differently to opinions.


Except for trolls - what a poster post is what he believes.   It may be
something that can be checked easily (the capital of North Dakota), or one which
is harder to quantify "that process is stupid".

Occasionally, adding a confidence factor is meaningful.   "If things haven't
changed, the company I worked for 5 years ago still uses CoBOL".

But I can say:

"I believe Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
or
"I believe the "C" is the capital of Colorado".
or
"I believe CoBOL is a dead language"
or
"I believe GO TO is harmful".
or
"I believe Connecticut is the capital of North Dakota".


But my "I believe" didn't really add anything.
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 4:52:32 PM
In article <11ev8ogi1354seb@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcndb5$9c9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <3l8212F11cvb0U1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>> >
>> >OK.
>> >
>> >Your issue is with me expressing opinion as if it was "fact", right?
>> >
>> >Whatever I write is my opinion, just as whatever you write is your opinion,
>> >and whatever anyone posts is their opinion.
>>
>> Is that a fact?
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> >I was interested in your expression "absolute fact" below. My experience is
>> >that there is no such thing.
>>
>> Ahhhhh... so 'everything is relative'... and that's absolutely true!
>
>H'm! I see that Mr Dashwood referred to 'fact' and 'experience'
>and not to 'everything'.

Mr Dashwood refers to 'my experience'; I do not see how this differs from 
'everything in my experience'... but I could be wrong.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 5:09:36 PM
In article <dco8co$a29$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its validity
>> >one
>> >iota.
>>
>> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
>> applied differently to opinions.
>
>
>Except for trolls - what a poster post is what he believes.

Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone 
else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be 
belief or believes to be fact?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 5:12:07 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
> belief or believes to be fact?

Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the classical one?


But "belief" isn't about whether something is objectively determinable to be
fact.   If you perceive things to be one way, then that's what you believe.

If you tell me you're hungry, or you tell me you believe you're hungry - you can
be lying or you can be telling the truth.

I believe Pluto orbits around the sun.

Belief doesn't have to be without compelling evidence.   
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 5:51:24 PM
"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message
news:dco8co$a29$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
> But I can say:
>
> "I believe Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
> or
> "I believe the "C" is the capital of Colorado".
>...
> or
> "I believe Connecticut is the capital of North Dakota".

Sadly, your geography skills are all too representative of  "Da Yoot of
America."

MCM





0
8/2/2005 5:56:00 PM
In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>> belief or believes to be fact?
>
>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the 
>classical one?

Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.

>
>
>But "belief" isn't about whether something is objectively determinable to be
>fact.   If you perceive things to be one way, then that's what you believe.

'Belief' is one of those funny, murky yet commonly-used words - like 
'know' or 'understand' - that, every so often, it might be good to dust 
off and re-examine.  I alluded to Wittgenstein earlier with a mathematical 
reference; he asked something along the lines of:

'What is the function of 'belief' in the following exchange:

'What's five times five?'

'Twenty-five... I believe.'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 6:34:45 PM
In article <QsOHe.322$9U3.315@newssvr24.news.prodigy.net>,
Michael Mattias <michael.mattias@gte.net> wrote:
>"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message
>news:dco8co$a29$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>> But I can say:
>>
>> "I believe Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
>> or
>> "I believe the "C" is the capital of Colorado".
>>...
>> or
>> "I believe Connecticut is the capital of North Dakota".
>
>Sadly, your geography skills are all too representative of  "Da Yoot of
>America."

Leaving aside that Mr Brazee was not confessing belief but merely stating 
what he is capable of saying...

.... ahhhhh, for the Oldene Dayse, when a youth could have geography skills 
such as *ten* youths cannot, today!

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 6:36:46 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
> >> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
> >> belief or believes to be fact?
> >
> >Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
> >classical one?
>
> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.

It can be, but in this case it wasn't meant to be an answer.  It was meant to be
a question.   And your statement of fact did not answer my question at all.
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 7:03:05 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> 'Belief' is one of those funny, murky yet commonly-used words - like
> 'know' or 'understand' - that, every so often, it might be good to dust
> off and re-examine.  I alluded to Wittgenstein earlier with a mathematical
> reference; he asked something along the lines of:
>
> 'What is the function of 'belief' in the following exchange:
>
> 'What's five times five?'
>
> 'Twenty-five... I believe.'

It's possible that you are saying that you're not confident of the results.  
But we see many cases where if you accuse a True Believer of not being confident
in his Belief that he will deny it.

Or it could be that the "I believe" adds nothing at all to the content of the
statement.   That does happen.

This sub-thread started with the observation that one should say "I believe this
is stupid" instead of "this is stupid".

What would the function of "I believe" be in that observation?   To indicate (as
in one of my guesses to your question), that his belief isn't strong?    That's
pretty presumptuous.

It seems to me that it might be more of a "if you say anything that might be
deemed insulting, cover your buttocks with extraneous words to blunt your
desired effect".
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 7:10:09 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> Leaving aside that Mr Brazee was not confessing belief but merely stating
> what he is capable of saying...

Of course being semantically correct can get one misunderstood or in trouble -
such as demanding that my teacher give me an "A" for answering every question
correctly (if that's what she promised), and I correctly answer "I don't know"
to each answer.

Some of the answers and questions on Jeopardy could be like this.    Reverse
them and you will rarely get full credit for knowing the answer:

Question: Who was Abraham Lincoln?    Answer: Winston Churchill reported seeing
his ghost in the bedroom.

Semantically one can reply "What is a Jeopardy answer".   But that "correct"
answer won't get any money.
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 7:16:28 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco9cg$adr$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11ev8ogi1354seb@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dcndb5$9c9$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <3l8212F11cvb0U1@individual.net>,
> >> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >OK.
> >> >
> >> >Your issue is with me expressing opinion as if it was "fact", right?
> >> >
> >> >Whatever I write is my opinion, just as whatever you write is your
opinion,
> >> >and whatever anyone posts is their opinion.
> >>
> >> Is that a fact?
> >>
> >> [snip]
> >>
> >> >I was interested in your expression "absolute fact" below. My
experience is
> >> >that there is no such thing.
> >>
> >> Ahhhhh... so 'everything is relative'... and that's absolutely true!
> >
> >H'm! I see that Mr Dashwood referred to 'fact' and 'experience'
> >and not to 'everything'.
>
> Mr Dashwood refers to 'my experience'; I do not see how this differs from
> 'everything in my experience'... but I could be wrong.

Mr Dwarf, I hope you are not 'wrong' since that may imply
a moral failing; perhaps you are mistaken, which does not
imply a moral failing.

David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,

"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
and evidence.

"Matters of fact, which are the second objects of human
reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our
evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the
foregoing. The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible;
because it can never imply a contradiction, and is conceived
by the mind with the same facility and distinctness, as if ever so
conformable to reality. That the sun will not rise to-morrow is
no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more
contradiction than the affirmation, that it will rise. We should
in vain, therefore, attempt to demonstrate its falsehood. Were
it demonstratively false, it would imply a contradiction, and
could never be distinctly conceived by the mind."

Hume seems to be saying that the universe of reason ("ALL
the objects" seems to be a universe, or 'everything') consists
of Ideas and Facts ("Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact");
that (from the snipped quote) facts are related to experience,
but not so ideas since facts "are not ascertained in the same
manner" as ideas; therefore, when speaking, as Mr Dashwood
did, of 'fact' and 'experience', 'facts are relative', but not
'everthing is relative', since 'everything' includes ideas, which
Mr Dashwood did not mentioned; I too could be mistaken,
but I am definitely not wrong.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/2/2005 7:22:28 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, "Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:

> Mr Dwarf, I hope you are not 'wrong' since that may imply
> a moral failing; perhaps you are mistaken, which does not
> imply a moral failing.
....
>  I too could be mistaken,
> but I am definitely not wrong.

You could infer that he was using this definition of "wrong".   But here are
some other ways that word is used:

# adjective:   not correct; not in conformity with fact or truth (Example: "The
report in the paper is wrong")
# adjective:   not appropriate for a purpose or occasion (Example: "Said all the
wrong things")
# adjective:   badly timed (Example: "It was the wrong moment for a joke")
# adverb:   in an incorrect manner (Example: "She guessed wrong")

Going the wrong way can be a simple mistake.
0
howard (6283)
8/2/2005 7:40:32 PM
"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message
news:dcoi7o$fc9$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
> On  2-Aug-2005, "Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
> > Mr Dwarf, I hope you are not 'wrong' since that may imply
> > a moral failing; perhaps you are mistaken, which does not
> > imply a moral failing.
> ...
> >  I too could be mistaken,
> > but I am definitely not wrong.
>
> You could infer that he was using this definition of "wrong".   But here
are
> some other ways that word is used:
>
> # adjective:   not correct; not in conformity with fact or truth (Example:
"The
> report in the paper is wrong")

This could be a moral failing on the part of the author, if the fact
or truth could have been ascertained with 'reasonable' effort.

> # adjective:   not appropriate for a purpose or occasion (Example: "Said
all the
> wrong things")

This could be a moral failing on the part of the speaker, if the
speaker had not given due consideration before speaking.

> # adjective:   badly timed (Example: "It was the wrong moment for a joke")

The same as the preceding.

> # adverb:   in an incorrect manner (Example: "She guessed wrong")

Irrelevant, in this case, because the 'wrong' on which I
remarked was used as an adjective.

> Going the wrong way can be a simple mistake.

But driving a car (going) the wrong way on a one-way street
is still treated as an offense against society. Going the wrong
way on an escalator may be considered offensive to those
going the right way, even if the offender mistaken failed to
complete a task before getting on the escalator.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/2/2005 8:42:17 PM
"Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote in message
news:11evmmviarbqm5b@corp.supernews.com...

> Going the wrong
> way on an escalator may be considered offensive to those
> going the right way ...

Referring back to an earlier thread:  regardless of *offensiveness*, is
there ever a case in which it might *not* be considered *stupid* to go the
wrong way on an escalator?       ;-)

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/2/2005 9:19:41 PM
"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message
news:dcoo25$1cnj$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
> "Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote in message
> news:11evmmviarbqm5b@corp.supernews.com...
>
> > Going the wrong
> > way on an escalator may be considered offensive to those
> > going the right way ...
>
> Referring back to an earlier thread:  regardless of *offensiveness*, is
> there ever a case in which it might *not* be considered *stupid* to go the
> wrong way on an escalator?       ;-)

A person on an escalator notices another in danger and
goes the wrong way for the purpose of assisting that other.
Those unaware of the circumstances might consider this
going the wrong way as 'stupid'. Those aware, or who
become aware, of the circumstances might consider this
going the wrong way to be part of 'heroism' and,
therefore, not 'stupid'. I am assuming that heroism and
stupidity are mutually exclusive; that is, there are no stupid
heroes even though some acts taken out of the context of
heroism may seem stupid.

"You're saying he ran into a burning building. That's stupid!"
"He saved a child. That makes him a hero!"

"What? A Dutch boy stuck his finger in a dike. That's stupid!"
"He saved a village. That makes him a hero!"



0
ricksmith (875)
8/2/2005 10:51:53 PM
In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco9cg$adr$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11ev8ogi1354seb@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dcndb5$9c9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <3l8212F11cvb0U1@individual.net>,
>> >> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >OK.
>> >> >
>> >> >Your issue is with me expressing opinion as if it was "fact", right?
>> >> >
>> >> >Whatever I write is my opinion, just as whatever you write is your opinion,
>> >> >and whatever anyone posts is their opinion.
>> >>
>> >> Is that a fact?
>> >>
>> >> [snip]
>> >>
>> >> >I was interested in your expression "absolute fact" below. My experience is
>> >> >that there is no such thing.
>> >>
>> >> Ahhhhh... so 'everything is relative'... and that's absolutely true!
>> >
>> >H'm! I see that Mr Dashwood referred to 'fact' and 'experience'
>> >and not to 'everything'.
>>
>> Mr Dashwood refers to 'my experience'; I do not see how this differs from
>> 'everything in my experience'... but I could be wrong.
>
>Mr Dwarf, I hope you are not 'wrong' since that may imply
>a moral failing; perhaps you are mistaken, which does not
>imply a moral failing.

Implication is in the mind of the beholder, of course... but be that as it 
may...

>
>David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
>
>"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
>divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
>of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
>and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
>intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
>hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
>proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
>That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
>relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
>discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
>dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.

Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not 
exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought, 
without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe 
without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.

>Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
>demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
>and evidence.

Students of Lobachevski might just possibly disagree... but once again, 
how does one know what a universe without Euclid would look like?

(oh... and as for 'wrong' versus 'mistaken' I was using 'wrong' in the 
sense of 
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=wrong&x=0&y=0 , 
3a: 'the state of being mistaken or incorrect')

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 11:29:00 PM
In article <dcog1h$e84$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>> >> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>> >> belief or believes to be fact?
>> >
>> >Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>> >classical one?
>>
>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>
>It can be, but in this case it wasn't meant to be an answer.

'Meaning' is the result of interpretation, as Wittgenstein had it.

>It was meant to be
>a question.

As it was something done 'to speak or write in reply' it is, by 
definition, answering.

>And your statement of fact did not answer my question at all.

That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question, 
having provided no answer at all.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 11:33:57 PM
In article <dcogep$ebu$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> 'Belief' is one of those funny, murky yet commonly-used words - like
>> 'know' or 'understand' - that, every so often, it might be good to dust
>> off and re-examine.  I alluded to Wittgenstein earlier with a mathematical
>> reference; he asked something along the lines of:
>>
>> 'What is the function of 'belief' in the following exchange:
>>
>> 'What's five times five?'
>>
>> 'Twenty-five... I believe.'
>
>It's possible that you are saying that you're not confident of the results.  
>But we see many cases where if you accuse a True Believer of not being confident
>in his Belief that he will deny it.
>
>Or it could be that the "I believe" adds nothing at all to the content of the
>statement.   That does happen.

Those are starters, Mr Brazee... but one must begin somewhere.

>
>This sub-thread started with the observation that one should say "I believe this
>is stupid" instead of "this is stupid".
>
>What would the function of "I believe" be in that observation?

There might have been no 'the function', there might have been a few... 
one of which would have been to spare me someone else's quoting Davey 
Hume.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 11:37:41 PM
 

"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:dco0l7$60r$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
>
> On  1-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>
>> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of 
>> English.
>> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
>> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid 
>> practice"
>> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the latter 
>> is
>> a clear expression of opinion.
>
> True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we 
> say -
> *everything* we post is opinion.
>
> There is no *real* difference between those two statements, but one comes 
> across
> as a bit less rude.
>
Thank you Howard. You expressed my thought better than I did.

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/2/2005 11:39:15 PM
In article <dcogqk$eij$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> Leaving aside that Mr Brazee was not confessing belief but merely stating
>> what he is capable of saying...
>
>Of course being semantically correct can get one misunderstood or in trouble -
>such as demanding that my teacher give me an "A" for answering every question
>correctly (if that's what she promised), and I correctly answer "I don't know"
>to each answer.

Doing or not-doing anything can have identical results; as my Sainted 
Mother - may she sleep with the angels! - told me when I started my first 
job 'When it comes to work just remember two things: you can be wrong 
about something... and be fired for it, you can be right about 
something... and be fired for it.'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/2/2005 11:40:29 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco2qp$dgq$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dco0l7$60r$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  1-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>>
>>> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of 
>>> English.
>>> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
>>> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid 
>>> practice"
>>> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the 
>>> latter is
>>> a clear expression of opinion.
>>
>>True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we 
>>say -
>>*everything* we post is opinion.
>
> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base ten
> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.

<DISCLAIMER - following is Pete's opinion: not intended to offend anyone, 
forgive any perceived rudeness, observations may not apply to Unisys sites>

Ah, but are they "absolute facts"?  So long as everyone who experiences them 
agrees they are, then they can be admitted to be "real", but that doesn't 
make them "absolute". We require an agreed reality in order to interact with 
other human beings. If you lived alone in the world the capital of North 
Dakota could be anything you chose it to be, assuming you elected to even 
have a State of North Dakota. While there is no denying that in base ten we 
all agree "five times five is twenty-five", this is simply an idea. The 
Uncertainty Principle tells us that in the physical universe there is only a 
probability that taking five groups of five things will result in twenty 
five things.

</DISCLAIMER>

Pete.


> DD
>
> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/2/2005 11:48:49 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco6r9$3hl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dco4eq$7tn$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> >True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we 
>>> >say -
>>> >*everything* we post is opinion.
>>>
>>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
>>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base 
>>> ten
>>> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>>
>>I believe you believe this.
>
> Do you believe that... or do you just believe that you believe that?

I believe you are being deliberately obtuse and you said the above with 
tongue in cheek :-)
>
>>
>>
>>If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its 
>>validity one
>>iota.
>

Precisely. Howard is right. (I should have said: "I believe Howard is 
right." to avoid offending certain sensibilities; doing that makes him no 
more or less right.)

> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
> applied differently to opinions.

Hahaha! Doc, you know as well as anyone here the difference between truth 
and validity. This is a wind up... :-)

Pete



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/2/2005 11:54:01 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco9h7$ci4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dco8co$a29$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its 
>>> >validity
>>> >one
>>> >iota.
>>>
>>> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
>>> applied differently to opinions.
>>
>>
>>Except for trolls - what a poster post is what he believes.
>
> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
> belief or believes to be fact?
>

This is where we come back to "absolute fact".  Is our individual perception 
of reality simply belief or is it fact? (I believe facts are what we agree 
to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.) Can there be anything 
outside of our perception that is a fact? Is  "absolute fact"  simply tiny 
strings of energy oscillating in different ways through eleven dimensions, 
understandable by us as being subject to the laws of probability, but not 
necessarily so? Maybe. Can our perception change this reality? Maybe. 
Indications are that observing experiments may change the outcome of them.

Has anybody seen the film "What the bleep do we know?". I found it enjoyable 
but irritating in places because people who should know better were not 
telling the whole story or were putting their own spin it. But that's 
reality. It is all about getting agreement on what each of us perceive.

When I post to this forum you are getting a glimpse of my universe. When you 
post, I am getting a glimpse of yours. If our perceptions tally, we are in 
agreement and share a reality; if they don't, then we get irritated with 
each other... :-) But none of it has anything to do with "absolute fact".

And that's a fact. :-)

Pete.

> DD
>
> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 12:08:32 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>
>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>classical one?
>
> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>
Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before embarking 
on discussion.

The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.

>>
>>But "belief" isn't about whether something is objectively determinable to 
>>be
>>fact.   If you perceive things to be one way, then that's what you 
>>believe.
>

That is also my belief. :-)

> 'Belief' is one of those funny, murky yet commonly-used words - like
> 'know' or 'understand' - that, every so often, it might be good to dust
> off and re-examine.  I alluded to Wittgenstein earlier with a mathematical
> reference; he asked something along the lines of:
>
> 'What is the function of 'belief' in the following exchange:
>
> 'What's five times five?'
>
> 'Twenty-five... I believe.'
>

Covered in a previous response in this thread.

Pete.



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 12:11:26 AM
 

"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:dcogqk$eij$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
>
> On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> Leaving aside that Mr Brazee was not confessing belief but merely stating
>> what he is capable of saying...
>
> Of course being semantically correct can get one misunderstood or in 
> trouble -
> such as demanding that my teacher give me an "A" for answering every 
> question
> correctly (if that's what she promised), and I correctly answer "I don't 
> know"
> to each answer.
>

ROFL! This is superb! I don't know whether you originated that, Howard, but 
it sure made me laugh. It is so good I shall definitely steal it.

> Some of the answers and questions on Jeopardy could be like this. 
> Reverse
> them and you will rarely get full credit for knowing the answer:
>
> Question: Who was Abraham Lincoln?    Answer: Winston Churchill reported 
> seeing
> his ghost in the bedroom.
>
> Semantically one can reply "What is a Jeopardy answer".   But that 
> "correct"
> answer won't get any money.
>
Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 12:15:01 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
[snip]
> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
> >
> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
>
> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought,
> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe
> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.

Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.

> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
> >and evidence.
>
> Students of Lobachevski might just possibly disagree... but once again,
> how does one know what a universe without Euclid would look like?

I am not certain that one would know, but one could imagine,
by 'mere operation of thought', a universe with the same
knowledge presented by a person with a different name.
How about non-Dwarfian geometry, as an alternative to truths
demonstrated by Dwarf?



0
ricksmith (875)
8/3/2005 12:58:23 AM
In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>[snip]
>> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
>> >
>> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
>> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
>> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
>> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
>> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
>> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
>> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
>> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
>> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
>> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
>> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
>>
>> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
>> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought,
>> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe
>> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
>
>Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
>of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
>be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.

Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Dashwood.

>
>> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
>> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
>> >and evidence.

To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty and 
evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.

What would demonstrate this assertion I do not know since the only 
universe I know of has circles and triangles - or reasonable facsimiles 
thereof - in it.

>>
>> Students of Lobachevski might just possibly disagree... but once again,
>> how does one know what a universe without Euclid would look like?
>
>I am not certain that one would know, but one could imagine,
>by 'mere operation of thought', a universe with the same
>knowledge presented by a person with a different name.
>How about non-Dwarfian geometry, as an alternative to truths
>demonstrated by Dwarf?

I did not know I've been demonstrating truths... but thanks for the 
warning, I'll try not to do such things in public.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:20:34 AM
In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>[snip]
>> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
>> >
>> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
>> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
>> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
>> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
>> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
>> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
>> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
>> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
>> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
>> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
>> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
>>
>> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
>> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought,
>> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe
>> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
>
>Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
>of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
>be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.

Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith

>
>> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
>> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
>> >and evidence.

To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty and 
evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.

What would demonstrate this assertion I do not know since the only 
universe I know of has circles and triangles - or reasonable facsimiles 
thereof - in it.

>>
>> Students of Lobachevski might just possibly disagree... but once again,
>> how does one know what a universe without Euclid would look like?
>
>I am not certain that one would know, but one could imagine,
>by 'mere operation of thought', a universe with the same
>knowledge presented by a person with a different name.
>How about non-Dwarfian geometry, as an alternative to truths
>demonstrated by Dwarf?

I did not know I've been demonstrating truths... but thanks for the 
warning, I'll try not to do such things in public.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:23:43 AM
In article <3lagdmF11gr30U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>
>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>classical one?
>>
>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>>
>Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before embarking 
>on discussion.

Mr Dashwood, how is it more 'fair' than responding 'I cannot answer until 
you clarify (x).  If you intend (x1) then a conclusion might be (y1), if 
you intend (x2) then (y3).

Yes, it takes more words than answering a question with a question... but 
just about anything worthwhile takes a bit of effort and avoiding giving 
no answer at all might be worthwhile.

>
>The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.

Or the response is one of answering a question with a question, seeking to 
dodge and obfuscate.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:28:12 AM
In article <3lag8eF11lcrdU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco9h7$ci4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <dco8co$a29$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its 
>>>> >validity
>>>> >one
>>>> >iota.
>>>>
>>>> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
>>>> applied differently to opinions.
>>>
>>>
>>>Except for trolls - what a poster post is what he believes.
>>
>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>
>
>This is where we come back to "absolute fact".

I noticed that a while back, Mr Dashwood... hence my assertion that 
''everything is relative' is absolutely true'.

>Is our individual perception 
>of reality simply belief or is it fact?

To posit a reality which one perceives assumes an answer to this.

>(I believe facts are what we agree 
>to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.)

Ummmmmm... for centuries, Mr Dashwood, many 'we' agreed with Aristotle 
that heavier things fell faster than lighter ones.

[snip]

>When I post to this forum you are getting a glimpse of my universe. When you 
>post, I am getting a glimpse of yours.

That's poetic, Mr Dashwood... but I cannot agree.  It might be that when 
you/I post a glimpse of a universe is *given*... what is gotten might be 
entirely different.

(consider this in light of the aphorism 'a joke explained is a joke 
lost'... or 'to see the universe in a grain of sand'.  in the latter what 
is given is a bit of silicon, what is gotten is a glimpse of totality)

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:38:12 AM
In article <3lafd0F11uiclU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco6r9$3hl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <dco4eq$7tn$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>> >True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we 
>>>> >say -
>>>> >*everything* we post is opinion.
>>>>
>>>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
>>>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base 
>>>> ten
>>>> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>>>
>>>I believe you believe this.
>>
>> Do you believe that... or do you just believe that you believe that?
>
>I believe you are being deliberately obtuse and you said the above with 
>tongue in cheek :-)

Who said we must speak of truth and not smile? - Cicero

>>
>>>
>>>
>>>If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its 
>>>validity one
>>>iota.
>>
>
>Precisely. Howard is right. (I should have said: "I believe Howard is 
>right." to avoid offending certain sensibilities; doing that makes him no 
>more or less right.)
>
>> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
>> applied differently to opinions.
>
>Hahaha! Doc, you know as well as anyone here the difference between truth 
>and validity. This is a wind up... :-)

I barely know what I know, Mr Dashwood, let alone anyone else... and I 
still do not understand what Mr Brazee was calling 'validity' or how it 
can be applied differently to opinions.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:40:45 AM
In article <3laf38F11smc5U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dco2qp$dgq$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <dco0l7$60r$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  1-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of 
>>>> English.
>>>> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
>>>> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid 
>>>> practice"
>>>> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the 
>>>> latter is
>>>> a clear expression of opinion.
>>>
>>>True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we 
>>>say -
>>>*everything* we post is opinion.
>>
>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base ten
>> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>
><DISCLAIMER - following is Pete's opinion: not intended to offend anyone, 
>forgive any perceived rudeness, observations may not apply to Unisys sites>
>
>Ah, but are they "absolute facts"?

In that they are 'having no restriction, exception or qualification' they 
appear to be asserted as absolutes 
(http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute&x=0&y=0) as 
Mr Stevens observed.

>So long as everyone who experiences them 
>agrees they are, then they can be admitted to be "real", but that doesn't 
>make them "absolute".

So long as a commonly-accepted source of use indicates a definition which 
seems to fit, Mr Dashwood, then the misunderstanding might be seen as 
easily achieved.

'I have a radical idea!'

'You have an idea that relates to a root?'

'No, I have an idea that's marked by a considerable departure from the 
usual or traditional... what's this about 'roots'?  That's stupid!'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:49:13 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>
>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>classical one?
>
> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.

But it scores you points on Jeopardy.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/3/2005 4:57:18 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >[snip]
> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
> >> >
> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
> >>
> >> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
> >> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of
thought,
> >> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a
universe
> >> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
> >
> >Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
> >of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
> >be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.
>
> Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith

Well, Mr Dwarf, it does seem reasonable for me to disagree.

> >
> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
> >> >and evidence.
>
> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty and
> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.

Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.

Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
their certainty and evidence. It is not 'a universe where circles
and triangles do not exist'; but rather need not have existed for
Euclid to think about them.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/3/2005 5:08:47 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp6jc$od9$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <3lagdmF11gr30U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>>
>>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>>classical one?
>>>
>>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>>>
>>Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before 
>>embarking
>>on discussion.
>
> Mr Dashwood, how is it more 'fair' than responding 'I cannot answer until
> you clarify (x).  If you intend (x1) then a conclusion might be (y1), if
> you intend (x2) then (y3).
Why waste time discussing (y3) if you intended (x1)?

I thought that lazy if evaluation was a "good thing".  One option is to 
discuss the litany of available options with an unclear question.

Imagine the following: "What do you think life is about?"

"Well if you mean <your> life.....but if you mean <my> life....but then if 
you mean <general life> ...."

I suppose the correct answer is here:  "Depends on what you mean, I guess. 
But that's merely my non Unisys bases opinion."

How does taking an interrogative phrase 'do you mean (x is x1) or (x is 
x2)?' and rephrasing it as an declarative phrase 'I cannot answer until you 
clarify if  (x is x1) or (x is x2)' make any difference?  Other than in the 
first there is a request for information to continue, and the latter is just 
a statement and has the potential to end the sorry discussion.

> Yes, it takes more words than answering a question with a question... but
> just about anything worthwhile takes a bit of effort and avoiding giving
> no answer at all might be worthwhile.

>>The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.
>
> Or the response is one of answering a question with a question, seeking to
> dodge and obfuscate.
If the question is non specific.  The question was specific - do you mean x1 
or x2?  This is not dodging or obfuscating.  In fact, I would say that this 
would appear to be _seeking_ further conversation - not a dodging.

> DD

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/3/2005 5:20:15 AM
This goes with the famous scene from Grange Hill (for those not english here 
it was a "soap" set in a high school)
They released the new "rule book" among them was the gem:

"Children must walk in the corridors at all times".

JCE

"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message 
news:3lagkcF11qlvhU1@individual.net...
>
>
> "Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
> news:dcogqk$eij$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>>
>>
>> On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> Leaving aside that Mr Brazee was not confessing belief but merely 
>>> stating
>>> what he is capable of saying...
>>
>> Of course being semantically correct can get one misunderstood or in 
>> trouble -
>> such as demanding that my teacher give me an "A" for answering every 
>> question
>> correctly (if that's what she promised), and I correctly answer "I don't 
>> know"
>> to each answer.
>>
>
> ROFL! This is superb! I don't know whether you originated that, Howard, 
> but it sure made me laugh. It is so good I shall definitely steal it.
>
>> Some of the answers and questions on Jeopardy could be like this. Reverse
>> them and you will rarely get full credit for knowing the answer:
>>
>> Question: Who was Abraham Lincoln?    Answer: Winston Churchill reported 
>> seeing
>> his ghost in the bedroom.
>>
>> Semantically one can reply "What is a Jeopardy answer".   But that 
>> "correct"
>> answer won't get any money.
>>
> Pete.
>
> 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/3/2005 5:26:59 AM
In article <11f0khe8tp1jccb@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >[snip]
>> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
>> >> >
>> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
>> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
>> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
>> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
>> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
>> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
>> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
>> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
>> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
>> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
>> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
>> >>
>> >> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
>> >> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought,
>> >> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe
>> >> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
>> >
>> >Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
>> >of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
>> >be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.
>>
>> Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith
>
>Well, Mr Dwarf, it does seem reasonable for me to disagree.

Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror, 
you know.

>> >> >
>> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
>> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
>> >> >and evidence.
>>
>> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty and
>> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.
>
>Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
>with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.
>
>Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
>in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
>In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
>*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
>that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
>truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
>their certainty and evidence.

Ahhhh... if Euclid had invented circles and triangles then it would no 
longer be a universe in which circles and triangles do not exist, Euclid's 
actions would have changed things... but even without the invention the 
truths retain their certainty.

>It is not 'a universe where circles
>and triangles do not exist'; but rather need not have existed for
>Euclid to think about them.

I disagree, as above, in that Hume refers to the conclusions (truths) and 
not the processes which generated them.  No matter how those conclusions 
came about (fully-formed from the forehead) their 'certainty and evidence'
would be retained.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 9:31:45 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp6jc$od9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lagdmF11gr30U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>>
>>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>>classical one?
>>>
>>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>>>
>>Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before 
>>embarking
>>on discussion.
>
> Mr Dashwood, how is it more 'fair' than responding 'I cannot answer until
> you clarify (x).  If you intend (x1) then a conclusion might be (y1), if
> you intend (x2) then (y3).
>
> Yes, it takes more words than answering a question with a question... but
> just about anything worthwhile takes a bit of effort and avoiding giving
> no answer at all might be worthwhile.
>
>>
>>The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.
>
> Or the response is one of answering a question with a question, seeking to
> dodge and obfuscate.
>
I agree that that COULD be the case, but I still think far too much is made 
of "answering a question with a question." If the dialogue stopped there, I 
would agree that is bad, but if the dialogue continues, I can't see the 
harm.

To some extent it depends on the person you asked the question of. If the 
respondent has established credentials and you know they can be trusted NOT 
to simply prevaricate or obfuscate, then, (in my opinion, and not wishing to 
offend anybody, and comments may not apply on Unisys sites...) I believe 
there is a case for "cutting them slack". Howard has demonstrated by 
frequent posts here that he is serious about discussion and argument and is 
not likely to use devices to deflect or prevaricate. (Of course that is my 
opinion, and I respect totally your right not to share it; whether you do or 
not, I still feel it is worth looking again at how seriously answering a 
question with a question demeans the quality of debate.)

For me, it isn't such a terrible sin, and it certainly doesn't mean the 
person's argument is "disqualified" or their case is lost.

Pete.



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 11:35:57 AM
In article <juYHe.59920$mC.8865@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp6jc$od9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <3lagdmF11gr30U1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>>>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>>>
>>>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>>>classical one?
>>>>
>>>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>>>>
>>>Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before 
>>>embarking
>>>on discussion.
>>
>> Mr Dashwood, how is it more 'fair' than responding 'I cannot answer until
>> you clarify (x).  If you intend (x1) then a conclusion might be (y1), if
>> you intend (x2) then (y3).
>Why waste time discussing (y3) if you intended (x1)?

The intention is not apparent, hence the demonstration.

[snip]

>How does taking an interrogative phrase 'do you mean (x is x1) or (x is 
>x2)?' and rephrasing it as an declarative phrase 'I cannot answer until you 
>clarify if  (x is x1) or (x is x2)' make any difference?  Other than in the 
>first there is a request for information to continue, and the latter is just 
>a statement and has the potential to end the sorry discussion.

The reformulation avoids answering a question with a question... which, of 
course, is no answer at all.

>
>> Yes, it takes more words than answering a question with a question... but
>> just about anything worthwhile takes a bit of effort and avoiding giving
>> no answer at all might be worthwhile.
>
>>>The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.
>>
>> Or the response is one of answering a question with a question, seeking to
>> dodge and obfuscate.
>If the question is non specific.  The question was specific - do you mean x1 
>or x2?  This is not dodging or obfuscating.  In fact, I would say that this 
>would appear to be _seeking_ further conversation - not a dodging.

What Mr Brazee continued with ('I noticed you did not answer my question') 
appears to me to be more in line with an objection and explanation I 
posted a while back... interestingly enough, also in an exchange with Mr 
Brazee, from

<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/c5ffed30915f7f6b?dmode=source&hl=en>

--begin quoted text:

It is possible, in my experience, to determine further data without 
answering a question with a question... which is, as noted above, no 
answer at all.  The reasons I use in considering it as such I posted a 
while back... ah:

<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/967c9d77a4959544?dmode=source&hl=en>

--begin quoted text:

I thought I'd addressed this here but perhaps not, it might have been in 
another venue.

Quite openly and honestly: I find that for the overwhelming majority of 
cases answering a question with a question is a stall, a dodge or some way 
to avoid/evade the original query; the 'air' that it carries is 'I cannot 
answer your question so... I'll ask one of you and if you cannot answer it 
then in some way we'll both be even and our arguments will cancel each 
other out, maybe I can even assume a bit of smug superiority by having 
posed the last, unanswerable question.'

Note that I said 'overwhelming majority of cases', not 'all'... but I have 
*never* found a case where the answering question could not be phrased in 
a manner that would turn the dialogue away from the seriocomic interchange 
you posted into something a bit closer to what I would call 'rational 
discourse'.  Consider the differences between:

'Yeah?  Well, what about (condition)?'
'Whaddaya mean, (condition)?'

.... and ...

'Yeah?  Well, what about (condition)?'
'I cannot address that until you make it clear what criteria you are using 
to establish the existence of (condition)?'

Now turning the discord of Duelling Interrogatories into the harmony of 
Rational Discourse might require something called 'honesty' and 
'integrity' as the tactics involve using such phrases as 'I don't know' or 
'I cannot address that' or 'I cannot see the relationship'... but if such 
things are uncomfortable they can, with a bit of practise, be hidden 
without forcing folks to fall back into mutual queries.

This having been said - that in the overwhelming majority of cases it is 
used as an evasion instead of an answer and that there are, as noted 
above, structures readily available to render its use unnecessary - then 
the conclusion is that the technique of answering a question with a 
question is treated as an ALTER and should be structured out of existence.

('Yeah?  What about replacing it with a called Assembley module?' 'I don't 
know what I would say about that without reading the code; if you have it 
available I would be most interested in reading it *first* and *then* 
rendering an opinion... but I *do* know that replacing things in such 
manner usually does not eliminate the structural flaws, it merely shifts 
them.')

--end quoted text

(note - in quoting this I noticed an error in my punctuation, ''I cannot 
address that until you make it clear what criteria you are using to 
establish the existence of (condition)?'' should have been rendered as ''I 
cannot address that until you make it clear what criteria you are using to 
establish the existence of (condition).'')

But wait... there's more!  From even longer back, in another forum:

<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.software.year-2000/msg/34b3233328d534e1?dmode=source&hl=en>

--begin quoted text:

Different folks enjoy, appreciate and benefit from different styles of 
interaction, of course... one size fits none and all that; it is good that 
you enjoy this sort of interaction and find benefit in it.

Me, I've found that not everyone is a rabbi (what a surprise!) and that 
the tactic of answering a question with a question is employed less often 
to teach and more often to dodge... this observation is not, granted, 
universally true (no observation is, of course... including this one) but 
I've found it often enough to be the case.  At times, of course, it can 
get downright infantile:

A: 'What are the suppositions and logic you employed in reaching this 
conclusion?'

B: 'What suppositions and logic would *you* employ to reach this
conclusion?'

A: 'I cannot see *any* set of suppositions and logic which might be 
employed to reach this conclusion, hence my asking you this.'

B: 'Well don't blame *me* because *you* can't see things... you must be a 
poopie-head, nyah nyah nyah!'


.... and such a situation, at time, might just possibly be avoided by the 
judicious invoking of 'Answering a question with a question is no answer 
at all; please be so kind as to address the query.'

--end quoted text

--end quoted text

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 11:48:40 AM
In article <O8YHe.31403$iG6.5769@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>
>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>classical one?
>>
>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>
>But it scores you points on Jeopardy.

I'll try to keep that in mind when I find myself addressing matters in 
that partiular venue, thanks.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 11:49:37 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp764$4l3$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lag8eF11lcrdU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dco9h7$ci4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <dco8co$a29$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its
>>>>> >validity
>>>>> >one
>>>>> >iota.
>>>>>
>>>>> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
>>>>> applied differently to opinions.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Except for trolls - what a poster post is what he believes.
>>>
>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>
>>
>>This is where we come back to "absolute fact".
>
> I noticed that a while back, Mr Dashwood... hence my assertion that
> ''everything is relative' is absolutely true'.
>
>>Is our individual perception
>>of reality simply belief or is it fact?
>
> To posit a reality which one perceives assumes an answer to this.
>
>>(I believe facts are what we agree
>>to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.)
>
> Ummmmmm... for centuries, Mr Dashwood, many 'we' agreed with Aristotle
> that heavier things fell faster than lighter ones.
>

Then that was a good enough working hypothesis for those people. Obviously, 
their lives were not materially affected by the weight of falling objects, 
or else they would have done more careful observation. It was left to the 
enquiring intellect of Galileo (who obviously DID care about falling 
objects, and objects in motion in general) to provide a correction to this 
careless observation.  I wonder if, like Newton, Galileo's insight stemmed 
from seeing something fall (or maybe having it land on his foot :-)).  Your 
statement is incorrect anyway (but I "cut you some slack" because I know 
what you are getting at... :-)); it only applies if the objects are falling 
in a vacuum. It is easily demonstrable that if you release a feather and a 
lead weight in the atmosphere of planet Earth the lead will hit the ground 
before the feather, so Aristotle's observation was perfectly adequate for 
everyday life. And it remained so for a couple of thousand years.

In the same way, Newton's laws of motion are adequate for most purposes 
(NASA uses them for space shots and they took men to the moon and back), but 
it took a young man in a Swiss Patents office to show they were actually 
flawed. He disagreed. At the moment he disagreed he could be considered 
insane, but he made a case and persuaded people to agree with his 
hypothesis. (As it was able to predict with incredible accuracy effects that 
could not even be demonstrated until technology caught up, and as it 
explained a puzzling creeping shift in the orbit of Mercury which had been 
put down to incorrect observation, because Newton couldn't be wrong, it 
became a better hypthesis. But Newton was simpler, and adequate for local 
space travel.)

All of which goes to show that when it comes to "absolute fact" there may be 
no such thing.
> [snip]
>
>>When I post to this forum you are getting a glimpse of my universe. When 
>>you
>>post, I am getting a glimpse of yours.
>
> That's poetic, Mr Dashwood... but I cannot agree.  It might be that when
> you/I post a glimpse of a universe is *given*... what is gotten might be
> entirely different.
>

That is a very astute (and fair) comment, Doc. My remark is predicated on 
the fact that you are able to duplicate the particles I send to you.  (If I 
send "Send reinforcements, we are going to advance", and you receive it as 
"Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance", then I agree completely 
with your comment.)  And that I duplicate exactly what emanated from you in 
return.

Given that we communicate accurately, then I believe my statement to be 
true.

> (consider this in light of the aphorism 'a joke explained is a joke
> lost'... or 'to see the universe in a grain of sand'.  in the latter what
> is given is a bit of silicon, what is gotten is a glimpse of totality)

Hmmm... that's a bit more dodgy. The reason I say that is because what is 
passed is NOT a grain of silicon.

In Blake's poem he is not passing sand or wildflowers or anything else to 
us, other than the IDEA of an innocence that can see 'The Makers mark' in 
all things...

'To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.'

Still, I take your point that if what arrives at the effect point is NOT 
what what was sent from the cause point, then the communication breaks down, 
and, consequently, agreement is no longer possible...

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 12:23:53 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp7qp$sd2$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3laf38F11smc5U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dco2qp$dgq$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <dco0l7$60r$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>On  1-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> From "That's a stupid practice?"  Oh, yes, it is, by the rules of
>>>>> English.
>>>>> Saying "That's a stupid practice" to someone or some group is hugely
>>>>> different in a number of ways from saying "I think that's a stupid
>>>>> practice"
>>>>> to that person.   The former is an assertion of absolute fact; the
>>>>> latter is
>>>>> a clear expression of opinion.
>>>>
>>>>True - but unless we have footnotes and references supporting what we
>>>>say -
>>>>*everything* we post is opinion.
>>>
>>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
>>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base 
>>> ten
>>> five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>>
>><DISCLAIMER - following is Pete's opinion: not intended to offend anyone,
>>forgive any perceived rudeness, observations may not apply to Unisys 
>>sites>
>>
>>Ah, but are they "absolute facts"?
>
> In that they are 'having no restriction, exception or qualification' they
> appear to be asserted as absolutes
> (http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute&x=0&y=0) as
> Mr Stevens observed.
>

As things that are outside my experience cannot be part of my experience, 
there is qualification, may well be exception, and may also be restriction. 
My comments were limited (as they always are) to things within my 
experience. Anyway, I don't accept this definition so it is moot... (it 
isn't even real for me if I disagree with it...:-))

>>So long as everyone who experiences them
>>agrees they are, then they can be admitted to be "real", but that doesn't
>>make them "absolute".
>
> So long as a commonly-accepted source of use indicates a definition which
> seems to fit, Mr Dashwood, then the misunderstanding might be seen as
> easily achieved.
>
> 'I have a radical idea!'
>
> 'You have an idea that relates to a root?'
>
> 'No, I have an idea that's marked by a considerable departure from the
> usual or traditional... what's this about 'roots'?  That's stupid!'

If one party uses radical in one sense and the other party's understanding 
does not include that sense, then a misunderstanding may well occur. Reading 
the above, a reasonable person would accept that the second exclamation is 
true for the person making it. If the excalmation had been qualified as "I 
think that's stupid!" it would be no more or less true.

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 12:35:32 PM
 
Hmm...

An excellent exposition and I see your point.

I'm still not persuaded that it is really that serious in debate, but I have 
moved closer to your position after reading this.

(Close enough to make me aware that if I employ this device (and I do so 
rarely...) it will not be to deflect or prevaricate.)

Pete.

TOP POST - nothing more below.

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqauo$pj5$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <juYHe.59920$mC.8865@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcp6jc$od9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>> In article <3lagdmF11gr30U1@individual.net>,
>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>>>>news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>>> In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>>>> Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>>>>> else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to 
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>> belief or believes to be fact?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>>>>classical one?
>>>>>
>>>>> Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
>>>>>
>>>>Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before
>>>>embarking
>>>>on discussion.
>>>
>>> Mr Dashwood, how is it more 'fair' than responding 'I cannot answer 
>>> until
>>> you clarify (x).  If you intend (x1) then a conclusion might be (y1), if
>>> you intend (x2) then (y3).
>>Why waste time discussing (y3) if you intended (x1)?
>
> The intention is not apparent, hence the demonstration.
>
> [snip]
>
>>How does taking an interrogative phrase 'do you mean (x is x1) or (x is
>>x2)?' and rephrasing it as an declarative phrase 'I cannot answer until 
>>you
>>clarify if  (x is x1) or (x is x2)' make any difference?  Other than in 
>>the
>>first there is a request for information to continue, and the latter is 
>>just
>>a statement and has the potential to end the sorry discussion.
>
> The reformulation avoids answering a question with a question... which, of
> course, is no answer at all.
>
>>
>>> Yes, it takes more words than answering a question with a question... 
>>> but
>>> just about anything worthwhile takes a bit of effort and avoiding giving
>>> no answer at all might be worthwhile.
>>
>>>>The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.
>>>
>>> Or the response is one of answering a question with a question, seeking 
>>> to
>>> dodge and obfuscate.
>>If the question is non specific.  The question was specific - do you mean 
>>x1
>>or x2?  This is not dodging or obfuscating.  In fact, I would say that 
>>this
>>would appear to be _seeking_ further conversation - not a dodging.
>
> What Mr Brazee continued with ('I noticed you did not answer my question')
> appears to me to be more in line with an objection and explanation I
> posted a while back... interestingly enough, also in an exchange with Mr
> Brazee, from
>
> <http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/c5ffed30915f7f6b?dmode=source&hl=en>
>
> --begin quoted text:
>
> It is possible, in my experience, to determine further data without
> answering a question with a question... which is, as noted above, no
> answer at all.  The reasons I use in considering it as such I posted a
> while back... ah:
>
> <http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/967c9d77a4959544?dmode=source&hl=en>
>
> --begin quoted text:
>
> I thought I'd addressed this here but perhaps not, it might have been in
> another venue.
>
> Quite openly and honestly: I find that for the overwhelming majority of
> cases answering a question with a question is a stall, a dodge or some way
> to avoid/evade the original query; the 'air' that it carries is 'I cannot
> answer your question so... I'll ask one of you and if you cannot answer it
> then in some way we'll both be even and our arguments will cancel each
> other out, maybe I can even assume a bit of smug superiority by having
> posed the last, unanswerable question.'
>
> Note that I said 'overwhelming majority of cases', not 'all'... but I have
> *never* found a case where the answering question could not be phrased in
> a manner that would turn the dialogue away from the seriocomic interchange
> you posted into something a bit closer to what I would call 'rational
> discourse'.  Consider the differences between:
>
> 'Yeah?  Well, what about (condition)?'
> 'Whaddaya mean, (condition)?'
>
> ... and ...
>
> 'Yeah?  Well, what about (condition)?'
> 'I cannot address that until you make it clear what criteria you are using
> to establish the existence of (condition)?'
>
> Now turning the discord of Duelling Interrogatories into the harmony of
> Rational Discourse might require something called 'honesty' and
> 'integrity' as the tactics involve using such phrases as 'I don't know' or
> 'I cannot address that' or 'I cannot see the relationship'... but if such
> things are uncomfortable they can, with a bit of practise, be hidden
> without forcing folks to fall back into mutual queries.
>
> This having been said - that in the overwhelming majority of cases it is
> used as an evasion instead of an answer and that there are, as noted
> above, structures readily available to render its use unnecessary - then
> the conclusion is that the technique of answering a question with a
> question is treated as an ALTER and should be structured out of existence.
>
> ('Yeah?  What about replacing it with a called Assembley module?' 'I don't
> know what I would say about that without reading the code; if you have it
> available I would be most interested in reading it *first* and *then*
> rendering an opinion... but I *do* know that replacing things in such
> manner usually does not eliminate the structural flaws, it merely shifts
> them.')
>
> --end quoted text
>
> (note - in quoting this I noticed an error in my punctuation, ''I cannot
> address that until you make it clear what criteria you are using to
> establish the existence of (condition)?'' should have been rendered as ''I
> cannot address that until you make it clear what criteria you are using to
> establish the existence of (condition).'')
>
> But wait... there's more!  From even longer back, in another forum:
>
> <http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.software.year-2000/msg/34b3233328d534e1?dmode=source&hl=en>
>
> --begin quoted text:
>
> Different folks enjoy, appreciate and benefit from different styles of
> interaction, of course... one size fits none and all that; it is good that
> you enjoy this sort of interaction and find benefit in it.
>
> Me, I've found that not everyone is a rabbi (what a surprise!) and that
> the tactic of answering a question with a question is employed less often
> to teach and more often to dodge... this observation is not, granted,
> universally true (no observation is, of course... including this one) but
> I've found it often enough to be the case.  At times, of course, it can
> get downright infantile:
>
> A: 'What are the suppositions and logic you employed in reaching this
> conclusion?'
>
> B: 'What suppositions and logic would *you* employ to reach this
> conclusion?'
>
> A: 'I cannot see *any* set of suppositions and logic which might be
> employed to reach this conclusion, hence my asking you this.'
>
> B: 'Well don't blame *me* because *you* can't see things... you must be a
> poopie-head, nyah nyah nyah!'
>
>
> ... and such a situation, at time, might just possibly be avoided by the
> judicious invoking of 'Answering a question with a question is no answer
> at all; please be so kind as to address the query.'
>
> --end quoted text
>
> --end quoted text
>
> DD
>
> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 12:45:43 PM
In article <3lbsjuF122al4U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>Hmm...
>
>An excellent exposition and I see your point.

Shucks... I'd blush, were I able to remember how.

>
>I'm still not persuaded that it is really that serious in debate, but I have 
>moved closer to your position after reading this.

All I hoped to present was something that could be read and generate a 
response of 'I'm not sure I agree... but it seems reasonable enough'; that 
you found it 'moving' is high praise, indeed.

>
>(Close enough to make me aware that if I employ this device (and I do so 
>rarely...) it will not be to deflect or prevaricate.)

E'en better... it might make you more aware of what *others* could be 
doing when *they* employ that device.

>
>Pete.
>
>TOP POST - nothing more below.

All right, show's over, nothin' more to see, move along now.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:06:31 PM
In article <3lbrb2F11snk8U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp764$4l3$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <3lag8eF11lcrdU1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

[snip]

>>>This is where we come back to "absolute fact".
>>
>> I noticed that a while back, Mr Dashwood... hence my assertion that
>> ''everything is relative' is absolutely true'.
>>
>>>Is our individual perception
>>>of reality simply belief or is it fact?
>>
>> To posit a reality which one perceives assumes an answer to this.
>>
>>>(I believe facts are what we agree
>>>to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.)
>>
>> Ummmmmm... for centuries, Mr Dashwood, many 'we' agreed with Aristotle
>> that heavier things fell faster than lighter ones.
>>
>
>Then that was a good enough working hypothesis for those people.

It might have been, Mr Dashwood... but what was questioned was not a 
matter of 'a working hypothesis' but a credo (in the radical sense) of 
'facts are what we agree to be true'.

[snip]

>Your 
>statement is incorrect anyway (but I "cut you some slack" because I know 
>what you are getting at... :-)); it only applies if the objects are falling 
>in a vacuum.

Actually it applies to objects falling unopposed by other forces, of which 
air resistance is but one... a one-gram iron pellet will fall, in vacuo, 
more slowly than a two-gram lead pellet given a certain application of a 
magnetic field.

[snip]

>All of which goes to show that when it comes to "absolute fact" there may be 
>no such thing.

Hence the cautioning against presenting situations as 'absolute fact'... 
funny how it can work that way!

>> [snip]
>>
>>>When I post to this forum you are getting a glimpse of my universe. When 
>>>you
>>>post, I am getting a glimpse of yours.
>>
>> That's poetic, Mr Dashwood... but I cannot agree.  It might be that when
>> you/I post a glimpse of a universe is *given*... what is gotten might be
>> entirely different.
>>
>
>That is a very astute (and fair) comment, Doc. My remark is predicated on 
>the fact that you are able to duplicate the particles I send to you.  (If I 
>send "Send reinforcements, we are going to advance", and you receive it as 
>"Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance", then I agree completely 
>with your comment.)  And that I duplicate exactly what emanated from you in 
>return.
>
>Given that we communicate accurately, then I believe my statement to be 
>true.

We may believe that we communicate accurately, Mr Dashwood... but what do 
we know, anyhow?

>
>> (consider this in light of the aphorism 'a joke explained is a joke
>> lost'... or 'to see the universe in a grain of sand'.  in the latter what
>> is given is a bit of silicon, what is gotten is a glimpse of totality)
>
>Hmmm... that's a bit more dodgy. The reason I say that is because what is 
>passed is NOT a grain of silicon.
>
>In Blake's poem he is not passing sand or wildflowers or anything else to 
>us, other than the IDEA of an innocence that can see 'The Makers mark' in 
>all things...
>
>'To see a World in a grain of sand,
>And a Heaven in a wild flower,
>Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
>And Eternity in an hour.'
>
>Still, I take your point that if what arrives at the effect point is NOT 
>what what was sent from the cause point, then the communication breaks down, 
>and, consequently, agreement is no longer possible...

.... and there lies the rub.  Take the grain of sand example, once again, 
in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then what 
does one receive when one is given such a grain?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:33:42 PM
In article <3lbs0rF11m239U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcp7qp$sd2$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <3laf38F11smc5U1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dco2qp$dgq$1@panix5.panix.com...

[snip]

>>>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe that
>>>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base 
>>>> ten five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>>>
>>><DISCLAIMER - following is Pete's opinion: not intended to offend anyone,
>>>forgive any perceived rudeness, observations may not apply to Unisys 
>>>sites>
>>>
>>>Ah, but are they "absolute facts"?
>>
>> In that they are 'having no restriction, exception or qualification' they
>> appear to be asserted as absolutes
>> (http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute&x=0&y=0) as
>> Mr Stevens observed.
>>
>
>As things that are outside my experience cannot be part of my experience, 
>there is qualification, may well be exception, and may also be restriction. 
>My comments were limited (as they always are) to things within my 
>experience. Anyway, I don't accept this definition so it is moot... (it 
>isn't even real for me if I disagree with it...:-))

.... and when you use a word it means what you want it to, no more, no 
less?

>>>So long as everyone who experiences them
>>>agrees they are, then they can be admitted to be "real", but that doesn't
>>>make them "absolute".
>>
>> So long as a commonly-accepted source of use indicates a definition which
>> seems to fit, Mr Dashwood, then the misunderstanding might be seen as
>> easily achieved.
>>
>> 'I have a radical idea!'
>>
>> 'You have an idea that relates to a root?'
>>
>> 'No, I have an idea that's marked by a considerable departure from the
>> usual or traditional... what's this about 'roots'?  That's stupid!'
>
>If one party uses radical in one sense and the other party's understanding 
>does not include that sense, then a misunderstanding may well occur. Reading 
>the above, a reasonable person would accept that the second exclamation is 
>true for the person making it.

Ahhhh, there's the nub... 'a reasonable person' would supply the 
qualifications of experience to all statements made by another; I have to 
disagree.  I barely know what *I* am qualifying, let alone anyone else; 
the statements of another stand as the originator/author made them.

>If the excalmation had been qualified as "I 
>think that's stupid!" it would be no more or less true.

You seem to be saying 'that is' can be universally semantically equated to 
'I think that is'... am I correct in concluding this?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 1:40:45 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
> you know.

If you spoke only with your mirror, would you succeed in finding only agreement?
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 2:04:02 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

> >>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
> >>classical one?
> >
> > Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
> >
> Maybe not, Doc, but it is a fair way to seek clarification before embarking
> on discussion.

Some of us value such clarification more than jumping into a discussion.   In
programming, it is quite possible to create a program that works quite well at
solving what I assume to be the needs of the users.

It's not easy to understand how someone who appears to be as knowledge at
programming as DD does, can repeatedly use that statement.
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 2:11:09 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
> >>>classical one?

Since I did continue to answer your question - and this question was just an
aside which you chose not to answer, I thought it might be better off in a
thread of its own, so you cannot construe it as being an attempt to answer a
question with a question.

What do you mean when you say "begs the question"?   My impression of your other
posts would lead to the classical definition, but that didn't seem to fit the
context.
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 2:14:51 PM
In article <dcqisr$jve$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
>> you know.
>
>If you spoke only with your mirror, would you succeed in finding only 
>agreement?

I'm not sure that is an absolute fact... I avoid mirrors, the psychopath 
who lives in them frightens me.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 2:18:38 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

> While there is no denying that in base ten we
> all agree "five times five is twenty-five", this is simply an idea.

Speaking of number bases, I like "Christmas is Halloween"     Dec 25 = Oct 31
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 2:22:58 PM
 

"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:dcqisr$jve$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
>
> On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
>> you know.
>
> If you spoke only with your mirror, would you succeed in finding only 
> agreement?
>
My mirror has a very limited vocabulary; the only thing it ever says is: 
"You're not getting any better looking..."

(Of course, I know it is only the mirror's opinion and not "absolute 
fact"... :-))

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 2:36:03 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqjnu$9qu$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dcqisr$jve$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
>>> you know.
>>
>>If you spoke only with your mirror, would you succeed in finding only
>>agreement?
>
> I'm not sure that is an absolute fact... I avoid mirrors, the psychopath
> who lives in them frightens me.
>
Hahaha! Snap! (I didn't read this until after I posted to Howard...)

Obviously, the Dwarf mirror is a lot more direct than the Dashwood one...:-)

Pete.



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 2:38:17 PM
On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its validity
> >one
> >iota.
>
> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
> applied differently to opinions.

I'm interested that these aren't worded as questions, so you are not literally
"answering a question with a question".

But I fail to see that the difference is significant.
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 2:47:35 PM
In article <dcqjh3$k9g$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>> >>>classical one?

This seems a misattribution; I may have posted this question but I believe 
I was quoting it, not originating it.

[snip]

>What do you mean when you say "begs the question"?   My impression of your other
>posts would lead to the classical definition, but that didn't seem to fit the
>context.

In this instance I was using 
http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=begs , 
3b, 'to pass over or ignore by assuming to be established or settled'.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 2:49:37 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcq2u1$cht$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11f0khe8tp1jccb@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >[snip]
> >> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
> >> >> >
> >> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
> >> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
> >> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
> >> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
> >> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
> >> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
> >> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
> >> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
> >> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
> >> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
> >> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
> >> >>
> >> >> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does
not
> >> >> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of
thought,
> >> >> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a
universe
> >> >> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
> >> >
> >> >Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
> >> >of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
> >> >be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.
> >>
> >> Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith
> >
> >Well, Mr Dwarf, it does seem reasonable for me to disagree.
>
> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
> you know.
>
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
> >> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
> >> >> >and evidence.
> >>
> >> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty
and
> >> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.
> >
> >Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
> >with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.
> >
> >Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
> >in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
> >In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
> >*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
> >that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
> >truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
> >their certainty and evidence.
>
> Ahhhh... if Euclid had invented circles and triangles then it would no
> longer be a universe in which circles and triangles do not exist, Euclid's
> actions would have changed things... but even without the invention the
> truths retain their certainty.

Perhaps you overlooked 'and demonstrated truths about these
inventions' ... had these truths not been demonstrated there
would be no truths to retain.

> >It is not 'a universe where circles
> >and triangles do not exist'; but rather need not have existed for
> >Euclid to think about them.
>
> I disagree, as above, in that Hume refers to the conclusions (truths) and
> not the processes which generated them.  No matter how those conclusions
> came about (fully-formed from the forehead) their 'certainty and evidence'
> would be retained.

Hume referred to the process earlier in the paragraph as
'operations of thought' which is reflected in 'demonstrated';
that is Euclid's 'demonstrated truths' are the result of Euclid's
'operations of thought'.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/3/2005 2:54:21 PM
In article <dcqleg$l7e$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >If you added "I believe" to the above, it wouldn't have changed its validity
>> >one
>> >iota.
>>
>> I do not understand what you are calling 'validity' or how it can be
>> applied differently to opinions.
>
>I'm interested that these aren't worded as questions, so you are not literally
>"answering a question with a question".

How pleasant that you find something of interest, certainly.

>
>But I fail to see that the difference is significant.

Perhaps once I better understand what is being called 'validity' this 
might be examined.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 2:54:53 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqh3m$pq2$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lbrb2F11snk8U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcp764$4l3$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <3lag8eF11lcrdU1@individual.net>,
>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
> [snip]
>
>>>>This is where we come back to "absolute fact".
>>>
>>> I noticed that a while back, Mr Dashwood... hence my assertion that
>>> ''everything is relative' is absolutely true'.
>>>
>>>>Is our individual perception
>>>>of reality simply belief or is it fact?
>>>
>>> To posit a reality which one perceives assumes an answer to this.
>>>
>>>>(I believe facts are what we agree
>>>>to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.)
>>>
>>> Ummmmmm... for centuries, Mr Dashwood, many 'we' agreed with Aristotle
>>> that heavier things fell faster than lighter ones.
>>>
>>
>>Then that was a good enough working hypothesis for those people.
>
> It might have been, Mr Dashwood... but what was questioned was not a
> matter of 'a working hypothesis' but a credo (in the radical sense) of
> 'facts are what we agree to be true'.
>

Everyone agreed with Aristotle on this until Galileo showed otherwise. 
Therefore it was an accepted "fact".

> [snip]
>
>>Your
>>statement is incorrect anyway (but I "cut you some slack" because I know
>>what you are getting at... :-)); it only applies if the objects are 
>>falling
>>in a vacuum.
>
> Actually it applies to objects falling unopposed by other forces, of which
> air resistance is but one... a one-gram iron pellet will fall, in vacuo,
> more slowly than a two-gram lead pellet given a certain application of a
> magnetic field.

Ah, it's all very well to be accurate NOW :-)
>
> [snip]
>
>>All of which goes to show that when it comes to "absolute fact" there may 
>>be
>>no such thing.
>
> Hence the cautioning against presenting situations as 'absolute fact'...
> funny how it can work that way!
>

I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning 
elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT an 
"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was saying 
it was. That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe 
in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my own 
experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting something as 
"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.

(But that might not be a fact... :-))

>>> [snip]
>>>
>>>>When I post to this forum you are getting a glimpse of my universe. When
>>>>you
>>>>post, I am getting a glimpse of yours.
>>>
>>> That's poetic, Mr Dashwood... but I cannot agree.  It might be that when
>>> you/I post a glimpse of a universe is *given*... what is gotten might be
>>> entirely different.
>>>
>>
>>That is a very astute (and fair) comment, Doc. My remark is predicated on
>>the fact that you are able to duplicate the particles I send to you.  (If 
>>I
>>send "Send reinforcements, we are going to advance", and you receive it as
>>"Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance", then I agree 
>>completely
>>with your comment.)  And that I duplicate exactly what emanated from you 
>>in
>>return.
>>
>>Given that we communicate accurately, then I believe my statement to be
>>true.
>
> We may believe that we communicate accurately, Mr Dashwood... but what do
> we know, anyhow?
>

Precisely.

>>
>>> (consider this in light of the aphorism 'a joke explained is a joke
>>> lost'... or 'to see the universe in a grain of sand'.  in the latter 
>>> what
>>> is given is a bit of silicon, what is gotten is a glimpse of totality)
>>
>>Hmmm... that's a bit more dodgy. The reason I say that is because what is
>>passed is NOT a grain of silicon.
>>
>>In Blake's poem he is not passing sand or wildflowers or anything else to
>>us, other than the IDEA of an innocence that can see 'The Makers mark' in
>>all things...
>>
>>'To see a World in a grain of sand,
>>And a Heaven in a wild flower,
>>Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
>>And Eternity in an hour.'
>>
>>Still, I take your point that if what arrives at the effect point is NOT
>>what what was sent from the cause point, then the communication breaks 
>>down,
>>and, consequently, agreement is no longer possible...
>
> ... and there lies the rub.  Take the grain of sand example, once again,
> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then what
> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>

One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (Heisenberg shows that it 
isn't guaranteed.) What one makes of it, is entirely a matter of  one's 
perception.

Pete.




0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 2:56:12 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> In this instance I was using
> http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=begs ,
> 3b, 'to pass over or ignore by assuming to be established or settled'.

I expect that meaning to wither and die, but it hasn't quite died yet.
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 3:01:50 PM
In article <11f1mngaduglp71@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcq2u1$cht$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11f0khe8tp1jccb@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>> >news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >[snip]
>> >> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
>> >> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
>> >> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
>> >> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
>> >> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
>> >> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
>> >> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
>> >> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
>> >> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
>> >> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
>> >> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
>> >> >> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought,
>> >> >> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe
>> >> >> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
>> >> >
>> >> >Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
>> >> >of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
>> >> >be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.
>> >>
>> >> Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith
>> >
>> >Well, Mr Dwarf, it does seem reasonable for me to disagree.
>>
>> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
>> you know.
>>
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
>> >> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
>> >> >> >and evidence.
>> >>
>> >> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty and
>> >> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.
>> >
>> >Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
>> >with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.
>> >
>> >Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
>> >in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
>> >In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
>> >*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
>> >that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
>> >truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
>> >their certainty and evidence.
>>
>> Ahhhh... if Euclid had invented circles and triangles then it would no
>> longer be a universe in which circles and triangles do not exist, Euclid's
>> actions would have changed things... but even without the invention the
>> truths retain their certainty.
>
>Perhaps you overlooked 'and demonstrated truths about these
>inventions' ... had these truths not been demonstrated there
>would be no truths to retain.

That is not how I read it; I read 'Though there never were a circle or 
triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever 
retain their certainty and evidence' as a postulating of a Platonic 
Universe of Forms, where the truths demonstrated by Euclid would retain 
their certainty whether Euclid demonstrated them or not.
>
>> >It is not 'a universe where circles
>> >and triangles do not exist'; but rather need not have existed for
>> >Euclid to think about them.
>>
>> I disagree, as above, in that Hume refers to the conclusions (truths) and
>> not the processes which generated them.  No matter how those conclusions
>> came about (fully-formed from the forehead) their 'certainty and evidence'
>> would be retained.
>
>Hume referred to the process earlier in the paragraph as
>'operations of thought' which is reflected in 'demonstrated';
>that is Euclid's 'demonstrated truths' are the result of Euclid's
>'operations of thought'.

Said 'operations of thought', however, occurred in a universe where 
circles and triangles already existed.  Hume's positing a universe where 
truths exist without their objects smacks, as mentioned earlier, of the 
Platonic.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 3:04:46 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqhgt$1pp$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lbs0rF11m239U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcp7qp$sd2$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <3laf38F11smc5U1@individual.net>,
>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>>>>news:dco2qp$dgq$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> [snip]
>
>>>>> Is that a fact?  Plural majestatus est, Mr Brazee... and I believe 
>>>>> that
>>>>> statements like 'Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota' and 'in base
>>>>> ten five times five is twenty-five' belong to the set of 'everything'.
>>>>
>>>><DISCLAIMER - following is Pete's opinion: not intended to offend 
>>>>anyone,
>>>>forgive any perceived rudeness, observations may not apply to Unisys
>>>>sites>
>>>>
>>>>Ah, but are they "absolute facts"?
>>>
>>> In that they are 'having no restriction, exception or qualification' 
>>> they
>>> appear to be asserted as absolutes
>>> (http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute&x=0&y=0) 
>>> as
>>> Mr Stevens observed.
>>>
>>
>>As things that are outside my experience cannot be part of my experience,
>>there is qualification, may well be exception, and may also be 
>>restriction.
>>My comments were limited (as they always are) to things within my
>>experience. Anyway, I don't accept this definition so it is moot... (it
>>isn't even real for me if I disagree with it...:-))
>
> ... and when you use a word it means what you want it to, no more, no
> less?
>
I'm not quite as bad as Humpty Dumpty, and I try to stick to accepted 
definitions (the "facts"), but I would not be above defining a word in the 
sense in which I am using it. Sometimes culture differences require it. I 
have already seen from this forum that the meaning of "urban myth" in 
America is quite different from the same term in New Zealand or England. In 
my experience it has no associated implications of conveying contempt, yet 
two American based posters here say it has. I believe them (they are 
honourable men) but it doesn't gel with my experience or what I intended 
when I used the term.


>>>>So long as everyone who experiences them
>>>>agrees they are, then they can be admitted to be "real", but that 
>>>>doesn't
>>>>make them "absolute".
>>>
>>> So long as a commonly-accepted source of use indicates a definition 
>>> which
>>> seems to fit, Mr Dashwood, then the misunderstanding might be seen as
>>> easily achieved.
>>>
There are many "commonly accepted" sources and they often disagree in 
details. The argument from Authority is refuted by a different Authority.

>>> 'I have a radical idea!'
>>>
>>> 'You have an idea that relates to a root?'
>>>
>>> 'No, I have an idea that's marked by a considerable departure from the
>>> usual or traditional... what's this about 'roots'?  That's stupid!'
>>
>>If one party uses radical in one sense and the other party's understanding
>>does not include that sense, then a misunderstanding may well occur. 
>>Reading
>>the above, a reasonable person would accept that the second exclamation is
>>true for the person making it.
>
> Ahhhh, there's the nub... 'a reasonable person' would supply the
> qualifications of experience to all statements made by another; I have to
> disagree.  I barely know what *I* am qualifying, let alone anyone else;
> the statements of another stand as the originator/author made them.
>
>>If the excalmation had been qualified as "I
>>think that's stupid!" it would be no more or less true.
>
> You seem to be saying 'that is' can be universally semantically equated to
> 'I think that is'... am I correct in concluding this?
>
I wouldn't presume to make such a generalization. I can only say that when 
_I_ say: "that is" it is because I believe it to be so.

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 3:17:01 PM
In article <3lc48jF11jpnuU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqh3m$pq2$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <3lbrb2F11snk8U1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dcp764$4l3$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>>
>>>> In article <3lag8eF11lcrdU1@individual.net>,
>>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>>>>>This is where we come back to "absolute fact".
>>>>
>>>> I noticed that a while back, Mr Dashwood... hence my assertion that
>>>> ''everything is relative' is absolutely true'.
>>>>
>>>>>Is our individual perception
>>>>>of reality simply belief or is it fact?
>>>>
>>>> To posit a reality which one perceives assumes an answer to this.
>>>>
>>>>>(I believe facts are what we agree
>>>>>to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.)
>>>>
>>>> Ummmmmm... for centuries, Mr Dashwood, many 'we' agreed with Aristotle
>>>> that heavier things fell faster than lighter ones.
>>>>
>>>
>>>Then that was a good enough working hypothesis for those people.
>>
>> It might have been, Mr Dashwood... but what was questioned was not a
>> matter of 'a working hypothesis' but a credo (in the radical sense) of
>> 'facts are what we agree to be true'.
>>
>
>Everyone agreed with Aristotle on this until Galileo showed otherwise. 

'Everyone'?  It would be interesting to see the Opinion Polls behind that 
one!

>Therefore it was an accepted "fact".

Now there's a new qualifier... accepted.  Are there facts outside of the 
accepted?  If so then the assertion of 'facts are what we agree to be 
true' is disproven.

>
>> [snip]
>>
>>>Your
>>>statement is incorrect anyway (but I "cut you some slack" because I know
>>>what you are getting at... :-)); it only applies if the objects are 
>>>falling
>>>in a vacuum.
>>
>> Actually it applies to objects falling unopposed by other forces, of which
>> air resistance is but one... a one-gram iron pellet will fall, in vacuo,
>> more slowly than a two-gram lead pellet given a certain application of a
>> magnetic field.
>
>Ah, it's all very well to be accurate NOW :-)

Better than never, some say.

>>
>> [snip]
>>
>>>All of which goes to show that when it comes to "absolute fact" there may 
>>>be
>>>no such thing.
>>
>> Hence the cautioning against presenting situations as 'absolute fact'...
>> funny how it can work that way!
>>
>
>I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning 
>elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT an 
>"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was saying 
>it was.

In that the statement 'something is a stupid practise' has no restriction, 
exception or qualification it is, by definition, absolute.  In that 
'something' is 'a thing done' it describes a fact.

In that it is a statement of 'a thing done which has no restriction, 
exception or qualification' it is a statement of 'absolute fact', at least 
according to definitions available in a commonly-accepted source.

>That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe 
>in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my own 
>experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting something as 
>"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.

If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using the 
words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).

[snip]

>>>Still, I take your point that if what arrives at the effect point is NOT
>>>what what was sent from the cause point, then the communication breaks 
>>>down,
>>>and, consequently, agreement is no longer possible...
>>
>> ... and there lies the rub.  Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then what
>> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>>
>
>One probably  receives a physical grain of sand.

Says the giver... the recipient says what was received was a view of the 
World.  Whose word has greater sway?

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 3:18:14 PM
 

"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:dcqk0a$kj1$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
>
> On  2-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>> While there is no denying that in base ten we
>> all agree "five times five is twenty-five", this is simply an idea.
>
> Speaking of number bases, I like "Christmas is Halloween"     Dec 25 = Oct 
> 31
>
Man! That is SOOO cool! I have worked in octal on 6 bit  character machines 
and never come across that one before...
It's a shame we don't have a month "Hextember"...:-)

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/3/2005 3:21:50 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> That is not how I read it; I read 'Though there never were a circle or
> triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever
> retain their certainty and evidence' as a postulating of a Platonic
> Universe of Forms, where the truths demonstrated by Euclid would retain
> their certainty whether Euclid demonstrated them or not.

The ancient Greeks tended to favor logical constructs over observable results.
They aren't alone (Descartes was good at this).   I think we all have some
biases of how things "should be", even if these biases can be contradictory.

But we can't test "should be".   We can argue about it, "prove" it, and we can
kill and die for it.   
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 3:33:07 PM
In article <3lc5fkF11uur6U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqhgt$1pp$1@panix5.panix.com...

[snip]

>> You seem to be saying 'that is' can be universally semantically equated to
>> 'I think that is'... am I correct in concluding this?
>>
>I wouldn't presume to make such a generalization. I can only say that when 
>_I_ say: "that is" it is because I believe it to be so.

Mr Dashwood, not everyone is aware of the particular beliefs of another; 
this might be a good reason to be explicit in applying 'restriction, 
exception and qualification'.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 3:38:45 PM
In article <dcqm97$lr5$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> In this instance I was using
>> http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=begs ,
>> 3b, 'to pass over or ignore by assuming to be established or settled'.
>
>I expect that meaning to wither and die, but it hasn't quite died yet.

Hasn't quite died?  I didn't even know it was ill!

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 3:40:18 PM
In article <dcqo3r$mp5$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> That is not how I read it; I read 'Though there never were a circle or
>> triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever
>> retain their certainty and evidence' as a postulating of a Platonic
>> Universe of Forms, where the truths demonstrated by Euclid would retain
>> their certainty whether Euclid demonstrated them or not.
>
>The ancient Greeks tended to favor logical constructs over observable results.

Some did, some didn't.  Socrates (via Plato) and Aristotle seem to fall in 
the camp you mention, Archimedes and Eratosthenes seem to fall in 
another... and then there's Ptolemy, worthy of Much Study.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 3:48:12 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

>  In
> my experience it has no associated implications of conveying contempt, yet
> two American based posters here say it has. I believe them (they are
> honourable men) but it doesn't gel with my experience or what I intended
> when I used the term.

This USAmerican has a similar experience as you have.   It may be that the
difference isn't geographical.   I also use "wrong" as a synonym for "mistaken"
most of the time.
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 3:54:41 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >I wouldn't presume to make such a generalization. I can only say that when
> >_I_ say: "that is" it is because I believe it to be so.
>
> Mr Dashwood, not everyone is aware of the particular beliefs of another;
> this might be a good reason to be explicit in applying 'restriction,
> exception and qualification'.

Where does the confusion lie here?

If Mr. Dashwood says "That is stupid", and if my beliefs are different, how
would my understanding of what he meant be more clear if he said "I believe that
is stupid"?
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 3:57:33 PM
By George, I think he's got it!

Characterizing an actual or potential action taken by someone as "stupid"
carries implications about the fundamental capabilities of the person taking
that action that differ significantly from those implicit in characterizing
the actions as, for example, "inappropriate", "ill-advised", "suboptimal",
"inefficient", or even "bad practice".

    -Chuck Stevens

<top post, no more below>


"Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote in message
news:11evuaa8gtgr36c@corp.supernews.com...
>
> "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message
> news:dcoo25$1cnj$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
> >
> > "Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote in message
> > news:11evmmviarbqm5b@corp.supernews.com...
> >
> > > Going the wrong
> > > way on an escalator may be considered offensive to those
> > > going the right way ...
> >
> > Referring back to an earlier thread:  regardless of *offensiveness*, is
> > there ever a case in which it might *not* be considered *stupid* to go
the
> > wrong way on an escalator?       ;-)
>
> A person on an escalator notices another in danger and
> goes the wrong way for the purpose of assisting that other.
> Those unaware of the circumstances might consider this
> going the wrong way as 'stupid'. Those aware, or who
> become aware, of the circumstances might consider this
> going the wrong way to be part of 'heroism' and,
> therefore, not 'stupid'. I am assuming that heroism and
> stupidity are mutually exclusive; that is, there are no stupid
> heroes even though some acts taken out of the context of
> heroism may seem stupid.
>
> "You're saying he ran into a burning building. That's stupid!"
> "He saved a child. That makes him a hero!"
>
> "What? A Dutch boy stuck his finger in a dike. That's stupid!"
> "He saved a village. That makes him a hero!"
>
>
>


0
8/3/2005 4:18:44 PM
My favorite remains the answer "forty-two" to the question "what do you get
when you multiply six by nine?".   Forty-two is, of course, the correct
answer in an environment in which the presumed number base is thirteen.

    -Chuck Stevens


"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message
news:dcqk0a$kj1$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
> On  2-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
> > While there is no denying that in base ten we
> > all agree "five times five is twenty-five", this is simply an idea.
>
> Speaking of number bases, I like "Christmas is Halloween"     Dec 25 = Oct
31


0
8/3/2005 4:26:17 PM
In article <dcqphm$ndb$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >I wouldn't presume to make such a generalization. I can only say that when
>> >_I_ say: "that is" it is because I believe it to be so.
>>
>> Mr Dashwood, not everyone is aware of the particular beliefs of another;
>> this might be a good reason to be explicit in applying 'restriction,
>> exception and qualification'.
>
>Where does the confusion lie here?

The difference between 'is' and 'I believe it is'.

>
>If Mr. Dashwood says "That is stupid", and if my beliefs are different, how
>would my understanding of what he meant be more clear if he said "I believe that
>is stupid"?

The difference might not be one of belief but one of the definition of 
stupid used.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 4:32:18 PM
In article <dcqpca$nd1$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>>  In
>> my experience it has no associated implications of conveying contempt, yet
>> two American based posters here say it has. I believe them (they are
>> honourable men) but it doesn't gel with my experience or what I intended
>> when I used the term.
>
>This USAmerican has a similar experience as you have.   It may be that the
>difference isn't geographical.   I also use "wrong" as a synonym for "mistaken"
>most of the time.

You are using it, Mr Brazee, in a fashion which is defined in a 
commonly-accepted source:

http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=wrong

3a: the state of being mistaken or incorrect

.... so it appears there's nothing wrong there.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 4:34:51 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >Where does the confusion lie here?
>
> The difference between 'is' and 'I believe it is'.

Obviously we aren't arguing about how long the sentence is.   So there must be
some real difference.   Is there a possibility that someone reading Mr.
Dashwood's quote might be confused as to whether he believes a practice is
stupid, or whether there is some objectively defined definition of "is stupid"
that can be applied here where "I believe" would not work?


> >If Mr. Dashwood says "That is stupid", and if my beliefs are different, how
> >would my understanding of what he meant be more clear if he said "I believe
> >that
> >is stupid"?
>
> The difference might not be one of belief but one of the definition of
> stupid used.

That could be.   But "I believe" does not clarify which definition is being
used.
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 4:50:14 PM
In article <dcqske$p49$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >Where does the confusion lie here?
>>
>> The difference between 'is' and 'I believe it is'.
>
>Obviously we aren't arguing about how long the sentence is.   So there must be
>some real difference.   Is there a possibility that someone reading Mr.
>Dashwood's quote might be confused as to whether he believes a practice is
>stupid, or whether there is some objectively defined definition of "is stupid"
>that can be applied here where "I believe" would not work?

I barely know what *I* might be confused about, Mr Brazee, let alone what 
others might be confused about.

>
>
>> >If Mr. Dashwood says "That is stupid", and if my beliefs are different, how
>> >would my understanding of what he meant be more clear if he said "I believe
>> >that
>> >is stupid"?
>>
>> The difference might not be one of belief but one of the definition of
>> stupid used.
>
>That could be.   But "I believe" does not clarify which definition is being
>used.

One is a statement about what stupidity is, Mr Brazee, and one is a 
statement about belief; direction of further queries might be different 
depending on this.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/3/2005 5:18:42 PM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >Obviously we aren't arguing about how long the sentence is.   So there must
> >be
> >some real difference.   Is there a possibility that someone reading Mr.
> >Dashwood's quote might be confused as to whether he believes a practice is
> >stupid, or whether there is some objectively defined definition of "is
> >stupid"
> >that can be applied here where "I believe" would not work?
>
> I barely know what *I* might be confused about, Mr Brazee, let alone what
> others might be confused about.

Still, a suggestion that adding "I believe" to a "is stupid" clause should be
accompanied by a statement of purpose - what benefit is gained.   If it happens
to be, "to reduce confusion", an example would be useful illustrating how that
extra information makes the statement more clear.


> >> The difference might not be one of belief but one of the definition of
> >> stupid used.
> >
> >That could be.   But "I believe" does not clarify which definition is being
> >used.
>
> One is a statement about what stupidity is, Mr Brazee, and one is a
> statement about belief;

It appears you agree with me then.

> direction of further queries might be different depending on this.

If "on this" is on the definition of "is stupid", I agree.   But that is
separate from whether he said "I believe" in front of his "is stupid".
0
howard (6283)
8/3/2005 7:08:21 PM
In article <dcr4nd$3t$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >Obviously we aren't arguing about how long the sentence is.   So there must
>> >be
>> >some real difference.   Is there a possibility that someone reading Mr.
>> >Dashwood's quote might be confused as to whether he believes a practice is
>> >stupid, or whether there is some objectively defined definition of "is
>> >stupid"
>> >that can be applied here where "I believe" would not work?
>>
>> I barely know what *I* might be confused about, Mr Brazee, let alone what
>> others might be confused about.
>
>Still, a suggestion that adding "I believe" to a "is stupid" clause should be
>accompanied by a statement of purpose - what benefit is gained.

That depends on who is evaluating the benefit, Mr Brazee; some might say 
that more precise speech is, in and of it'sself, a benefit.

[snip]

>> >> The difference might not be one of belief but one of the definition of
>> >> stupid used.
>> >
>> >That could be.   But "I believe" does not clarify which definition is being
>> >used.
>>
>> One is a statement about what stupidity is, Mr Brazee, and one is a
>> statement about belief;
>
>It appears you agree with me then.

It appears that you interrupted me mid-sentence, Mr Brazee, and that doing 
so might alter the context of the statement.

>
>> direction of further queries might be different depending on this.
>
>If "on this" is on the definition of "is stupid", I agree.   But that is
>separate from whether he said "I believe" in front of his "is stupid".

If the sentence is addressed without interruption, Mr Brazee, you might be 
able to see your question answered.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 12:22:10 AM
jce wrote:
> <docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcoec5$hsl$1@panix5.panix.com...
> 
>>In article <dcobr4$bu0$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>>On  2-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Leaving aside that I barely know what *I* believe, let alone anyone
>>>>else... assuming this to be true it begs the question: believes to be
>>>>belief or believes to be fact?
>>>
>>>Are you using the common definition of "begs the question" or the
>>>classical one?
>>
>>Answering a question with a question is no answer at all.
> 
> 
> But it scores you points on Jeopardy.

No, that's answering answers with a question.  :)

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/4/2005 2:17:48 AM
jce wrote:
>>>The response could vary here, depending on your answer to the question.
>>
>>Or the response is one of answering a question with a question, seeking to
>>dodge and obfuscate.
> 
> If the question is non specific.  The question was specific - do you mean x1 
> or x2?  This is not dodging or obfuscating.  In fact, I would say that this 
> would appear to be _seeking_ further conversation - not a dodging.

Ah - but there's the rub.  You *can't* reply to a question with a 
question without it being interpreted as an answer.  So, you answer, 
then are deluged with things that contradict your answer, a lot having 
to do with the differing suppositions upon which they are based.  Then, 
you clarify, and are heartily accused of waffling, backing down, etc.

But hey, it's the CLC way...  (It's also why I rarely express any OT 
opinions in here anymore.)

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/4/2005 2:24:52 AM
Howard Brazee wrote:
> On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
> 
> 
>>Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
>>you know.
> 
> 
> If you spoke only with your mirror, would you succeed in finding only agreement?

.........must.......not.......jump.....on.......straight......line..........

*whew*  that was close...

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/4/2005 2:31:11 AM
>docdwarf@panix.com
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning
>>elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT an
>>"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was saying
>>it was.
> In that the statement 'something is a stupid practise' has no restriction,
> exception or qualification it is, by definition, absolute.  In that
> 'something' is 'a thing done' it describes a fact.
> In that it is a statement of 'a thing done which has no restriction,
> exception or qualification' it is a statement of 'absolute fact', at least
> according to definitions available in a commonly-accepted source.

>>That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe
>>in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my own
>>experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting something 
>>as
>>"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.
>
> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using the
> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I think 
that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group take 
such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual 
tete-a-tete.

I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen in 
here make the following sentence impossible...
"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of 
facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make that 
sentence viable.

>>>>Still, I take your point that if what arrives at the effect point is NOT
>>>>what what was sent from the cause point, then the communication breaks
>>>>down,
>>>>and, consequently, agreement is no longer possible...
>>>
>>> ... and there lies the rub.  Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>>> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then 
>>> what
>>> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>>>
>>
>>One probably  receives a physical grain of sand.
>
> Says the giver... the recipient says what was received was a view of the
> World.  Whose word has greater sway?
I don't believe that the fact that the receiver "sees" a view of the world 
changes the fact that he received a grain of sand.  It's probably just worth 
more than other grains of sand without the view; however, I'm not sure if I 
like Blakes view that much...


JCE

> DD 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/4/2005 6:31:57 AM
In article <xDiIe.35066$iG6.10400@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>docdwarf@panix.com
>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning
>>>elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT an
>>>"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was saying
>>>it was.
>> In that the statement 'something is a stupid practise' has no restriction,
>> exception or qualification it is, by definition, absolute.  In that
>> 'something' is 'a thing done' it describes a fact.
>> In that it is a statement of 'a thing done which has no restriction,
>> exception or qualification' it is a statement of 'absolute fact', at least
>> according to definitions available in a commonly-accepted source.
>
>>>That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe
>>>in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my own
>>>experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting something 
>>>as
>>>"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.
>>
>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using the
>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I think 
>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group take 
>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual 
>tete-a-tete.

I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find 
that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with 
multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do 
not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how 
anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in 
commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in 
manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.

>
>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen in 
>here make the following sentence impossible...
>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of 
>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make that 
>sentence viable.

I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is 
changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to 
re-state it.  Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug 
1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear on 
your assertion?

[snip]

>>>> Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>>>> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then 
>>>> what
>>>> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>>>>
>>>
>>>One probably  receives a physical grain of sand.
>>
>> Says the giver... the recipient says what was received was a view of the
>> World.  Whose word has greater sway?
>I don't believe that the fact that the receiver "sees" a view of the world 
>changes the fact that he received a grain of sand.

Seeing that the recipient says what was received was a view of the world 
how do you come to the conclusion that it is '... fact that he received a 
grain of sand'?  Are there reasons for aligning your belief with that of 
the giver... or are you asserting a sort of 'credo' and should it be left 
alone?

(extra credit: compare and contrast the exchange of:

A: 'I gave B a grain of sand.'
B: 'I received from A a view of the world.'

.... with Kurosawa's film 'Rashomon'.  Use both sides of the posting if 
necessary.)

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 11:51:46 AM
On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >Still, a suggestion that adding "I believe" to a "is stupid" clause should be
> >accompanied by a statement of purpose - what benefit is gained.
>
> That depends on who is evaluating the benefit, Mr Brazee; some might say
> that more precise speech is, in and of it'sself, a benefit.

Precision isn't measured by the number of words being passed - it's measured by
how effectively the data gets understood.   Extra words do not make something
precise unless more information was added.   My argument is that no more
information was added.
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 1:56:15 PM
In article <dct6pu$5bf$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  3-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >Still, a suggestion that adding "I believe" to a "is stupid" clause should be
>> >accompanied by a statement of purpose - what benefit is gained.
>>
>> That depends on who is evaluating the benefit, Mr Brazee; some might say
>> that more precise speech is, in and of it'sself, a benefit.
>
>Precision isn't measured by the number of words being passed - it's measured by
>how effectively the data gets understood.   Extra words do not make something
>precise unless more information was added.   My argument is that no more
>information was added.

It appears that 'no more information was added' when one equates 'It is' 
with 'I believe it is'; I do not believe that this equating is, by any 
means, a universal phenomenon.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 2:11:42 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
snip

> Seeing that the recipient says what was received was a view of the world
> how do you come to the conclusion that it is '... fact that he received a
> grain of sand'?  Are there reasons for aligning your belief with that of
> the giver... or are you asserting a sort of 'credo' and should it be left
> alone?
>
> (extra credit: compare and contrast the exchange of:
>
> A: 'I gave B a grain of sand.'
> B: 'I received from A a view of the world.'
>
> ... with Kurosawa's film 'Rashomon'.  Use both sides of the posting if
> necessary.)
>
> DD
Here is your text:

"... and there lies the rub.  Take the grain of sand example, once again,
in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then what
does one receive when one is given such a grain?"

Your statement asserts that 'One can see a world in *it*' ..I think *it* 
refers to a grain of sand.   I don't believe it is either safe to presume or 
inferr or assume that one receives an absolute "view of the world" [such as 
would be found in space] - using your description of events not solely the 
descriptions provided by A and B.

A says I gave sand.
B says I received a view.

DD says a piece of sand with a view was given by A to B.  It seems that in 
describing the problem you have "asserted" would the situation was.  The 
answer would have been *mightily* changed had you reversed your statement of 
events - even it is a little less poetic.

.......to see a grain of sand in a view then what does one receive when 
presented with a view.......

 The act of observation has broken the analogy.

JCE


0
defaultuser (532)
8/4/2005 2:17:53 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqmee$nra$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11f1mngaduglp71@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dcq2u1$cht$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11f0khe8tp1jccb@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >> >
> >> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >> >news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >> >[snip]
> >> >> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
> >> >> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
> >> >> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry,
Algebra,
> >> >> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
> >> >> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
> >> >> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
> >> >> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
> >> >> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses
a
> >> >> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
> >> >> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
> >> >> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does
not
> >> >> >> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of
thought,
> >> >> >> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a
universe
> >> >> >> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
> >> >> >of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
> >> >> >be saying that things need not exist for people to think about
them.
> >> >>
> >> >> Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith
> >> >
> >> >Well, Mr Dwarf, it does seem reasonable for me to disagree.
> >>
> >> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my
mirror,
> >> you know.
> >>
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the
truths
> >> >> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
> >> >> >> >and evidence.
> >> >>
> >> >> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their
certainty and
> >> >> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.
> >> >
> >> >Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
> >> >with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.
> >> >
> >> >Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
> >> >in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
> >> >In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
> >> >*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
> >> >that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
> >> >truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
> >> >their certainty and evidence.
> >>
> >> Ahhhh... if Euclid had invented circles and triangles then it would no
> >> longer be a universe in which circles and triangles do not exist,
Euclid's
> >> actions would have changed things... but even without the invention the
> >> truths retain their certainty.
> >
> >Perhaps you overlooked 'and demonstrated truths about these
> >inventions' ... had these truths not been demonstrated there
> >would be no truths to retain.
>
> That is not how I read it; I read 'Though there never were a circle or
> triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever
> retain their certainty and evidence' as a postulating of a Platonic
> Universe of Forms, where the truths demonstrated by Euclid would retain
> their certainty whether Euclid demonstrated them or not.

Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
of Forms. The sentence preceding the quote begins
"Propositions of this kind are discoverable ..."; I suppose
one could speculate that Hume was saying that such
propostions are eternal whether discovered or not; but
I've seen nothing elsewhere to warrant such speculation.
Hume also discusses matters of fact and their relation to
experience; but I've seen nothing to suggest an intent that
matters of fact exist whether experienced or not. I think
Hume was saying that truths (about circles and triangles)
demonstrated by Euclid would retain their certainty
whether circles or triangle existed in nature or not.

> >> >It is not 'a universe where circles
> >> >and triangles do not exist'; but rather need not have existed for
> >> >Euclid to think about them.
> >>
> >> I disagree, as above, in that Hume refers to the conclusions (truths)
and
> >> not the processes which generated them.  No matter how those
conclusions
> >> came about (fully-formed from the forehead) their 'certainty and
evidence'
> >> would be retained.
> >
> >Hume referred to the process earlier in the paragraph as
> >'operations of thought' which is reflected in 'demonstrated';
> >that is Euclid's 'demonstrated truths' are the result of Euclid's
> >'operations of thought'.
>
> Said 'operations of thought', however, occurred in a universe where
> circles and triangles already existed.  Hume's positing a universe where
> truths exist without their objects smacks, as mentioned earlier, of the
> Platonic.

Negative and imaginary numbers, to the best of my
knowledge, do not exist in *nature*, yet, there are truths
(about these) demonstrated by their discovers using, as
Hume suggests, "mere operation of thought, without
dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe."
[Hume used 'universe' in one sentence and 'nature' in the
following. I maintain the distinction here because I think
Hume is claiming that "relations of ideas" extend beyond
the (physical) universe; but "matters of fact" are limited to
man's experiences with nature. I find no reason to disagree.]



0
ricksmith (875)
8/4/2005 2:24:39 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
snip
>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using 
>>> the
>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I 
>>think
>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group take
>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>tete-a-tete.
> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
I don't recall ever stating that you should be faulted.  I stated that it be 
idiosyncractic.

>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen 
>>in
>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make that
>>sentence viable.
> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
> re-state it.
Facts are - using one definition (AH) - "Something believed to be true or 
real".  Occasionally what was "thought" a fact, was not a fact after all! It 
was a mistake, an error, a lapse of judgment or even something else.

> Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear on
> your assertion?
I know someone who's birthday _did_ change.  For the first 25 years they 
celebrated it late so it would not be clear that he was conceived in a 
manner unsuitable to his upbringing.
What if you were a replicant and your memories were all implanted.  Now 
what's fact?

I will do you the service of saying....Not ALL facts are undisputed 
eternally.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/4/2005 2:31:38 PM
In article <lspIe.60126$mC.23648@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>snip
>
>> Seeing that the recipient says what was received was a view of the world
>> how do you come to the conclusion that it is '... fact that he received a
>> grain of sand'?  Are there reasons for aligning your belief with that of
>> the giver... or are you asserting a sort of 'credo' and should it be left
>> alone?
>>
>> (extra credit: compare and contrast the exchange of:
>>
>> A: 'I gave B a grain of sand.'
>> B: 'I received from A a view of the world.'
>>
>> ... with Kurosawa's film 'Rashomon'.  Use both sides of the posting if
>> necessary.)
>>
>> DD
>Here is your text:
>
>"... and there lies the rub.  Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then what
>does one receive when one is given such a grain?"
>
>Your statement asserts that 'One can see a world in *it*' ..I think *it* 
>refers to a grain of sand.

That is correct; what I refer to is the that-which-was-given.  My question 
is 'for what reason(s) do you say a particular thing happened?'

>I don't believe it is either safe to presume or 
>inferr or assume that one receives an absolute "view of the world" [such as 
>would be found in space] - using your description of events not solely the 
>descriptions provided by A and B.

I don't recall saying anything about an absolute.

>
>A says I gave sand.
>B says I received a view.
>
>DD says a piece of sand with a view was given by A to B.

No.  I said 'A said I gave... B said I received'.

>It seems that in 
>describing the problem you have "asserted" would the situation was.  The 
>answer would have been *mightily* changed had you reversed your statement of 
>events - even it is a little less poetic.

I tried to follow chronology (rather difficult to receive something before 
it is given, last I looked) but I do not see your distinction; see below.

>
>......to see a grain of sand in a view then what does one receive when 
>presented with a view.......
>
> The act of observation has broken the analogy.

I am not sure I am making sense of this in the manner you intend.  Using 
the reversal you suggest:

B: 'I received a view of the World from A.'
A: 'I gave a grain of sand to B.'

.... the question still appears to stand: Seeing that the recipient says 
what was received was a view of the world how do you come to the 
conclusion that it is '... fact that he received a grain of sand'?

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 2:40:37 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, "Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:

> Negative and imaginary numbers, to the best of my
> knowledge, do not exist in *nature*,

What numbers *do* exist in nature?
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 3:06:15 PM
In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcqmee$nra$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11f1mngaduglp71@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dcq2u1$cht$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11f0khe8tp1jccb@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>> >news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> >> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>> >> >news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> >> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >> >[snip]
>> >> >> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
>> >> >> >> >
>> >> >> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
>> >> >> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters
>> >> >> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra,
>> >> >> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either
>> >> >> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the
>> >> >> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
>> >> >> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
>> >> >> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a
>> >> >> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
>> >> >> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
>> >> >> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
>> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >> Mr Hume appears to be saying that 'the operation of thought' does not
>> >> >> >> exist anywhere in the universe ('discoverable by... operation of thought,
>> >> >> >> without dependence on what is anywhere existent') or he posits a universe
>> >> >> >> without thought... which cannot be occupied by sentient beings.
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >Much of science fiction is 'operation of thought', independent
>> >> >> >of the existence of aliens, monsters, etc. Mr Hume appears to
>> >> >> >be saying that things need not exist for people to think about them.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Mr Hume's next sentence appears to say the exact opposite, Mr Smith
>> >> >
>> >> >Well, Mr Dwarf, it does seem reasonable for me to disagree.
>> >>
>> >> Oh good... if I wanted only agreement I would speak only with my mirror,
>> >> you know.
>> >>
>> >> >> >> >
>> >> >> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths
>> >> >> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
>> >> >> >> >and evidence.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their certainty and
>> >> >> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.
>> >> >
>> >> >Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
>> >> >with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.
>> >> >
>> >> >Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
>> >> >in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
>> >> >In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
>> >> >*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
>> >> >that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
>> >> >truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
>> >> >their certainty and evidence.
>> >>
>> >> Ahhhh... if Euclid had invented circles and triangles then it would no
>> >> longer be a universe in which circles and triangles do not exist, Euclid's
>> >> actions would have changed things... but even without the invention the
>> >> truths retain their certainty.
>> >
>> >Perhaps you overlooked 'and demonstrated truths about these
>> >inventions' ... had these truths not been demonstrated there
>> >would be no truths to retain.
>>
>> That is not how I read it; I read 'Though there never were a circle or
>> triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever
>> retain their certainty and evidence' as a postulating of a Platonic
>> Universe of Forms, where the truths demonstrated by Euclid would retain
>> their certainty whether Euclid demonstrated them or not.
>
>Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
>of Forms.

Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most likely 
did.

>The sentence preceding the quote begins
>"Propositions of this kind are discoverable ..."; I suppose
>one could speculate that Hume was saying that such
>propostions are eternal whether discovered or not; but
>I've seen nothing elsewhere to warrant such speculation.

In that the word 'discovered' was used, and not 'invented', it appears to 
be a reasonable conclusion.

>Hume also discusses matters of fact and their relation to
>experience; but I've seen nothing to suggest an intent that
>matters of fact exist whether experienced or not. I think
>Hume was saying that truths (about circles and triangles)
>demonstrated by Euclid would retain their certainty
>whether circles or triangle existed in nature or not.

This was not contested; as I stated above: To paraphrase: Euclidean truths 
would for ever retain their certainty and evidence in a universe where 
circles or triangles do not exist.
>
>> >> >It is not 'a universe where circles
>> >> >and triangles do not exist'; but rather need not have existed for
>> >> >Euclid to think about them.
>> >>
>> >> I disagree, as above, in that Hume refers to the conclusions (truths) and
>> >> not the processes which generated them.  No matter how those conclusions
>> >> came about (fully-formed from the forehead) their 'certainty and evidence'
>> >> would be retained.
>> >
>> >Hume referred to the process earlier in the paragraph as
>> >'operations of thought' which is reflected in 'demonstrated';
>> >that is Euclid's 'demonstrated truths' are the result of Euclid's
>> >'operations of thought'.
>>
>> Said 'operations of thought', however, occurred in a universe where
>> circles and triangles already existed.  Hume's positing a universe where
>> truths exist without their objects smacks, as mentioned earlier, of the
>> Platonic.
>
>Negative and imaginary numbers, to the best of my
>knowledge, do not exist in *nature*, yet, there are truths
>(about these) demonstrated by their discovers using, as
>Hume suggests, "mere operation of thought, without
>dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe."

Negative numbers are a shorthand for the process of subtraction... now 
whether arithmetic processes exist in absence of humans to perform them is 
another matter, entire.  (Hume, in accord with the Platonic model, appears 
to say that they do; how this would be corroborated is, as noted above, 
uncertain.)  As for imaginary numbers there is a variation of Kronecker: 
'In nature lies the integers, all the rest is the work of man.'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 3:11:22 PM
In article <eFpIe.35082$iG6.14436@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>snip
>>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using 
>>>> the
>>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I 
>>>think
>>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group take
>>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>>tete-a-tete.
>> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
>> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
>> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
>> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
>> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
>> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
>> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
>I don't recall ever stating that you should be faulted.  I stated that it be 
>idiosyncractic.

It is idiosyncratic to use commonly-accepted sources for the definitions 
of words or to be confused when another uses words in manners different 
than those found in commonly-accepted sources?  

In that 'idiosyncratic' is an antonym of 'conformity' it appears you are 
stating a contradiction.

>
>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen 
>>>in
>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make that
>>>sentence viable.
>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>> re-state it.
>Facts are - using one definition (AH) - "Something believed to be true or 
>real".  Occasionally what was "thought" a fact, was not a fact after all! It 
>was a mistake, an error, a lapse of judgment or even something else.

This makes for a difficulty, also.  If the condition of belief makes for 
the condition of fact and the belief continues... how does the factuality 
end?

>
>> Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear on
>> your assertion?
>I know someone who's birthday _did_ change.  For the first 25 years they 
>celebrated it late so it would not be clear that he was conceived in a 
>manner unsuitable to his upbringing.

That's not the crowd *I* hang out with, certainly.

>What if you were a replicant and your memories were all implanted.  Now 
>what's fact?

I'll worry about that when it happens... right now I have enough 
difficulty dealing with 'what is' so that I try to avoid 'what if'.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 3:19:00 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, "jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:

> > Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
> > 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear on
> > your assertion?

Perception will change the latter when people read it tomorrow.

> I know someone who's birthday _did_ change.  For the first 25 years they
> celebrated it late so it would not be clear that he was conceived in a
> manner unsuitable to his upbringing.

My daughter shares a birthday with  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, except she was born
right before Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. changed his name.

What did people do when calendars changed?   I suppose some adjusted their
birthdays by changing the date to the new format, others adjusted by having a
short year.

Leap year babies celebrate birthdays every year - my grandkids spread out their
birthday celebrations (3 of them were born on December 21, 26, & 29).

My favorite calendar story concerns a couple I knew in the USAF.   It seems that
he had his permanent station in Hawaii while serving temporarily in Korea.   If
he got married, his salary would go up, and he would have married people's
quarters.   So he married his fiance via the phone with her in Hawaii and him in
Korea.   When he got back home a couple of months later, they had a big church
wedding with all of their relatives enjoying a Hawaii vacation.

But with the international dateline between Hawaii and Korea, every year they
celebrate his anniversary, her anniversary, and their anniversary.

Cool.
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 3:51:13 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >Precision isn't measured by the number of words being passed - it's measured
> >by
> >how effectively the data gets understood.   Extra words do not make something
> >precise unless more information was added.   My argument is that no more
> >information was added.
>
> It appears that 'no more information was added' when one equates 'It is'
> with 'I believe it is'; I do not believe that this equating is, by any
> means, a universal phenomenon.

I never claimed it was universal.  I claimed that in this particular case no
further information was added.

The main exception is when "I believe" doesn't really mean "I believe", but
means "I could be wrong, but".
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 3:54:55 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctbl4$3f9$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <eFpIe.35082$iG6.14436@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>snip
>>>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using
>>>>> the
>>>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I
>>>>think
>>>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group 
>>>>take
>>>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>>>tete-a-tete.
>>> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
>>> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
>>> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
>>> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
>>> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
>>> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
>>> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
>>I don't recall ever stating that you should be faulted.  I stated that it 
>>be
>>idiosyncractic.

> It is idiosyncratic to use commonly-accepted sources for the definitions
> of words or to be confused when another uses words in manners different
> than those found in commonly-accepted sources?

Not really - I'm just not careful enough in what I say.

It is idiosyncratic to use these definitions as the sole criteria for making 
a judgment on the meaning of a sentence and to be confused by context where 
_most_ (as determined by me in a proprietary manner) people.  I have yet to 
meet anyone who talks and writes with perfectly standard grammar as defined 
by your particular commonly-accepted-source.

The main purpose of the dictionary was to "standardize" the way that people 
talk.  Noah Webster, for example, tried to create a uniform dialect where 
multiple existed in various parts of the country even going so far as 
changing some words to match his ideal.  It was also, I believe, a statement 
against the "English" whose language dominated dictionaries at the time. 
Given his goa, I think it is safe to assume therefore, that he didn't 
succeed, and as such his dictionary in its  updated form (and other 
dictionaries of course) should be used used as a "tool" to communicate 
versus a definitive source of "this is the way it is".
I think that Pete as the owner of his words has attempted to clarify his 
"intent" and differentiate his "intent" from the over use of an incomplete 
tool.

Having said that - in this particular instance, I failed to qualify what I 
found to by idiosyncratic - the literal readings -and not the use of 
commonly-accepted sources.  For that I apologize.

> In that 'idiosyncratic' is an antonym of 'conformity' it appears you are
> stating a contradiction.
Not really.  See above.

 >>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have 
seen
>>>>in
>>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make 
>>>>that
>>>>sentence viable.
>>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>>> re-state it.
>>Facts are - using one definition (AH) - "Something believed to be true or
>>real".  Occasionally what was "thought" a fact, was not a fact after all! 
>>It
>>was a mistake, an error, a lapse of judgment or even something else.
>
> This makes for a difficulty, also.  If the condition of belief makes for
> the condition of fact and the belief continues... how does the factuality
> end?
It doesn't.

>>> Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear 
>>> on
>>> your assertion?
>>I know someone who's birthday _did_ change.  For the first 25 years they
>>celebrated it late so it would not be clear that he was conceived in a
>>manner unsuitable to his upbringing.
>
> That's not the crowd *I* hang out with, certainly.
Glad to hear it.

>>What if you were a replicant and your memories were all implanted.  Now
>>what's fact?
> I'll worry about that when it happens... right now I have enough
> difficulty dealing with 'what is' so that I try to avoid 'what if'.
> DD
Do you mean "when it happens" or "if and when it happens?"  It is unclear to 
me from your use whether you anticipate this event or not.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/4/2005 4:07:03 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> As for imaginary numbers there is a variation of Kronecker:
> 'In nature lies the integers, all the rest is the work of man.'

What do integers look like?
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 4:10:28 PM
Also, there is some confusion about when certain events occur.   What date was
the Christmas tsunami?  What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 4:13:13 PM
In article <dctelj$9ht$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> As for imaginary numbers there is a variation of Kronecker:
>> 'In nature lies the integers, all the rest is the work of man.'
>
>What do integers look like?

I'd imagine that it depends on who is doing the looking.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 5:23:19 PM
In article <H2rIe.60131$mC.17758@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctbl4$3f9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <eFpIe.35082$iG6.14436@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>snip
>>>>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>>>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I
>>>>>think
>>>>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group 
>>>>>take
>>>>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>>>>tete-a-tete.
>>>> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
>>>> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
>>>> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
>>>> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
>>>> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
>>>> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
>>>> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
>>>I don't recall ever stating that you should be faulted.  I stated that it 
>>>be
>>>idiosyncractic.
>
>> It is idiosyncratic to use commonly-accepted sources for the definitions
>> of words or to be confused when another uses words in manners different
>> than those found in commonly-accepted sources?
>
>Not really - I'm just not careful enough in what I say.

Such things happen to the best of folks... even *me*, sometimes!

>
>It is idiosyncratic to use these definitions as the sole criteria for making 
>a judgment on the meaning of a sentence and to be confused by context where 
>_most_ (as determined by me in a proprietary manner) people.  I have yet to 
>meet anyone who talks and writes with perfectly standard grammar as defined 
>by your particular commonly-accepted-source.

Proprietary standards have, at times, caused incompatibilities to the 
point where entire systems crash... gotta watch out for those.  The 
definitions should not be considered the 'sole criteria (sic)' used to 
make a judgement... but they're not a bad place to start.

[snip]

>I think that Pete as the owner of his words has attempted to clarify his 
>"intent" and differentiate his "intent" from the over use of an incomplete 
>tool.

.... and e'er-so-generous he was in doing so.

>
>Having said that - in this particular instance, I failed to qualify what I 
>found to by idiosyncratic - the literal readings -and not the use of 
>commonly-accepted sources.  For that I apologize.

Most gracious of you.

[snip]

>>>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen
>>>>>in
>>>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make 
>>>>>that
>>>>>sentence viable.
>>>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>>>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>>>> re-state it.
>>>Facts are - using one definition (AH) - "Something believed to be true or
>>>real".  Occasionally what was "thought" a fact, was not a fact after all! 
>>>It
>>>was a mistake, an error, a lapse of judgment or even something else.
>>
>> This makes for a difficulty, also.  If the condition of belief makes for
>> the condition of fact and the belief continues... how does the factuality
>> end?
>It doesn't.

Gah... my error and apologies, it is *my* turn to correct my sloppy 
writing.  I reversed a condition; my question should have read 'If the 
condition of belief makes for the condition of fact and the belief 
discontinues... how does the factuality end?'

>
>>>> Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>>>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear 
>>>> on
>>>> your assertion?
>>>I know someone who's birthday _did_ change.  For the first 25 years they
>>>celebrated it late so it would not be clear that he was conceived in a
>>>manner unsuitable to his upbringing.
>>
>> That's not the crowd *I* hang out with, certainly.
>Glad to hear it.

I think that the crowd might be, as well.

>
>>>What if you were a replicant and your memories were all implanted.  Now
>>>what's fact?
>> I'll worry about that when it happens... right now I have enough
>> difficulty dealing with 'what is' so that I try to avoid 'what if'.
>> DD
>Do you mean "when it happens" or "if and when it happens?"  It is unclear to 
>me from your use whether you anticipate this event or not.

I anticipate it sufficiently so that I do not worry about it until (when) 
it happens.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 5:45:12 PM
In article <dcteqp$9ma$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>Also, there is some confusion about when certain events occur.   What date was
>the Christmas tsunami?

That depends on which calendar one uses.

>What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?

When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?

('When does the 8:15 bus leave the station?  When it pulls out.')

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 5:47:55 PM
In article <dctdof$929$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >Precision isn't measured by the number of words being passed - it's measured
>> >by
>> >how effectively the data gets understood.   Extra words do not make something
>> >precise unless more information was added.   My argument is that no more
>> >information was added.
>>
>> It appears that 'no more information was added' when one equates 'It is'
>> with 'I believe it is'; I do not believe that this equating is, by any
>> means, a universal phenomenon.
>
>I never claimed it was universal.  I claimed that in this particular case no
>further information was added.

The condition of 'no further information was added' is predicated on the 
condition of equating 'It is' with 'I believe it is'.

>
>The main exception is when "I believe" doesn't really mean "I believe", but
>means "I could be wrong, but".

Meaning is the result of interpretation, as Wittgenstein had it; a red 
banner can be interpreted as 'Long Live the Glorious Socialist 
Revolution!' or 'Happy Wedding-Day!'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 5:51:34 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >Also, there is some confusion about when certain events occur.   What date
> >was
> >the Christmas tsunami?
>
> That depends on which calendar one uses.

Also on where the observer is.

> >What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
>
> When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?

When I was watching it on TV, I could have looked at my wall clock to see this?


> ('When does the 8:15 bus leave the station?  When it pulls out.')
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 5:59:53 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >> It appears that 'no more information was added' when one equates 'It is'
> >> with 'I believe it is'; I do not believe that this equating is, by any
> >> means, a universal phenomenon.
> >
> >I never claimed it was universal.  I claimed that in this particular case no
> >further information was added.
>
> The condition of 'no further information was added' is predicated on the
> condition of equating 'It is' with 'I believe it is'.

In this case, yes.


> >The main exception is when "I believe" doesn't really mean "I believe", but
> >means "I could be wrong, but".
>
> Meaning is the result of interpretation, as Wittgenstein had it; a red
> banner can be interpreted as 'Long Live the Glorious Socialist
> Revolution!' or 'Happy Wedding-Day!'

OK.   Let's look at the possibilities we have discussed:

It is stupid.
I believe it is stupid.

If they are synonyms, then "I believe" doesn't add anything.   Why should I tell
him to add that to what he said?

or
It is stupid.
I believe it is stupid.

If "I believe it is stupid" means "I'm not really sure", then they are not
synonyms.   If so, why should I be presumptuous enough to tell him that he
didn't mean what he said?

Do you have any alternative scenarios for this particular instance?
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 6:08:58 PM
In article <dctl2p$crg$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >Also, there is some confusion about when certain events occur.   What date
>> >was
>> >the Christmas tsunami?
>>
>> That depends on which calendar one uses.
>
>Also on where the observer is.

Einstein stated that motion depends on where the observer is; since the 
tsunami is, by definition, a matter of motion this was assumed.

>
>> >What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
>>
>> When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?
>
>When I was watching it on TV, I could have looked at my wall clock to 
>see this?

Ansering a question with a question is no answer at all, Mr Brazee.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 6:16:48 PM
In article <dctljq$d64$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >> It appears that 'no more information was added' when one equates 'It is'
>> >> with 'I believe it is'; I do not believe that this equating is, by any
>> >> means, a universal phenomenon.
>> >
>> >I never claimed it was universal.  I claimed that in this particular case no
>> >further information was added.
>>
>> The condition of 'no further information was added' is predicated on the
>> condition of equating 'It is' with 'I believe it is'.
>
>In this case, yes.

And what criteria are being used to differentiate this case from other 
cases?

>
>
>> >The main exception is when "I believe" doesn't really mean "I believe", but
>> >means "I could be wrong, but".
>>
>> Meaning is the result of interpretation, as Wittgenstein had it; a red
>> banner can be interpreted as 'Long Live the Glorious Socialist
>> Revolution!' or 'Happy Wedding-Day!'
>
>OK.   Let's look at the possibilities we have discussed:
>
>It is stupid.
>I believe it is stupid.
>
>If they are synonyms, then "I believe" doesn't add anything.   Why should I tell
>him to add that to what he said?

Predicated on 'It is' being equal to 'I believe it is', as you agreed to 
above.

>
>or
>It is stupid.
>I believe it is stupid.
>
>If "I believe it is stupid" means "I'm not really sure", then they are not
>synonyms.   If so, why should I be presumptuous enough to tell him that he
>didn't mean what he said?

Meaning is the result of interpretation, Mr Brazee... or so Wittgenstein 
tells us.

>
>Do you have any alternative scenarios for this particular instance?

I have several... but all of them end with the Sweepstakes Notification 
Team showing up at my house and presenting me with a check.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 6:20:59 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctkcb$5fh$1@panix5.panix.com...

> >What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
>
> When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?

Actually I would have said the moment his *other* boot first touched the
lunar soil.

Had the question been either "What time did Armstrong first step onto the
moon?" or "What time did Armstrong first set foot on the moon?", I might
more readily agree with your answer!      ;-)

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/4/2005 6:31:04 PM
On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >> >I never claimed it was universal.  I claimed that in this particular case
> >> >no
> >> >further information was added.
> >>
> >> The condition of 'no further information was added' is predicated on the
> >> condition of equating 'It is' with 'I believe it is'.
> >
> >In this case, yes.
>
> And what criteria are being used to differentiate this case from other
> cases?

There are times when I can tell by tone of voice that the person who says "I
believe..." isn't sure.

In this case, I cannot judge that way and wouldn't want to presume he means
anything except what he said.
0
howard (6283)
8/4/2005 6:44:06 PM
In article <dctmu2$1bns$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com>,
Chuck Stevens <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctkcb$5fh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
>> >What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
>>
>> When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?
>
>Actually I would have said the moment his *other* boot first touched the
>lunar soil.
>
>Had the question been either "What time did Armstrong first step onto the
>moon?" or "What time did Armstrong first set foot on the moon?", I might
>more readily agree with your answer!      ;-)

Mr Stevens, I am unsure of what bearing this '*other*' boot has on the 
differentiation you make; using http://www.m-w.com for step(verb) gives me 
'3 : to press down with the foot' and unless his first boot ceased all 
downward motion after contacting the soil this seems to apply.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 6:50:15 PM
In article <dctnlm$eae$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >> >I never claimed it was universal.  I claimed that in this particular case
>> >> >no
>> >> >further information was added.
>> >>
>> >> The condition of 'no further information was added' is predicated on the
>> >> condition of equating 'It is' with 'I believe it is'.
>> >
>> >In this case, yes.
>>
>> And what criteria are being used to differentiate this case from other
>> cases?
>
>There are times when I can tell by tone of voice that the person who says "I
>believe..." isn't sure.
>
>In this case, I cannot judge that way and wouldn't want to presume he means
>anything except what he said.

In this case, Mr Brazee, Mr Dashwood seems to have made a statement which 
had 'no restriction, exception or qualification' about 'a thing done'; by 
these definitions he made a statement of absolute fact.  To conclude that 
he made a statement of belief appears to require an addition on the part 
of the reader; that would be other than 'what he said'.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/4/2005 6:54:22 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dcqmee$nra$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11f1mngaduglp71@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dcq2u1$cht$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> In article <11f0khe8tp1jccb@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >> >
> >> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >> >news:dcp6av$f0l$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> >> In article <11f05ngte0rirf2@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >> >> >news:dcovjs$lmh$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> >> >> In article <11evi2pqvqd0cf0@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >> >> >[snip]
> >> >> >> >> >David Hume, at the beginning of Section IV, wrote,
> >> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> >> >"ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be
> >> >> >> >> >divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and
Matters
> >> >> >> >> >of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry,
Algebra,
> >> >> >> >> >and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is
either
> >> >> >> >> >intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of
the
> >> >> >> >> >hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a
> >> >> >> >> >proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
> >> >> >> >> >That three times five is equal to the half of thirty,
expresses a
> >> >> >> >> >relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are
> >> >> >> >> >discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without
> >> >> >> >> >dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.
[snip]
> >> >> >> >> >Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the
truths
> >> >> >> >> >demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty
> >> >> >> >> >and evidence.
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> To paraphrase: Euclidean truths would for ever retain their
certainty and
> >> >> >> evidence in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Replace 'in a universe where circles or triangles do not exist'
> >> >> >with 'even if there never were a circle or triangle in nature'.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Hume wrote 'without dependence on what is anywhere existent
> >> >> >in the universe' in the sentence preceding his remark about Euclid.
> >> >> >In my opinion, Hume is saying that Euclidean truths do not
> >> >> >*depend* upon the existence of circles and triangles in nature;
> >> >> >that is, if Euclid invented circles and triangles and demonstrated
> >> >> >truths about these inventions, the truths would for ever retain
> >> >> >their certainty and evidence.
> >> >>
> >> >> Ahhhh... if Euclid had invented circles and triangles then it would
no
> >> >> longer be a universe in which circles and triangles do not exist,
Euclid's
> >> >> actions would have changed things... but even without the invention
the
> >> >> truths retain their certainty.
> >> >
> >> >Perhaps you overlooked 'and demonstrated truths about these
> >> >inventions' ... had these truths not been demonstrated there
> >> >would be no truths to retain.
> >>
> >> That is not how I read it; I read 'Though there never were a circle or
> >> triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever
> >> retain their certainty and evidence' as a postulating of a Platonic
> >> Universe of Forms, where the truths demonstrated by Euclid would retain
> >> their certainty whether Euclid demonstrated them or not.
> >
> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
> >of Forms.
>
> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most likely
> did.

Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
never my goal.

> >The sentence preceding the quote begins
> >"Propositions of this kind are discoverable ..."; I suppose
> >one could speculate that Hume was saying that such
> >propostions are eternal whether discovered or not; but
> >I've seen nothing elsewhere to warrant such speculation.
>
> In that the word 'discovered' was used, and not 'invented', it appears to
> be a reasonable conclusion.
>
> >Hume also discusses matters of fact and their relation to
> >experience; but I've seen nothing to suggest an intent that
> >matters of fact exist whether experienced or not. I think
> >Hume was saying that truths (about circles and triangles)
> >demonstrated by Euclid would retain their certainty
> >whether circles or triangle existed in nature or not.
>
> This was not contested; as I stated above: To paraphrase: Euclidean truths
> would for ever retain their certainty and evidence in a universe where
> circles or triangles do not exist.

I've noticed that philosophers tend to be very selective in
the words they choose and how they use them ... sort of
like: When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it
to mean, neither more nor less; and I have tried to
understand Hume with that in mind. Hume treats 'truth' as
something distinct from 'fact', while the dictionary I use
defines one in terms of the other. He also seems to use
'universe' as something distinct from 'nature'. Mr Dwarf, it
seems that you substituted 'universe' where Hume used
'nature' and I am sensitive to that substitution; it confuses
me because it is not what Hume wrote, and to my mind
changes his meaning.

Hume divides 'objects of human reason or enquiry' into
two kinds: relations of ideas and matters of fact; and
associates nature with matters of fact. In the clause
'Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature,'
Hume is denying that 'truths demonstrated by Euclid'
could be matters of fact and does so by making nature
irelevant to these truths. This places Geometry into the
kind: relations of ideas. Subtituting 'universe' for 'nature'
confuses that denial since Hume does not associate
universe with matters of fact; this changes the meaning.

If I am mistaken in any of this of if it my OCD, I
apologize. [mistake: an error caused by a lack of skill,
attention, knowledge, etc. -- RHCD]



0
ricksmith (875)
8/4/2005 7:25:15 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctm2g$7f9$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <dctl2p$crg$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> >Also, there is some confusion about when certain events occur.   What 
>>> >date
>>> >was
>>> >the Christmas tsunami?
>>>
>>> That depends on which calendar one uses.
>>
>>Also on where the observer is.
>
> Einstein stated that motion depends on where the observer is; since the
> tsunami is, by definition, a matter of motion this was assumed.

As the tsunami was a matter of motion we assumed that Einstein stated that 
motion depends on where the observer is? My God! I didn't even realize the 
man was still alive.

>>> >What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
>>> When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?
I believe Armstrong was actually riding in France for the last few weeks and 
hasn't had time to go to the moon yet.  In fact, I'm not sure that 
travelling to the moon is really possible - after all the current set of 
astronauts might have all the duct tape.

>>When I was watching it on TV, I could have looked at my wall clock to
>>see this?
>
> Ansering a question with a question is no answer at all, Mr Brazee.
> DD
Nor is answering a question with a non sequitur

JCE

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/4/2005 7:55:27 PM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctiu7$eh1$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dctelj$9ht$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> As for imaginary numbers there is a variation of Kronecker:
>>> 'In nature lies the integers, all the rest is the work of man.'
>>
>>What do integers look like?
>
> I'd imagine that it depends on who is doing the looking.
>

Precisely like receiving a grain of sand, really...

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/5/2005 12:13:23 AM
 
PMFJI - it is easier to join this argument here, rather than respond 
directly to the Doc. Besides, I agree with what you are posting, 'jce', so I 
can support your argument here as well.

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <xDiIe.35066$iG6.10400@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>docdwarf@panix.com
>>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>>I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning
>>>>elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT an
>>>>"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was 
>>>>saying
>>>>it was.
>>> In that the statement 'something is a stupid practise' has no 
>>> restriction,
>>> exception or qualification it is, by definition, absolute.  In that
>>> 'something' is 'a thing done' it describes a fact.
>>> In that it is a statement of 'a thing done which has no restriction,
>>> exception or qualification' it is a statement of 'absolute fact', at 
>>> least
>>> according to definitions available in a commonly-accepted source.
>>
>>>>That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe
>>>>in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my 
>>>>own
>>>>experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting something
>>>>as
>>>>"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.
>>>
>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using 
>>> the
>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I 
>>think
>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group take
>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>tete-a-tete.
>
> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
>

As Doc is easily confused, he probably hasn't noticed that the context in 
which words are used often clarifies which particular meaning is intended.

"Common sources" (as noted elsewhere) often disagree in the finer shades of 
meaning. Context is a better indicator of what was intended, for a specific 
instance.

>>
>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen 
>>in
>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make that
>>sentence viable.
>
Agreed. A fact is a fact as long as people agree to it. When observations 
extend the information, the agreement changes. And so does the fact.

> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
> re-state it.  Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear on
> your assertion?
>

'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is not a statement of fact. Even if it had my 
actual birthday substituted in it, it is only a "fact" because there were 
other people involved who can corroborate it (agree to it). As it is a past 
event there is no possible way to verify the truth of it. We are dependent 
on recordings made at the time, by observers, who could be seeing universes 
or grains of sand...or anything at all.

Yet most of us believe there is an absolute reality that must reflect what 
happens, whether we perceive it or agree to it or not.  It seems like Common 
Sense.  (The old chestnut that if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is 
there to hear it, does it make a sound? Most people think it does, yet some 
very learned  and intelligent minds are persuaded that it doesn't. Some 
arguments revolve on the definition of 'sound' and 'hearing', other 
arguments are much more esoteric and resort to the Anthropic Principle. The 
bottom line is that observing things in this universe may well change the 
way they behave. Nobody knows what energy and particles are doing when they 
are not observed, and when they ARE observed they behave in a way that is 
logically inconsistent [like being in two places at once, or being 
simultaneously a wave and a particle, and a whole lot of  other weird 
shit...).  Our Common Sense gives us the same view as Newton's idea of God 
winding up the clock and letting it tick at a standard rate throughout the 
Cosmos. An "absolute" background of space and time on which events happen. 
Where "absolute facts" are a reality.

I don't ascribe to it, and anyone who has dabbled in modern Physics is 
unlikely to, either. The universe confounds our common sense and is far more 
complex than our three dimensional brains can easily perceive. Space and 
time vary with relative location and acceleration; there is no "absolute 
fabric" for "absolute facts" to be painted on.

We can philosophize and argue, resort to all the Dictionaries and treatises 
in all the libraries of the Earth, it does not change anything. The universe 
is complex and weird.  There are no "absolute facts", and when I express an 
opinion, it is just that: my opinion. Reading more into it, being offended 
by it, or deciding it was meant to wound, may result in unnecessary 
discomfort and very long threads in CLC...


> [snip]
>
>>>>> Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>>>>> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then
>>>>> what
>>>>> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (This has been snipped 
>>>>here, but there is no indication it has... Pete)
>>>
>>> Says the giver... the recipient says what was received was a view of the
>>> World.  Whose word has greater sway?

This was answered in the original post by the sentences which followed the 
above. Doc snipped it because it didn't allow him to continue with his 
argument that the effect has more validity than the cause, or vice versa.

Here's the full text:

"One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (Heisenberg shows that it
 isn't guaranteed.) What one makes of it, is entirely a matter of  one's
 perception."

>>I don't believe that the fact that the receiver "sees" a view of the world
>>changes the fact that he received a grain of sand.

Neither do I.
>
> Seeing that the recipient says what was received was a view of the world
> how do you come to the conclusion that it is '... fact that he received a
> grain of sand'?

The recipient can say (and perceive) whatever he likes. This is rubbish 
anyway because the action of seeing the universe in a grain of sand does NOT 
preclude the recognition that it is still a grain of sand.  There is nothing 
in Blake's poem to suggest that the grain of sand has been mystically 
transformed into a view of the universe; it is more that the innocence of 
the receiver has "added value" to the grain of sand and extended the 
perception of it.(and if what was perceived was the "universe", that would 
necessarily INCLUDE the grain of sand in the recipient's palm....)

If we are talking about "absolute fact" (and that was what I have 
consistently disputed in this thread) then Heisenberg has some critical 
things to say on  the matter. Not being Philosophy, these have been 
conveniently ignored and were snipped.

It would seem that in the universe which we inhabit, NOTHING is absolute; 
there are only probabilities that events and the consequent phenomena  may 
occur.

Leaving physics for a moment and coming back to the grain of sand....

If I transmit to you a grain of sand and you see ONLY a view of the universe 
that does not include the grain of sand you were given, then your perception 
needs adjustment. Some helpful person would need to direct your attention to 
what was in your palm (without actually TELLING you it was a grain of 
sand...) and keep on doing so until you were able to perceive it. When we 
agree you have a grain of sand, it is a "fact".

I believe Dr. Freud invented an entire branch of medicine dedicated to 
helping people in this way.

> Are there reasons for aligning your belief with that of
> the giver... or are you asserting a sort of 'credo' and should it be left
> alone?
>
Neither is required.

> (extra credit: compare and contrast the exchange of:
>
> A: 'I gave B a grain of sand.'
> B: 'I received from A a view of the world.'
>
Or...
B: 'I received a grain of sand in which I can see a view of the world'
B: 'I want my Teddy...'

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/5/2005 1:25:07 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctk78$44m$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> [snip]
>
>>I think that Pete as the owner of his words has attempted to clarify his
>>"intent" and differentiate his "intent" from the over use of an incomplete
>>tool.
>
> ... and e'er-so-generous he was in doing so.
>
I honestly don't know what you are saying here, Doc. Can you clarify, or was 
it a shot best left in passing...:-)?

Pete

[snip] 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/5/2005 1:34:09 AM
 

"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:dctdhh$907$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
>
> On  4-Aug-2005, "jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> > Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>> > 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear 
>> > on
>> > your assertion?
>
> Perception will change the latter when people read it tomorrow.
>
>> I know someone who's birthday _did_ change.  For the first 25 years they
>> celebrated it late so it would not be clear that he was conceived in a
>> manner unsuitable to his upbringing.
>
> My daughter shares a birthday with  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, except she was 
> born
> right before Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. changed his name.
>
> What did people do when calendars changed?   I suppose some adjusted their
> birthdays by changing the date to the new format, others adjusted by 
> having a
> short year.
>
> Leap year babies celebrate birthdays every year - my grandkids spread out 
> their
> birthday celebrations (3 of them were born on December 21, 26, & 29).
>
> My favorite calendar story concerns a couple I knew in the USAF.   It 
> seems that
> he had his permanent station in Hawaii while serving temporarily in Korea. 
> If
> he got married, his salary would go up, and he would have married people's
> quarters.   So he married his fiance via the phone with her in Hawaii and 
> him in
> Korea.   When he got back home a couple of months later, they had a big 
> church
> wedding with all of their relatives enjoying a Hawaii vacation.
>
> But with the international dateline between Hawaii and Korea, every year 
> they
> celebrate his anniversary, her anniversary, and their anniversary.
>
> Cool.
>
Yes, really cool.

Is there no end to human ingenuity when it comes to "working the system"... 
:-)?

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/5/2005 1:36:24 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcto8u$eq4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <dctnlm$eae$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
<snip>
> In this case, Mr Brazee, Mr Dashwood seems to have made a statement which
> had 'no restriction, exception or qualification' about 'a thing done'; by
> these definitions he made a statement of absolute fact.

No I didn't. Even 'by these definitions' which are NOT a definition of 
"absolute fact". (There is nothing in either of your authorities that claims 
them to be definitions of "absolute fact"). You are making it up, presumably 
because you enjoy the argument.

Howard has presented a series of statements that totally accurately reflect 
what my intentions were at the time I wrote the statements I did. (So much 
so, that I feel no compulsion to modify or extend anything he has said.)

He has covered exactly how my statement would have been weakened and open to 
an interpretation I did not intend, by adding the words '"I believe" to it. 
Neither he, nor myself, nor anyone else has disputed that there may be cases 
where adding "I believe" may not be exactly equivalent to not adding it, but 
that is not THIS case. You have consistently ignored the case in point, and 
tried to push the argument to the general, for purposes which I cannot begin 
to imagine. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/5/2005 2:07:43 AM
In article <3lfp9bF12otbdU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctiu7$eh1$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <dctelj$9ht$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>> As for imaginary numbers there is a variation of Kronecker:
>>>> 'In nature lies the integers, all the rest is the work of man.'
>>>
>>>What do integers look like?
>>
>> I'd imagine that it depends on who is doing the looking.
>>
>
>Precisely like receiving a grain of sand, really...

This seems a reasonable conclusion, Mr Dashwood... but I am willing to 
consider other options, when they are presented.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 10:28:57 AM
In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:

[snip]

>> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
>> >of Forms.
>>
>> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most likely
>> did.
>
>Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
>never my goal.

Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of eidos 
(translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.

[snip]

>> This was not contested; as I stated above: To paraphrase: Euclidean truths
>> would for ever retain their certainty and evidence in a universe where
>> circles or triangles do not exist.
>
>I've noticed that philosophers tend to be very selective in
>the words they choose and how they use them ... sort of
>like: When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it
>to mean, neither more nor less; and I have tried to
>understand Hume with that in mind. Hume treats 'truth' as
>something distinct from 'fact', while the dictionary I use
>defines one in terms of the other. He also seems to use
>'universe' as something distinct from 'nature'. Mr Dwarf, it
>seems that you substituted 'universe' where Hume used
>'nature' and I am sensitive to that substitution; it confuses
>me because it is not what Hume wrote, and to my mind
>changes his meaning.

My error and apology, Mr Smith; it my intention was neither to confuse you 
nor change Hume's meaning.  By 'universe', above, I intended to convey the 
sense of 'all conditions where nature might be found to exist'.

[snip]

>If I am mistaken in any of this of if it my OCD, I
>apologize. [mistake: an error caused by a lack of skill,
>attention, knowledge, etc. -- RHCD]

Not to worry, Mr Smith; now that I am aware of this condition I shall do 
my best to avoid intentionally stimulating or invoking it.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 10:35:09 AM
In article <3lfu0pF122ameU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctk78$44m$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>>>I think that Pete as the owner of his words has attempted to clarify his
>>>"intent" and differentiate his "intent" from the over use of an incomplete
>>>tool.
>>
>> ... and e'er-so-generous he was in doing so.
>>
>I honestly don't know what you are saying here, Doc. Can you clarify, or was 
>it a shot best left in passing...:-)?

I am saying, Mr Dashwood, that you were generous in your attempts to 
clarify your intent earlier on in this thread.  I've seen interchanges 
along the lines of:

A: 'Doing (x)?  That is stupid!'

B: '(x) appears to be a reasonable series of actions under condition (y); 
for what reason are you calling it universally stupid?'

A: 'I have no experience with condition (y) and anyone who's read my 
postings should be able to conclude that; I was saying 'it is stupid' to 
relate that 'it is stupid according to my experience'.

B: 'Mightn't you have specified that you were making a statement of 
experience instead of a statement of absolute fact?'

A: '*All* statements made by all people at all times are statements of 
experience, there are no statements of absolute fact.  To think otherwise 
is stupid... and *that's* an absolute fact!'

.... and your postings, here, did not appear, to me, to have this kind of 
antagonistic terseness.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 10:42:48 AM
In article <PouIe.35753$iG6.2651@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dctm2g$7f9$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <dctl2p$crg$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>> >Also, there is some confusion about when certain events occur.   What 
>>>> >date
>>>> >was
>>>> >the Christmas tsunami?
>>>>
>>>> That depends on which calendar one uses.
>>>
>>>Also on where the observer is.
>>
>> Einstein stated that motion depends on where the observer is; since the
>> tsunami is, by definition, a matter of motion this was assumed.
>
>As the tsunami was a matter of motion we assumed that Einstein stated that 
>motion depends on where the observer is? My God! I didn't even realize the 
>man was still alive.

He isn't alive?  I didn't even know he was sick.

>
>>>> >What time did Armstrong first step on the moon?
>>>> When his boot first touched the lunar soil... see how easy?
>I believe Armstrong was actually riding in France for the last few weeks and 
>hasn't had time to go to the moon yet.  In fact, I'm not sure that 
>travelling to the moon is really possible - after all the current set of 
>astronauts might have all the duct tape.
>
>>>When I was watching it on TV, I could have looked at my wall clock to
>>>see this?
>>
>> Ansering a question with a question is no answer at all, Mr Brazee.
>
>Nor is answering a question with a non sequitur

This might be a reason why I attempt to avoid such things, aye... or it 
might be a reason for keeping a full refrigerator under the crescent moon 
while the striated insects fill the tuba.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 10:45:18 AM
In article <3lftfrF10nd9jU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>PMFJI - it is easier to join this argument here, rather than respond 
>directly to the Doc. Besides, I agree with what you are posting, 'jce', so I 
>can support your argument here as well.
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <xDiIe.35066$iG6.10400@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>>docdwarf@panix.com
>>>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>>>I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning
>>>>>elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT an
>>>>>"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was 
>>>>>saying
>>>>>it was.
>>>> In that the statement 'something is a stupid practise' has no 
>>>> restriction,
>>>> exception or qualification it is, by definition, absolute.  In that
>>>> 'something' is 'a thing done' it describes a fact.
>>>> In that it is a statement of 'a thing done which has no restriction,
>>>> exception or qualification' it is a statement of 'absolute fact', at 
>>>> least
>>>> according to definitions available in a commonly-accepted source.
>>>
>>>>>That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe
>>>>>in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my 
>>>>>own
>>>>>experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting something
>>>>>as
>>>>>"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.
>>>>
>>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using 
>>>> the
>>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I 
>>>think
>>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group take
>>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>>tete-a-tete.
>>
>> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
>> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
>> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
>> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
>> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
>> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
>> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
>>
>
>As Doc is easily confused, he probably hasn't noticed that the context in 
>which words are used often clarifies which particular meaning is intended.

As Doc has been easily confused by context, as well, he is in the habit of 
asking authors, directly - when available - their intention and how they 
were attempting to convey this intention by the words they use.

(Oh... and sometimes he refers to himself in the third person, too.)

>
>"Common sources" (as noted elsewhere) often disagree in the finer shades of 
>meaning. Context is a better indicator of what was intended, for a specific 
>instance.

What was intended, Mr Dashwood, and what was interpreted are not always 
the same... this might cause many enjoyable interchanges instead of a 
series of:

A: (g)

B: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (r)

A: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (3)

B: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (XIV)

.... etc.

>
>>>
>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen 
>>>in
>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make that
>>>sentence viable.
>>
>Agreed. A fact is a fact as long as people agree to it. When observations 
>extend the information, the agreement changes. And so does the fact.

So, Mr Dashwood, it seems that we live in a rather Malleable Place, where 
one day heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day 
they don't, or one day spontaneous generation works and the next Pasteur 
is right, Spallanzani wrong.

>
>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>> re-state it.  Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear on
>> your assertion?
>>
>
>'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is not a statement of fact.

No matter who makes it?

>Even if it had my 
>actual birthday substituted in it, it is only a "fact" because there were 
>other people involved who can corroborate it (agree to it).

I have no idea, Mr Dashwood, how you are differentiating between a fact 
and a "fact".

>As it is a past 
>event there is no possible way to verify the truth of it.

Is this an absolute fact you're asserting?

>We are dependent 
>on recordings made at the time, by observers, who could be seeing universes 
>or grains of sand...or anything at all.

This reminds me of the old 'a fact is a fact only by consensus' argument.  
Thirty-odd years ago I remember encountering this from a college sophomore 
as we were motoring about, driving somewhere; he asserted that something 
was true if two or more people agreed to it.  I mentioned a few 
widely-held beliefs which seemedto oppose such an assertion (bubonic 
plague is spread by Jews poisoning wells, hysterical behavior is caused by 
a wandering uterus... things like that) and he grew silent... and then 
looked out the window and said 'It's starting to rain.'

My response was 'Is it?'

>
>Yet most of us believe there is an absolute reality that must reflect what 
>happens, whether we perceive it or agree to it or not.  It seems like Common 
>Sense.

It certainly seems to explain a lot of things to a lot of folks... two 
people walk in a desert; B steps behind A, produces a silenced pistol and 
shoots A in the back of the head.  A dies because of something of which he 
had no awareness.

That of which one is not aware has readily determinable effects... seems 
to say that awareness is not necessary for the existence of a fact.

>(The old chestnut that if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is 
>there to hear it, does it make a sound? Most people think it does, yet some 
>very learned  and intelligent minds are persuaded that it doesn't. Some 
>arguments revolve on the definition of 'sound' and 'hearing', other 
>arguments are much more esoteric and resort to the Anthropic Principle. The 
>bottom line is that observing things in this universe may well change the 
>way they behave.

See above about the Malleable Place theory.

>Nobody knows what energy and particles are doing when they 
>are not observed, and when they ARE observed they behave in a way that is 
>logically inconsistent [like being in two places at once, or being 
>simultaneously a wave and a particle, and a whole lot of  other weird 
>shit...).

When it comes to actions on the atomic (or sub-atomic) level, Mr Dashwood, 
this might be a concern... but the quantum variations in a thrown baseball 
seem to be a bit less significant.  

It might be that effects are more statistical in their observability... 
when one applies energy to a single gas particle the resulting direction 
it takes is, in terms of physics, defined as 'random'; when one applies 
energy to a larger collection of gas particles which can contact a 
liquid-based thermometer the direction the liquid goes is, by most 
accounts, 'up'... the gas gets hotter.

On the individual level, random direction... on the collective level, 
predictable heating.

>Our Common Sense gives us the same view as Newton's idea of God 
>winding up the clock and letting it tick at a standard rate throughout the 
>Cosmos. An "absolute" background of space and time on which events happen. 
>Where "absolute facts" are a reality.
>
>I don't ascribe to it, and anyone who has dabbled in modern Physics is 
>unlikely to, either.

As mentioned earlier in the thread, Mr Dashwood: ''Everything is relative' 
is absolutely true!'

>The universe confounds our common sense and is far more 
>complex than our three dimensional brains can easily perceive. Space and 
>time vary with relative location and acceleration; there is no "absolute 
>fabric" for "absolute facts" to be painted on.

Absolutely so... it seems.

>
>We can philosophize and argue, resort to all the Dictionaries and treatises 
>in all the libraries of the Earth, it does not change anything. The universe 
>is complex and weird.  There are no "absolute facts", and when I express an 
>opinion, it is just that: my opinion.

'There are no "absolute facts" is absolutely true'... how many variations 
of this are you going to offer, Mr Dashwood?

[snip]

>>>>>> Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>>>>>> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it then
>>>>>> what
>>>>>> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (This has been snipped 
>>>>>here, but there is no indication it has... Pete)
>>>>
>>>> Says the giver... the recipient says what was received was a view of the
>>>> World.  Whose word has greater sway?
>
>This was answered in the original post by the sentences which followed the 
>above. Doc snipped it because it didn't allow him to continue with his 
>argument that the effect has more validity than the cause, or vice versa.

No, Mr Dashwood, my motive was otherwise... Doc snipped it because he saw 
it as having no bearing on the discussion he was having... whoops, there's 
that third person reference again.

>
>Here's the full text:
>
>"One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (Heisenberg shows that it
> isn't guaranteed.) What one makes of it, is entirely a matter of  one's
> perception."

'What one makes of it', Mr Dashwood, in the case of the post to I was 
responding, was 'probably a physical grain of sand'.  The person posting 
this (most probably not Heisenberg) made an assertion and I wished to 
examine the reasoning behind that; my apologies if my motive was 
insufficiently clear.

>
>>>I don't believe that the fact that the receiver "sees" a view of the world
>>>changes the fact that he received a grain of sand.
>
>Neither do I.

As above, Mr Dashwood... you agree with the giver, A, who says 'I gave a 
grain of sand.'  For what reason(s) do you take this observation as fact 
and not the observation of the recipient ('I received a view of the 
World'?)

>>
>> Seeing that the recipient says what was received was a view of the world
>> how do you come to the conclusion that it is '... fact that he received a
>> grain of sand'?
>
>The recipient can say (and perceive) whatever he likes.

And this does not apply to the giver because... because you, Mr Dashwood, 
do not believe it to be such?

>This is rubbish 
>anyway because the action of seeing the universe in a grain of sand does NOT 
>preclude the recognition that it is still a grain of sand.

What makes it 'still a grain of sand', Mr Dashwood, and not 'a view of the 
World'?  Repeating your assertion appears to add little validity.

[snip]

>If we are talking about "absolute fact" (and that was what I have 
>consistently disputed in this thread) then Heisenberg has some critical 
>things to say on  the matter. Not being Philosophy, these have been 
>conveniently ignored and were snipped.

I am asking the reasons one takes a particular view, Mr Dashwood... you 
seem to have offered beliefs, nothing more.

>
>It would seem that in the universe which we inhabit, NOTHING is absolute; 
>there are only probabilities that events and the consequent phenomena  may 
>occur.

Once again this curious 'we'... I ask you to speak for yourself, Mr 
Dashwood: in the universe *you* inhabit is 'NOTHING is absolute' 
absolutely true?

>
>Leaving physics for a moment and coming back to the grain of sand....
>
>If I transmit to you a grain of sand and you see ONLY a view of the universe 
>that does not include the grain of sand you were given, then your perception 
>needs adjustment.

That is interesting, Mr Dashwood... a grain of sand which exists outside 
of the universe.  Any idea what its mailing-address might be?

>Some helpful person would need to direct your attention to 
>what was in your palm (without actually TELLING you it was a grain of 
>sand...) and keep on doing so until you were able to perceive it. When we 
>agree you have a grain of sand, it is a "fact".

"Fact" (whatever that is) by consensus again... is it raining?

>
>I believe Dr. Freud invented an entire branch of medicine dedicated to 
>helping people in this way.
>
>> Are there reasons for aligning your belief with that of
>> the giver... or are you asserting a sort of 'credo' and should it be left
>> alone?
>>
>Neither is required.

Nobody said they were, Mr Dashwood, and nobody said those are the only two 
possibilities... but to align one's belief without reason is to do so, by 
definition, irrationally, and to assert a 'credo' is, likewise, to align 
belief without reason...

.... it is is nice to know, in my experience, if one with whom is 
discussing things is aware of their irrationality.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 11:47:43 AM
In article <3lfvvnF12eps7U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcto8u$eq4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <dctnlm$eae$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
><snip>
>> In this case, Mr Brazee, Mr Dashwood seems to have made a statement which
>> had 'no restriction, exception or qualification' about 'a thing done'; by
>> these definitions he made a statement of absolute fact.
>
>No I didn't.

Yes, you did... see how easy?

>Even 'by these definitions' which are NOT a definition of 
>"absolute fact". (There is nothing in either of your authorities that claims 
>them to be definitions of "absolute fact"). You are making it up, presumably 
>because you enjoy the argument.

Mr Dashwood, I have attempted to show the sources of my definitions, the 
processes by which I relate these definitions and the conclusions which 
arise out of my relatings.  If you see an error I have made then please, 
by all means, point out where the error lies.  Once again:

Mr Dashwood stated, of something that was done, 'It is stupid'.

According to 
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=fact&x=0&y=0 a 
definition of fact is 'a thing done'.

'It is stupid' is a statement of equality, containing no restrictions, 
exceptions or qualifications.

According to 
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute+&x=0&y=0 
a definition of absolute is 'having no restriction, exception, or 
qualification'.

In that Mr Dashwood made a statement (having no restriction, exception or 
qualification) of (a thing done) Mr Dashwood, by definition, made a 
statement (absolute) of (fact).

>
>Howard has presented a series of statements that totally accurately reflect 
>what my intentions were at the time I wrote the statements I did. (So much 
>so, that I feel no compulsion to modify or extend anything he has said.)
>
>He has covered exactly how my statement would have been weakened and open to 
>an interpretation I did not intend, by adding the words '"I believe" to it. 

Mr Brazee stated that he supplied the conditionals which your statement 
did not contain; I responded that when the author is present I try to rely 
more on the word of the author than on my own interpretations.

>Neither he, nor myself, nor anyone else has disputed that there may be cases 
>where adding "I believe" may not be exactly equivalent to not adding it, but 
>that is not THIS case. You have consistently ignored the case in point, and 
>tried to push the argument to the general, for purposes which I cannot begin 
>to imagine. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?

A bit of clarity, if only for myself... how is it that someone can make a 
statement of absolute fact and then demand the reader supply the 
qualification?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 12:04:50 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
> That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
> having provided no answer at all.

For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:

Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
Person B: Are you using Windows?

If this were FIFO, it'd probably result in deadlock, with Person A waiting 
for the answer from person B and person B waiting for the answer from Person 
A. This problem goes away if it's LIFO;

Person A: Yes.
Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".

The main weakness I can think of as implementing a question/answer session 
as a LIFO stack is that it's suceptible to "Denial of Service" attacks, 
though it's possible to detect and try to handle those situations:

Person A: How do I set the wallpaper for my desktop?
Person B: What's the weather like outside?
Person A: A bit of overcast.
Person B: How are you kids doing?
Person A: Fine, thank you.
Person B: Do you like tennis?
Person A: Hey, answer my question!
Person B: Oh sorry, what was the question again?
Person A: How do I set the wallpaper for my desktop?
Person B: Are you using Windows?
....

    - Oliver 


0
owong (6177)
8/5/2005 1:35:35 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvkl2$g7o$1@panix5.panix.com...

<snip>

>>Neither he, nor myself, nor anyone else has disputed that there may be 
>>cases
>>where adding "I believe" may not be exactly equivalent to not adding it, 
>>but
>>that is not THIS case. You have consistently ignored the case in point, 
>>and
>>tried to push the argument to the general, for purposes which I cannot 
>>begin
>>to imagine. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?
>
> A bit of clarity, if only for myself... how is it that someone can make a
> statement of absolute fact and then demand the reader supply the
> qualification?
>
> DD

Answering a question with a question......oh never mind.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/5/2005 1:35:54 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvjkv$gap$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <3lftfrF10nd9jU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
<SNIPPED>

>>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen
>>>>in
>>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make 
>>>>that
>>>>sentence viable.
>>>
>>Agreed. A fact is a fact as long as people agree to it. When observations
>>extend the information, the agreement changes. And so does the fact.
>
> So, Mr Dashwood, it seems that we live in a rather Malleable Place, where
> one day heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day
> they don't, or one day spontaneous generation works and the next Pasteur
> is right, Spallanzani wrong.

No. I believe we were clear on this.  No one stated that one day heavier 
objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day they don't.  Once it 
was a fact that spontaneous generation was true...Then it was proved that 
spontaneous generation would not work without air....then finally Pasteur 
improved the experiment suffiiciently to allow air into the mix and still 
not have spontaneous combustion.   I think that your assertion that each of 
these events were separated by days is incorrect...I believe it was many a 
year.  The facts changed and were developed.  Some facts are a product of 
the sum of knowledge and experience...all facts are based on some level of 
belief.  I cannot prove WITHOUT a doubt that I was even alive yesterday.  I 
assume I was.


>>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>>> re-state it.  Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear 
>>> on
>>> your assertion?
>>'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is not a statement of fact.
> No matter who makes it?

>>Even if it had my
>>actual birthday substituted in it, it is only a "fact" because there were
>>other people involved who can corroborate it (agree to it).
>
> I have no idea, Mr Dashwood, how you are differentiating between a fact
> and a "fact".
By the use of quotes, I believe.  Or are you asking how he is 
differentiating between the meaning and his intent of the use of <fact> and 
<"fact"> ?

>>As it is a past
>>event there is no possible way to verify the truth of it.
> Is this an absolute fact you're asserting?
>>We are dependent
>>on recordings made at the time, by observers, who could be seeing 
>>universes
>>or grains of sand...or anything at all.
>
> This reminds me of the old 'a fact is a fact only by consensus' argument.
> Thirty-odd years ago I remember encountering this from a college sophomore
> as we were motoring about, driving somewhere; he asserted that something
> was true if two or more people agreed to it.  I mentioned a few
> widely-held beliefs which seemedto oppose such an assertion (bubonic
> plague is spread by Jews poisoning wells, hysterical behavior is caused by
> a wandering uterus... things like that) and he grew silent... and then
> looked out the window and said 'It's starting to rain.'
So I need some clarity.

I don't believe that anyone believed Jews were poisoning wells...I mean 
wells are inanimate objects!
I think if I was wandering about and came across a uterus, I'm not sure 
hysteria would follow - but I might be a little shocked you know.
Anyway, what were you trying to contradict? He stated that two people have 
to agree before something is fact..not that two people agreeing on something 
made it a fact.

> My response was 'Is it?'
I would have died (not literally of course) laughing if I could have been 
there.

<snip>

>>Nobody knows what energy and particles are doing when they
>>are not observed, and when they ARE observed they behave in a way that is
>>logically inconsistent [like being in two places at once, or being
>>simultaneously a wave and a particle, and a whole lot of  other weird
>>shit...).
> When it comes to actions on the atomic (or sub-atomic) level, Mr Dashwood,
> this might be a concern... but the quantum variations in a thrown baseball
> seem to be a bit less significant.

I'm not sure I trust the smarty pants who come up with this stuff to believe 
them anyway.
All we have is the human ability to make <shit> up to make it do sort of 
what we want it to do.
Mathematics is the basis for most of the arguments and also measurements. 
Two things strike me as odd: firstly mathematics is a branch invented by 
people to describe things for them.  Second, everything is measured, and as 
we have stated that measuring changes things, I am at a loss to clearly 
understand how measuring anything solves anything.

I believe that science gets as weird as we let people get it.  I don't know 
many people that can verify anything that any of these people does.  And a 
theory based on conjecture does not a theory make in my book - but that is 
sometimes how things work.

That poor guy who "proved" Fermat was just "proved" wrong.....geez...what a 
waste of 10 years

> It might be that effects are more statistical in their observability...
> when one applies energy to a single gas particle the resulting direction
> it takes is, in terms of physics, defined as 'random'; when one applies
> energy to a larger collection of gas particles which can contact a
> liquid-based thermometer the direction the liquid goes is, by most
> accounts, 'up'... the gas gets hotter.
>
> On the individual level, random direction... on the collective level,
> predictable heating.
>
>>Our Common Sense gives us the same view as Newton's idea of God
>>winding up the clock and letting it tick at a standard rate throughout the
>>Cosmos. An "absolute" background of space and time on which events happen.
>>Where "absolute facts" are a reality.
>>
>>I don't ascribe to it, and anyone who has dabbled in modern Physics is
>>unlikely to, either.

And 200 years from now modern physics is classical physics.

<snip>

>>We can philosophize and argue, resort to all the Dictionaries and 
>>treatises
>>in all the libraries of the Earth, it does not change anything. The 
>>universe
>>is complex and weird.  There are no "absolute facts", and when I express 
>>an
>>opinion, it is just that: my opinion.
>
> 'There are no "absolute facts" is absolutely true'... how many variations
> of this are you going to offer, Mr Dashwood?
And that's absolutely a fact !

<snip>

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/5/2005 2:19:18 PM
In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
>> having provided no answer at all.
>
>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>
>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>Person B: Are you using Windows?

Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer 
sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session... and 
aswering a question with a question is, of course, no answer at all.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 4:14:58 PM
In article <GzKIe.60350$mC.52641@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvjkv$gap$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <3lftfrF10nd9jU1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
><SNIPPED>
>
>>>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen
>>>>>in
>>>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make 
>>>>>that
>>>>>sentence viable.
>>>>
>>>Agreed. A fact is a fact as long as people agree to it. When observations
>>>extend the information, the agreement changes. And so does the fact.
>>
>> So, Mr Dashwood, it seems that we live in a rather Malleable Place, where
>> one day heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day
>> they don't, or one day spontaneous generation works and the next Pasteur
>> is right, Spallanzani wrong.
>
>No. I believe we were clear on this.  No one stated that one day heavier 
>objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day they don't.  Once it 
>was a fact that spontaneous generation was true...Then it was proved that 
>spontaneous generation would not work without air....then finally Pasteur 
>improved the experiment suffiiciently to allow air into the mix and still 
>not have spontaneous combustion.

I believe that you intended 'generation', and not combustion.

>I think that your assertion that each of 
>these events were separated by days is incorrect...I believe it was many a 
>year.  The facts changed and were developed.

So instead of taking days it took years... the malleability still is 
asserted to exist.  It would make it kind of difficult to demonstrate 
experiments of days gone by, certainly.

>Some facts are a product of 
>the sum of knowledge and experience...all facts are based on some level of 
>belief.

The conclusion of 'all facts are based on some level of belief' appears to 
be that if the belief changes, the fact changes.  A malleable *and* 
democratic universe... if enough folks believe it then it seems that ice 
will occupy the same volume as the water which was cooled to make it.

>I cannot prove WITHOUT a doubt that I was even alive yesterday.  I 
>assume I was.

'Proof' is another concept, entire, and has shown to generate much 
discussion amongst Very Learned Folks... what constitutes such a thing has 
been debated a fair amount.

>
>
>>>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>>>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>>>> re-state it.  Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>>>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear 
>>>> on
>>>> your assertion?
>>>'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is not a statement of fact.
>> No matter who makes it?
>
>>>Even if it had my
>>>actual birthday substituted in it, it is only a "fact" because there were
>>>other people involved who can corroborate it (agree to it).
>>
>> I have no idea, Mr Dashwood, how you are differentiating between a fact
>> and a "fact".
>By the use of quotes, I believe.  Or are you asking how he is 
>differentiating between the meaning and his intent of the use of <fact> and 
><"fact"> ?

I am asking what Mr Dashwood believes to be the difference between what he 
labels as a fact and what he labels as a "fact".

>
>>>As it is a past
>>>event there is no possible way to verify the truth of it.
>> Is this an absolute fact you're asserting?
>>>We are dependent
>>>on recordings made at the time, by observers, who could be seeing 
>>>universes
>>>or grains of sand...or anything at all.
>>
>> This reminds me of the old 'a fact is a fact only by consensus' argument.
>> Thirty-odd years ago I remember encountering this from a college sophomore
>> as we were motoring about, driving somewhere; he asserted that something
>> was true if two or more people agreed to it.  I mentioned a few
>> widely-held beliefs which seemedto oppose such an assertion (bubonic
>> plague is spread by Jews poisoning wells, hysterical behavior is caused by
>> a wandering uterus... things like that) and he grew silent... and then
>> looked out the window and said 'It's starting to rain.'
>So I need some clarity.
>
>I don't believe that anyone believed Jews were poisoning wells...I mean 
>wells are inanimate objects!

Nobody said the wells suffered any ill-effects from the action... but in 
that poisoning is defined as 'to treat, taint, or impregnate with or as if 
with poison' it was believed.

>I think if I was wandering about and came across a uterus, I'm not sure 
>hysteria would follow - but I might be a little shocked you know.

You think that's bad... imagine coming across a baseball-game judge whose 
existence at that time was entirely one of going from one place to another 
without purpose or direction... you'd have found a wholly roaming umpire.

>Anyway, what were you trying to contradict? He stated that two people have 
>to agree before something is fact..not that two people agreeing on something 
>made it a fact.

In the case of my friend, no... as stated above, '... he asserted that 
something was true if two or more people agreed to it.'

>
>> My response was 'Is it?'
>I would have died (not literally of course) laughing if I could have been 
>there.

His response was similar, aye.

>
><snip>
>
>>>Nobody knows what energy and particles are doing when they
>>>are not observed, and when they ARE observed they behave in a way that is
>>>logically inconsistent [like being in two places at once, or being
>>>simultaneously a wave and a particle, and a whole lot of  other weird
>>>shit...).
>> When it comes to actions on the atomic (or sub-atomic) level, Mr Dashwood,
>> this might be a concern... but the quantum variations in a thrown baseball
>> seem to be a bit less significant.
>
>I'm not sure I trust the smarty pants who come up with this stuff to believe 
>them anyway.
>All we have is the human ability to make <shit> up to make it do sort of 
>what we want it to do.
>Mathematics is the basis for most of the arguments and also measurements. 
>Two things strike me as odd: firstly mathematics is a branch invented by 
>people to describe things for them.  Second, everything is measured, and as 
>we have stated that measuring changes things, I am at a loss to clearly 
>understand how measuring anything solves anything.

Proper measuring can make for pants that are rather smartly cut... see how 
easy?

>
>I believe that science gets as weird as we let people get it.  I don't know 
>many people that can verify anything that any of these people does.  And a 
>theory based on conjecture does not a theory make in my book - but that is 
>sometimes how things work.
>
>That poor guy who "proved" Fermat was just "proved" wrong.....geez...what a 
>waste of 10 years

Everyone needs a hobby, sure.

[snip]

>>>I don't ascribe to it, and anyone who has dabbled in modern Physics is
>>>unlikely to, either.
>
>And 200 years from now modern physics is classical physics.

I'll worry about that when it happens.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 4:44:56 PM
In article <_WJIe.51709$t43.44783@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvkl2$g7o$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
><snip>
>
>>>Neither he, nor myself, nor anyone else has disputed that there may be 
>>>cases
>>>where adding "I believe" may not be exactly equivalent to not adding it, 
>>>but
>>>that is not THIS case. You have consistently ignored the case in point, 
>>>and
>>>tried to push the argument to the general, for purposes which I cannot 
>>>begin
>>>to imagine. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?
>>
>> A bit of clarity, if only for myself... how is it that someone can make a
>> statement of absolute fact and then demand the reader supply the
>> qualification?
>>
>
>Answering a question with a question......oh never mind.

My error and my apologies for my sloppy punctuation to all... now it might 
be clearer why I try to avoid the formulation of 'I do not do it' and 
admit my limitations by saying 'I do my best to avoid doing it'.  

The sentence(s) should have been written 'A bit of clarity, if only for 
myself.  How is it that someone can make a statement of absolute fact and 
then demand the reader supply the qualification?'

DD


0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 4:47:44 PM
On  5-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> My error and my apologies for my sloppy punctuation to all... now it might
> be clearer why I try to avoid the formulation of 'I do not do it' and
> admit my limitations by saying 'I do my best to avoid doing it'.
>
> The sentence(s) should have been written 'A bit of clarity, if only for
> myself.  How is it that someone can make a statement of absolute fact and
> then demand the reader supply the qualification?'

It doesn't matter how you formulate it.   Sometimes it is appropriate to ask a
question before or while answering a question.
0
howard (6283)
8/5/2005 5:12:30 PM
In article <dd06lt$tj$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  5-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> My error and my apologies for my sloppy punctuation to all... now it might
>> be clearer why I try to avoid the formulation of 'I do not do it' and
>> admit my limitations by saying 'I do my best to avoid doing it'.
>>
>> The sentence(s) should have been written 'A bit of clarity, if only for
>> myself.  How is it that someone can make a statement of absolute fact and
>> then demand the reader supply the qualification?'
>
>It doesn't matter how you formulate it.

What 'matters', Mr Brazee, is often dependent on who is considering the 
situation; in this case it mattered enough to me for me to admit my error 
and correct it.

>Sometimes it is appropriate to ask a
>question before or while answering a question.

The propriety of not answering a question was not addressed, Mr Brazee; 
what is pointed out is that answering a question with a question is no 
answer at all.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 5:35:00 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd03a2$5bt$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>
>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe
>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>
>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>
> Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer
> sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session...

You actually didn't quote the full text of the example I gave. Here it is 
again, with some of the comments I made in the middle omitted:

Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
Person B: Are you using Windows?
Person A: Yes.
Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".

The "/" operator in "question/answer" was supposed to mean "and/or", as in 
the "inclusive or" operator, meaning that the participants in the session 
were free to send questions or answers or both.

The point I was trying to make is that if all the participants are willing 
to answer questions when provided enough information, then a question/answer 
sessions which behaves as a LIFO stack is more robust than one which behaves 
as a FIFO queue.

    - Oliver 


0
owong (6177)
8/5/2005 5:38:16 PM
On  5-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >Sometimes it is appropriate to ask a
> >question before or while answering a question.
>
> The propriety of not answering a question was not addressed, Mr Brazee;
> what is pointed out is that answering a question with a question is no
> answer at all.

I guess this is a running gag that you interject for humor in the middle of
discussions.   Sometimes I take what you say seriously, such as with the
discussion about requiring "I believe" in front of "is stupid".    This might be
a failing on my side, but I cannot get your tone of voice in this medium.

You have given us plenty of opportunity to know that you are, in fact,
intelligent, so I shouldn't expect that when you continue with these arguments
that you are serious.

Now that I have belatedly "got it", I have to decide whether to smile, continue
to get frustrated at the non-sequitur nature of your humor, or continue posting
for the sake of people who are new to the forum and don't recognize that you are
joking.

I wish that after you add your gag - you would take our questions seriously and
add to the discussion at hand though.    You have good stuff to contribute that
isn't as much fun (for you) than changing the topic with a joke.
0
howard (6283)
8/5/2005 5:50:58 PM
In article <cuNIe.158926$HI.90607@edtnps84>,
Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd03a2$5bt$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>
>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe
>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>
>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>
>> Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer
>> sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session...
>
>You actually didn't quote the full text of the example I gave. Here it is 
>again, with some of the comments I made in the middle omitted:
>
>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>Person A: Yes.
>Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".

You prove my point, Mr Wong; the queue continues to fill until there is a 
question that is answered (A's second response).  Consider:

A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
B: Are you using Windows?
A: Does it make a difference?
B: Do you think it is the same for all operating systems?
A: What do I know about operating systems?
B: Are they all the same to you?
A: How should I know what makes a difference?
B: If you don't know what makes a difference how do you know that setting 
the wallpaper will make a difference?

.... etc.

>
>The "/" operator in "question/answer" was supposed to mean "and/or", as in 
>the "inclusive or" operator, meaning that the participants in the session 
>were free to send questions or answers or both.

Meaning, as Wittgenstein has it, is the result of interpretation; thank 
you for supplying Author's Intent.

>
>The point I was trying to make is that if all the participants are willing 
>to answer questions when provided enough information, then a question/answer 
>sessions which behaves as a LIFO stack is more robust than one which behaves 
>as a FIFO queue.

As shown above, Mr Wong, the behavior of the session seems dependent on 
the participants' inputs; once a participant stops answering a question 
with a question - which, of course, is no answer at all - the stack might 
clear more readily.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 5:59:44 PM
In article <dd08u2$24q$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  5-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >Sometimes it is appropriate to ask a
>> >question before or while answering a question.
>>
>> The propriety of not answering a question was not addressed, Mr Brazee;
>> what is pointed out is that answering a question with a question is no
>> answer at all.
>
>I guess this is a running gag that you interject for humor in the middle of
>discussions.

I believe it was Cicero who said something along the lines of 'Who is it 
who says we must speak of truth and not smile?'

[snip]

>I wish that after you add your gag - you would take our questions seriously and
>add to the discussion at hand though.    You have good stuff to contribute that
>isn't as much fun (for you) than changing the topic with a joke.

Mr Brazee, I have posted and re-posted my views on this, in a variety of 
threads... views which were originally posted in response to you, among 
others:

<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/967c9d77a4959544?dmode=source&hl=en?

<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/c5ffed30915f7f6b?dmode=source&hl=en>

<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/8842d15897621daf?dmode=source&hl=en>

.... so it might be readily apparent that when a question is asked and not 
answered I have difficulties which I am not loth to express.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 6:45:39 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd09eg$pa5$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <cuNIe.158926$HI.90607@edtnps84>,
> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dd03a2$5bt$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>> In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>>> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe
>>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>>
>>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>
>>> Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer
>>> sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session...
>>
>>You actually didn't quote the full text of the example I gave. Here it is
>>again, with some of the comments I made in the middle omitted:
>>
>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>Person A: Yes.
>>Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".
>
> You prove my point, Mr Wong; the queue continues to fill until there is a
> question that is answered (A's second response).  Consider:

    I wasn't arguing with the assumption that at least one answer must exist 
in a question/answer session. What I was arguing with is your assumption 
that it should behave like a FIFO queue. As you can see, the answers are 
actually given in the reverse order compared to the questions asked, which 
shows the LIFO stack like nature of question/answer sessions. If we were to 
follow a FIFO model, that dialog might look like:

>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".
>>Person A: Yes.

    Which is very unusual from my experiences.

> A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
> B: Are you using Windows?
> A: Does it make a difference?
> B: Do you think it is the same for all operating systems?
> A: What do I know about operating systems?
> B: Are they all the same to you?
> A: How should I know what makes a difference?
> B: If you don't know what makes a difference how do you know that setting
> the wallpaper will make a difference?
>
> ... etc.

    This goes into the "denial of service" attack which I've also addressed 
in my earlier post, which I'll repeat here for your benefit (with slight 
modification of the ending because it's being posted in a different 
context).

The main weakness I can think of as implementing a question/answer session
as a LIFO stack is that it's suceptible to "Denial of Service" attacks,
though it's possible to detect and try to handle those situations:

Person A: How do I set the wallpaper for my desktop?
Person B: What's the weather like outside?
Person A: A bit of overcast.
Person B: How are you kids doing?
Person A: Fine, thank you.
Person B: Do you like tennis?
Person A: Hey, answer my question!
Person B: Oh sorry, what was the question again?
Person A: How do I set the wallpaper for my desktop?
Person B: Are you using Windows?
Person A: Yes.
Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".

> As shown above, Mr Wong, the behavior of the session seems dependent on
> the participants' inputs; once a participant stops answering a question
> with a question - which, of course, is no answer at all - the stack might
> clear more readily.

    I agree with "the behavior of the session seems dependent on the 
participants' inputs" and with "once a participant sends a message which is 
an answer (as opposed to a question) the stack might clear more readily." 
(the latter of which is a slightly reworded version of what you said). I 
merely disagree with the statement you made in an earlier post, in which you 
refer to answer-queues (what I call question/answer sessions) as being FIFO 
queues.

    I also disagree with the idea that answering a question with a question 
is "of course", no answer at all, but that may be due to differing 
interpretations of certain words like "is" (which I interpret to mean 
equivalence in the above usage).

    - Oliver 


0
owong (6177)
8/5/2005 6:46:23 PM
In article <3uOIe.158935$HI.17704@edtnps84>,
Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd09eg$pa5$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <cuNIe.158926$HI.90607@edtnps84>,
>> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>>
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dd03a2$5bt$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>> In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>>>> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe
>>>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>>>
>>>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>>
>>>> Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer
>>>> sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session...
>>>
>>>You actually didn't quote the full text of the example I gave. Here it is
>>>again, with some of the comments I made in the middle omitted:
>>>
>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>Person A: Yes.
>>>Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".
>>
>> You prove my point, Mr Wong; the queue continues to fill until there is a
>> question that is answered (A's second response).  Consider:
>
>    I wasn't arguing with the assumption that at least one answer must exist 
>in a question/answer session. What I was arguing with is your assumption 
>that it should behave like a FIFO queue.

I don't recall stating what it should behave like, Mr Wong; I believe I 
stated what, in this instance, it appeared to behave like.

>As you can see, the answers are 
>actually given in the reverse order compared to the questions asked, which 
>shows the LIFO stack like nature of question/answer sessions. If we were to 
>follow a FIFO model, that dialog might look like:
>
>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".
>>>Person A: Yes.
>
>    Which is very unusual from my experiences.

Good of you to generate an example unusual to you... but perhaps I was 
unclear.  First question in is first question out when it is answered; 
since answering a question with a question is no answer at all Person B 
did not empty the queue with the response 'Are you using Windows?'.

>
>> A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>> B: Are you using Windows?
>> A: Does it make a difference?
>> B: Do you think it is the same for all operating systems?
>> A: What do I know about operating systems?
>> B: Are they all the same to you?
>> A: How should I know what makes a difference?
>> B: If you don't know what makes a difference how do you know that setting
>> the wallpaper will make a difference?
>>
>> ... etc.
>
>    This goes into the "denial of service" attack which I've also addressed 
>in my earlier post, which I'll repeat here for your benefit (with slight 
>modification of the ending because it's being posted in a different 
>context).

How very generous of you.

>
>The main weakness I can think of as implementing a question/answer session
>as a LIFO stack is that it's suceptible to "Denial of Service" attacks,
>though it's possible to detect and try to handle those situations:
>
>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper for my desktop?
>Person B: What's the weather like outside?

Hmmmmm... granted that B has responded with a question; in this case the 
question does not appear to follow logically from what was previously said 
it is not only non-answer (in that it is a question) it is non-sequitur.

>Person A: A bit of overcast.
>Person B: How are you kids doing?
>Person A: Fine, thank you.
>Person B: Do you like tennis?

See above about the appearance of following logically.

>Person A: Hey, answer my question!
>Person B: Oh sorry, what was the question again?
>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper for my desktop?
>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>Person A: Yes.
>Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".
>
>> As shown above, Mr Wong, the behavior of the session seems dependent on
>> the participants' inputs; once a participant stops answering a question
>> with a question - which, of course, is no answer at all - the stack might
>> clear more readily.
>
>    I agree with "the behavior of the session seems dependent on the 
>participants' inputs" and with "once a participant sends a message which is 
>an answer (as opposed to a question) the stack might clear more readily." 
>(the latter of which is a slightly reworded version of what you said). I 
>merely disagree with the statement you made in an earlier post, in which you 
>refer to answer-queues (what I call question/answer sessions) as being FIFO 
>queues.

As stated previously... in the case it appeared to behave as FIFO.

>
>    I also disagree with the idea that answering a question with a question 
>is "of course", no answer at all, but that may be due to differing 
>interpretations of certain words like "is" (which I interpret to mean 
>equivalence in the above usage).

That, too, has been addressed in other postings... a search of this 
newsgroup for "question with a question" +avoid/evade might turn up a few 
results.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/5/2005 7:08:11 PM
docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
> In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
> 
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>>>That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
>>>having provided no answer at all.
>>
>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>
>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
> 
> 
> Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer 
> sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session... and 
> aswering a question with a question is, of course, no answer at all.

So, you believe that Mr. Wong's full example (of which the first part is 
shown above, but I've reposted below) does not represent reasoned discourse?

[quote]
Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
Person B: Are you using Windows?
Person A: Yes.
Person B: Try right clicking on your desktop and choosing "Properties".
[/quote]

To me, that's a whole lot *more* reasoned than the following...

[more reasoned?]
Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
Person B: Are you using Windows?
Person A: Just answer the question!
Person B: How can I answer the question until you clarify?
Person A: There you go again!  That's *doubly* not an answer at all!
[/more reasoned?]

Or, when asking for directions...

[scene 1]
A: How do I get to your house?
Me: Do you know where Congressman Dickinson Blvd is?
A: No.
Me: Okay - are you coming from downtown or Wetumpka?
A: I'll be coming from downtown.
Me: Okay - turn left off Madison onto Federal Drive - that turns into 
Dickinson when you pass the Hardee's.  Then, after you go past Alabama 
Power, you'll see the base on the right.  Come in by the blue sign, and 
tell the guard you're here to visit me.
[/scene 1]

....or, is this more reasoned?

[scene 2]
A: How do I get to your house?
Me: Come on base, and they'll call me up to the gate to get you.
A: Well, where is the base?  I don't know how to get there.
Me: It's off Congressman Dickinson, on the left.
A: Where's Congressman Dickinson?
Me: It's off the Wetumpka Highway - when 231 turns left, just go straight.
A: But I'm not coming from Wetumpka - I work downtown!
Me: Well, then turn on Federal.
A: Okay - and then you're on the left?
Me: Oh no; then, it's on the right.
[/scene 2]

I've really, really tried not to get involved in these types of 
discussions, but I truly don't see how Mr. Wong's example and my first 
example are less reasoned than my second examples.  In both his and my 
first scenarios, the second person shows a willingness to impart valid 
information, realizing that without further clarification, the 
information may be just flat wrong (turn left vs. turn right in scene 2, 
for example).  In Mr. Wong's example, if the person is a Mac or Linux 
user, they might get downright pissy if he assumed that they were using 
Windows - his clarification actually avoided potential offense!

Or should that have gone something like this...

[scene 3]
A: How do I get to your house?
Me: I cannot tell you how to get to my house until I ascertain your 
knowledge of Montgomery's streets, as well as the direction from which 
you'll be coming.
A: Well, I'll be coming from downtown, but I'm not really familiar with 
your part of town.
Me: From downtown, make a right turn off Congressman Dickinson Blvd into 
the base, at the blue sign.
A: I cannot come to your house because I do not know where Congressman 
Dickinson Blvd is.
Me: Turn on Coliseum Blvd off the Northern Bypass, then turn left at the 
Hardee's.
A: But I'm not coming from the Northern Bypass, I'm coming up Madison.
Me: Then turn left on Federal Drive, which turns into Dickinson when you 
pass the Hardee's.
[/scene 3]

Maybe some folks have the time for that, but scene 1 is lot closer to 
reality.  And I still bet that "A" isn't offended, and will still come 
see me!  :)


-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/5/2005 10:42:45 PM
In article <a767b$42f3eb60$45491c57$14973@KNOLOGY.NET>,
LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>> In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>> Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>> 
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>>>That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
>>>>having provided no answer at all.
>>>
>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>
>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>> 
>> 
>> Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer 
>> sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session... and 
>> aswering a question with a question is, of course, no answer at all.
>
>So, you believe that Mr. Wong's full example (of which the first part is 
>shown above, but I've reposted below) does not represent reasoned discourse?

I believe that it indicates answering a question with a question, hence my 
response.

The reasons I give for attempting to avoid such a construct have been 
given again and again... do you need me to repost the URLs?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/6/2005 12:39:52 AM
docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
> In article <a767b$42f3eb60$45491c57$14973@KNOLOGY.NET>,
> LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
> 
>>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>>In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>>>Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
>>>>>having provided no answer at all.
>>>>
>>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
>>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>>
>>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>
>>>
>>>Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer 
>>>sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session... and 
>>>aswering a question with a question is, of course, no answer at all.
>>
>>So, you believe that Mr. Wong's full example (of which the first part is 
>>shown above, but I've reposted below) does not represent reasoned discourse?
> 
> 
> I believe that it indicates answering a question with a question, hence my 
> response.
> 
> The reasons I give for attempting to avoid such a construct have been 
> given again and again... do you need me to repost the URLs?

No - I'm just, like Mr. Brazee, having a hard time believing that you're 
completely serious about this.  It's not necessarily "answering" a 
question with a question, as the question is *not* meant to delay, 
obfuscate, or change the subject.  (1 - "What do you think?"  2 - "Well, 
what do *you* think?" - it's not that sort of thing)

I thought you only did that with me, but I've seen you reply to nearly 
every other person in this discussion with you "not an answer at all" 
cookie-cutter response.  This, to me, seems to be hampering reasoned 
discourse *much* more than their attempts at clarification - and, as the 
discussion has shifted from shared procedure division code to your 
debating techniques, you've changed the subject - one of the things you 
claim your "reasoned discourse" avoids!

I don't know if I've got this word for word, but there's a saying that 
lawyers have that goes something like...
   - If the law is on your side, pound on the law.
   - If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
   - If neither is on your side, pound on the table.

Your refusal to continue discourse when asked to clarify questions *you* 
posited in the course of said discussion seems to be little more than 
pounding on the table.  Just as you take great pride in saying that you 
barely know what you know, much less anyone else, your refusal to 
clarify anything you've said in the form of a question deprives others 
from determining just what the point is that you're trying to get 
across.  We scarcely know what we know, much less what you do!  :)

To me, the point seems to be "don't question the Doc."

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/6/2005 1:50:56 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvjkv$gap$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lftfrF10nd9jU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>PMFJI - it is easier to join this argument here, rather than respond
>>directly to the Doc. Besides, I agree with what you are posting, 'jce', so 
>>I
>>can support your argument here as well.
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcsvgi$np4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <xDiIe.35066$iG6.10400@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
>>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>docdwarf@panix.com
>>>>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>>>>I contend that I never did any such thing. I explained my reasoning
>>>>>>elsewhere. If I state that somethig is a stupid practice, that is NOT 
>>>>>>an
>>>>>>"absolute fact" even though Chuck chose to interpret it as if I was
>>>>>>saying
>>>>>>it was.
>>>>> In that the statement 'something is a stupid practise' has no
>>>>> restriction,
>>>>> exception or qualification it is, by definition, absolute.  In that
>>>>> 'something' is 'a thing done' it describes a fact.
>>>>> In that it is a statement of 'a thing done which has no restriction,
>>>>> exception or qualification' it is a statement of 'absolute fact', at
>>>>> least
>>>>> according to definitions available in a commonly-accepted source.
>>>>
>>>>>>That is the whole nub of this conversation. As I don't even believe
>>>>>>in "absolute fact", and as my statements are implicitly limited to my
>>>>>>own
>>>>>>experience and imagination, I could not possibly be presenting 
>>>>>>something
>>>>>>as
>>>>>>"absolute fact", and anyone who thought I was, is in error.
>>>>>
>>>>> If they are in error, Mr Dashwood, then it might be due to your using
>>>>> the
>>>>> words idiosyncratically (as noted by the definitions above).
>>>>I wouldn't describe the words as being used in a peculiar manner.   I
>>>>think
>>>>that it is more likely to be idiosyncratic that members of the group 
>>>>take
>>>>such literal readings of what amounts to a free form unedited textual
>>>>tete-a-tete.
>>>
>>> I'm not sure what you are calling 'literal readings' here... but I find
>>> that I get confused so easily that I try to specify, especially with
>>> multivalent words, the sense/definition in which I am using them.  I do
>>> not expect any others to do as I do, of course... but I do not see how
>>> anyone can be faulted for either using words as they are defined in
>>> commonly-accepted sources or being confused when another uses words in
>>> manners different than those found in commonly-accepted sources.
>>>
>>
>>As Doc is easily confused, he probably hasn't noticed that the context in
>>which words are used often clarifies which particular meaning is intended.
>
> As Doc has been easily confused by context, as well, he is in the habit of
> asking authors, directly - when available - their intention and how they
> were attempting to convey this intention by the words they use.
>
> (Oh... and sometimes he refers to himself in the third person, too.)
>
>>
>>"Common sources" (as noted elsewhere) often disagree in the finer shades 
>>of
>>meaning. Context is a better indicator of what was intended, for a 
>>specific
>>instance.
>
> What was intended, Mr Dashwood, and what was interpreted are not always
> the same... this might cause many enjoyable interchanges instead of a
> series of:
>
> A: (g)
>
> B: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (r)
>
> A: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (3)
>
> B: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (XIV)
>
> ... etc.
>
>>
>>>>
>>>>I do believe that the interpretation of the word "fact" that I have seen
>>>>in
>>>>here make the following sentence impossible...
>>>>"This forum is full of mistaken facts".  The fact is that the status of
>>>>facts is changeable based on what has been observed which would make 
>>>>that
>>>>sentence viable.
>>>
>>Agreed. A fact is a fact as long as people agree to it. When observations
>>extend the information, the agreement changes. And so does the fact.
>
> So, Mr Dashwood, it seems that we live in a rather Malleable Place, where
> one day heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day
> they don't, or one day spontaneous generation works and the next Pasteur
> is right, Spallanzani wrong.
>
<DISCLAIMER - Pete's opinion follows. Usual rules apply... no offense, 
Unisys sites excluded, yadayadayada...>
Yes, Doc. That is a fair summation. Only it isn't 'malleable' because it 
obeys the laws of physics in this universe. They tend to be inviolate... 
Those same laws also guarantee a degree of uncertainty which often conflicts 
with 'common sense'. The universe is unknowable, not by the decree of a 
Supreme Being, but by the behaviour of energy and particles at a quantum 
level. It is very unwise to believe that "absolute fact" is attainable. The 
best we can hope for is to agree on the current apparency, so we can jointly 
deal with it.
</DISCLAIMER>

>>
>>> I am not sure how to read '(t)he fact is that the status of facts is
>>> changeable based on what has been observed' and it might be useful to
>>> re-state it.  Some facts do not seem to change ('I was born on 04 Aug
>>> 1895') and others do ('Today is my 100th birthday'); how does this bear 
>>> on
>>> your assertion?
>>>
>>
>>'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is not a statement of fact.
>
> No matter who makes it?

Nope. No matter who makes it. The past is no longer verifiable with absolute 
certainty. Only a degree of certainty (which may be very close to 100%...)

>
>>Even if it had my
>>actual birthday substituted in it, it is only a "fact" because there were
>>other people involved who can corroborate it (agree to it).
>
> I have no idea, Mr Dashwood, how you are differentiating between a fact
> and a "fact".
>
>>As it is a past
>>event there is no possible way to verify the truth of it.
>
> Is this an absolute fact you're asserting?

No. But it has a high probably of being true... That probably is lessened if 
you disagree or increased if you agree.
>
>>We are dependent
>>on recordings made at the time, by observers, who could be seeing 
>>universes
>>or grains of sand...or anything at all.
>
> This reminds me of the old 'a fact is a fact only by consensus' argument.
> Thirty-odd years ago I remember encountering this from a college sophomore
> as we were motoring about, driving somewhere; he asserted that something
> was true if two or more people agreed to it.  I mentioned a few
> widely-held beliefs which seemedto oppose such an assertion (bubonic
> plague is spread by Jews poisoning wells, hysterical behavior is caused by
> a wandering uterus... things like that) and he grew silent... and then
> looked out the window and said 'It's starting to rain.'
>
> My response was 'Is it?'
>
>>
>>Yet most of us believe there is an absolute reality that must reflect what
>>happens, whether we perceive it or agree to it or not.  It seems like 
>>Common
>>Sense.
>
> It certainly seems to explain a lot of things to a lot of folks... two
> people walk in a desert; B steps behind A, produces a silenced pistol and
> shoots A in the back of the head.  A dies because of something of which he
> had no awareness.
>
> That of which one is not aware has readily determinable effects... seems
> to say that awareness is not necessary for the existence of a fact.
>

No, the above example simply shows that B's reality continues while A's 
stops. A is no longer aware of the bullet so it is unreal for him. 
Physically, the kinetic energy of the bullet damaged a part of A that was 
necessary for continued perception and survival. If it had been a meteorite 
that did it, A might still have died, unaware of what killed him. But there 
is no GUARANTEE (or absolute certainty) that he would.

Even the bullet does not provide certainty; there is a small, but finite 
chance, that the bullet could pass through A's head doing no damage at all, 
not even leaving a scratch (if the atoms of the bullet aligned with the 
spaces between the atoms of A's head...)

In all cases above there IS an awareness (observer) present; that of B. 
Therefore the events are "real" ... for B.

The assertion that 'awareness is not necessary for the existence of fact' is 
therefore unproven.

When Einstein was confronted with this same argument he laughingly replied: 
"You don't really think the moon disappears when you are not looking at it?"

It is a good response from a revered authority, but modern research is 
showing more and more that he may have been wrong . The detailed response to 
this is too intricate and requires too much effort to go into here, but if 
you accept that the moon is there and the earth is here, how can you be sure 
that they don't just exist in your imagination? Because other people share 
that reality with you. Agreement makes things real. The moon doesn't 
disappear because it is part of a collective reality. (that's the best I can 
do in the limited time and space I have available here, and it is an 
inadequate attempt, but hopefully the  concept is clear.)





>>(The old chestnut that if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is
>>there to hear it, does it make a sound? Most people think it does, yet 
>>some
>>very learned  and intelligent minds are persuaded that it doesn't. Some
>>arguments revolve on the definition of 'sound' and 'hearing', other
>>arguments are much more esoteric and resort to the Anthropic Principle. 
>>The
>>bottom line is that observing things in this universe may well change the
>>way they behave.
>
> See above about the Malleable Place theory.
>
>>Nobody knows what energy and particles are doing when they
>>are not observed, and when they ARE observed they behave in a way that is
>>logically inconsistent [like being in two places at once, or being
>>simultaneously a wave and a particle, and a whole lot of  other weird
>>shit...).
>
> When it comes to actions on the atomic (or sub-atomic) level, Mr Dashwood,
> this might be a concern... but the quantum variations in a thrown baseball
> seem to be a bit less significant.

That depends on who or what is viewing the baseball.
>
> It might be that effects are more statistical in their observability...
> when one applies energy to a single gas particle the resulting direction
> it takes is, in terms of physics, defined as 'random'; when one applies
> energy to a larger collection of gas particles which can contact a
> liquid-based thermometer the direction the liquid goes is, by most
> accounts, 'up'... the gas gets hotter.
>
Yes, that is a workable hypthesis. Yet we know that SOME of the gas DOESN'T 
go up...

> On the individual level, random direction... on the collective level,
> predictable heating.

Certainly predictable, but only within the realms of probablity. Not 
certain; not absolute. Hence I refute "absolute fact".
>
>>Our Common Sense gives us the same view as Newton's idea of God
>>winding up the clock and letting it tick at a standard rate throughout the
>>Cosmos. An "absolute" background of space and time on which events happen.
>>Where "absolute facts" are a reality.
>>
>>I don't ascribe to it, and anyone who has dabbled in modern Physics is
>>unlikely to, either.
>
> As mentioned earlier in the thread, Mr Dashwood: ''Everything is relative'
> is absolutely true!'
>
It is true, but NOT absolutely.

>>The universe confounds our common sense and is far more
>>complex than our three dimensional brains can easily perceive. Space and
>>time vary with relative location and acceleration; there is no "absolute
>>fabric" for "absolute facts" to be painted on.
>
> Absolutely so... it seems.
>
:-) Your irony is wasted on us fanatics, Doc...
>>
>>We can philosophize and argue, resort to all the Dictionaries and 
>>treatises
>>in all the libraries of the Earth, it does not change anything. The 
>>universe
>>is complex and weird.  There are no "absolute facts", and when I express 
>>an
>>opinion, it is just that: my opinion.
>
> 'There are no "absolute facts" is absolutely true'... how many variations
> of this are you going to offer, Mr Dashwood?
>

I have offered NO variations on it because I never said it. It is YOUR 
quote, repeated to the point of being tiresome.

In my universe there are no absolutes, only probabilities. I have been clear 
on that on every occasion.

> [snip]
>
>>>>>>> Take the grain of sand example, once again,
>>>>>>> in the sense of giving and getting: if one can see a World in it 
>>>>>>> then
>>>>>>> what
>>>>>>> does one receive when one is given such a grain?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (This has been 
>>>>>>snipped
>>>>>>here, but there is no indication it has... Pete)
>>>>>
>>>>> Says the giver... the recipient says what was received was a view of 
>>>>> the
>>>>> World.  Whose word has greater sway?
>>
>>This was answered in the original post by the sentences which followed the
>>above. Doc snipped it because it didn't allow him to continue with his
>>argument that the effect has more validity than the cause, or vice versa.
>
> No, Mr Dashwood, my motive was otherwise... Doc snipped it because he saw
> it as having no bearing on the discussion he was having... whoops, there's
> that third person reference again.

Well, then I could be forgiven for letting him have that dicussion on his 
own... If you wish to discuss statements I made, removed from the context in 
which I made them, why would you expect me to respond?
>
>>
>>Here's the full text:
>>
>>"One probably  receives a physical grain of sand. (Heisenberg shows that 
>>it
>> isn't guaranteed.) What one makes of it, is entirely a matter of  one's
>> perception."
>
> 'What one makes of it', Mr Dashwood, in the case of the post to I was
> responding, was 'probably a physical grain of sand'.  The person posting
> this (most probably not Heisenberg) made an assertion and I wished to
> examine the reasoning behind that; my apologies if my motive was
> insufficiently clear.

OK.
>
>>
>>>>I don't believe that the fact that the receiver "sees" a view of the 
>>>>world
>>>>changes the fact that he received a grain of sand.
>>
>>Neither do I.
>
> As above, Mr Dashwood... you agree with the giver, A, who says 'I gave a
> grain of sand.'  For what reason(s) do you take this observation as fact
> and not the observation of the recipient ('I received a view of the
> World'?)

Because the giver's answer does not preclude the fact that I gave him a 
grain of sand. You have changed the wording again; it isn't "World" it is 
"universe", and universe includes the grain of sand.

>>>
>>> Seeing that the recipient says what was received was a view of the world
>>> how do you come to the conclusion that it is '... fact that he received 
>>> a
>>> grain of sand'?
>>
>>The recipient can say (and perceive) whatever he likes.
>
> And this does not apply to the giver because... because you, Mr Dashwood,
> do not believe it to be such?
>
>>This is rubbish
>>anyway because the action of seeing the universe in a grain of sand does 
>>NOT
>>preclude the recognition that it is still a grain of sand.
>
> What makes it 'still a grain of sand', Mr Dashwood, and not 'a view of the
> World'?  Repeating your assertion appears to add little validity.

About as much as you repeating yours... :-) (And getting it wrong...)

Again, you snipped my reference to Blake's poem which clarified this. Your 
selective removal of contexts which answer your question or refute your 
argument leads me to question whether you are serious about this whole 
discussion.

I have no problem with you not being, but perhaps my time could be better 
employed...
>


> [snip]
>
>>If we are talking about "absolute fact" (and that was what I have
>>consistently disputed in this thread) then Heisenberg has some critical
>>things to say on  the matter. Not being Philosophy, these have been
>>conveniently ignored and were snipped.
>
> I am asking the reasons one takes a particular view, Mr Dashwood... you
> seem to have offered beliefs, nothing more.
>

Beliefs may be all there is.

>>
>>It would seem that in the universe which we inhabit, NOTHING is absolute;
>>there are only probabilities that events and the consequent phenomena  may
>>occur.
>
> Once again this curious 'we'... I ask you to speak for yourself, Mr
> Dashwood: in the universe *you* inhabit is 'NOTHING is absolute'
> absolutely true?
>

It is of an extremely high probability... close to, but not touching, 
certainty. Get over it.

>>
>>Leaving physics for a moment and coming back to the grain of sand....
>>
>>If I transmit to you a grain of sand and you see ONLY a view of the 
>>universe
>>that does not include the grain of sand you were given, then your 
>>perception
>>needs adjustment.
>
> That is interesting, Mr Dashwood... a grain of sand which exists outside
> of the universe.  Any idea what its mailing-address might be?
>

Read what I said. IF YOU PERCEIVE the universe not to include the grain of 
sand...

>>Some helpful person would need to direct your attention to
>>what was in your palm (without actually TELLING you it was a grain of
>>sand...) and keep on doing so until you were able to perceive it. When we
>>agree you have a grain of sand, it is a "fact".
>
> "Fact" (whatever that is) by consensus again... is it raining?
>
My contention is, and has been all along, that there are no facts except by 
consensus.
>>
>>I believe Dr. Freud invented an entire branch of medicine dedicated to
>>helping people in this way.
>>
>>> Are there reasons for aligning your belief with that of
>>> the giver... or are you asserting a sort of 'credo' and should it be 
>>> left
>>> alone?
>>>
>>Neither is required.
>
> Nobody said they were, Mr Dashwood, and nobody said those are the only two
> possibilities... but to align one's belief without reason is to do so, by
> definition, irrationally, and to assert a 'credo' is, likewise, to align
> belief without reason...
>
> ... it is is nice to know, in my experience, if one with whom is
> discussing things is aware of their irrationality.
>
Yes, isn't it  :-)?

Pete.




0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/6/2005 2:03:36 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd0528$3jc$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
<snip>. you'd have found a wholly roaming umpire.
:-) Good one, Doc...
>
>>Anyway, what were you trying to contradict? He stated that two people have
>>to agree before something is fact..not that two people agreeing on 
>>something
>>made it a fact.
>
> In the case of my friend, no... as stated above, '... he asserted that
> something was true if two or more people agreed to it.'
>
If two people agree on something it is true FOR THEM.

I did not intend to imply that agreement by itself makes things true.

JCE's interpretation of what I said is the one I intended: For something to 
be a fact, two or more people must agree to it. NOT that two or more people 
agreeing makes something a fact. Subtle but important.


<snip>

I take JCE's point that there is much that is 'unprovable' or 'unobservable' 
(except by the analog of mathematics) in our understanding of the universe. 
However, I have seen enough, read enough and done enough to give me the 
world view which I have exposed here.

I return to the original point:

In the case which prompted this discussion, I was expressing an opinion. 
Whenever I post to CLC I am expressing an opinion. As I don't believe in 
"absolute fact" I can do nothing OTHER than express an opinion. I do not 
believe that adding "I believe" to my commnets would make them any more or 
less valuable, or more or less true.

I have already posted to Chuck and explained this.

If you are offended by something being stated strongly and  feel it has 
contemptuous (or any other negative) implications, then please don't read or 
respond to my posts. It has never been my purpose (except where explicitly 
stated as such, or unambiguous offensive statements were made :-)) to offend 
by posting here. If I am pissed off about something I will say so without 
implication or innuendo. Otherwise, my posts should be taken at face value.

That's it on this from me.

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/6/2005 2:29:17 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvkl2$g7o$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lfvvnF12eps7U1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dcto8u$eq4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>
>>> In article <dctnlm$eae$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>
>><snip>
>>> In this case, Mr Brazee, Mr Dashwood seems to have made a statement 
>>> which
>>> had 'no restriction, exception or qualification' about 'a thing done'; 
>>> by
>>> these definitions he made a statement of absolute fact.
>>
>>No I didn't.
>
> Yes, you did... see how easy?
>
>>Even 'by these definitions' which are NOT a definition of
>>"absolute fact". (There is nothing in either of your authorities that 
>>claims
>>them to be definitions of "absolute fact"). You are making it up, 
>>presumably
>>because you enjoy the argument.
>
> Mr Dashwood, I have attempted to show the sources of my definitions, the
> processes by which I relate these definitions and the conclusions which
> arise out of my relatings.  If you see an error I have made then please,
> by all means, point out where the error lies.  Once again:
>
> Mr Dashwood stated, of something that was done, 'It is stupid'.
>
> According to
> http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=fact&x=0&y=0 a
> definition of fact is 'a thing done'.

I dispute that definition so what is the point of discussing it?

>
> 'It is stupid' is a statement of equality, containing no restrictions,
> exceptions or qualifications.

Apart from the context in which it was made.

>
> According to
> http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute+&x=0&y=0
> a definition of absolute is 'having no restriction, exception, or
> qualification'.
>
> In that Mr Dashwood made a statement (having no restriction, exception or
> qualification) of (a thing done) Mr Dashwood, by definition, made a
> statement (absolute) of (fact).
>

You can obviously believe whatever you want to.

>>
>>Howard has presented a series of statements that totally accurately 
>>reflect
>>what my intentions were at the time I wrote the statements I did. (So much
>>so, that I feel no compulsion to modify or extend anything he has said.)
>>
>>He has covered exactly how my statement would have been weakened and open 
>>to
>>an interpretation I did not intend, by adding the words '"I believe" to 
>>it.
>
> Mr Brazee stated that he supplied the conditionals which your statement
> did not contain; I responded that when the author is present I try to rely
> more on the word of the author than on my own interpretations.
>
>>Neither he, nor myself, nor anyone else has disputed that there may be 
>>cases
>>where adding "I believe" may not be exactly equivalent to not adding it, 
>>but
>>that is not THIS case. You have consistently ignored the case in point, 
>>and
>>tried to push the argument to the general, for purposes which I cannot 
>>begin
>>to imagine. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?
>
> A bit of clarity, if only for myself... how is it that someone can make a
> statement of absolute fact and then demand the reader supply the
> qualification?
>
I really have no idea. It is not my nature to demand anything of anybody, 
and, as, discussed here to the point of tedium, I don't believe in "absolute 
facts". I expressed an opinon. I stand by it.

Pete.



Pete.

> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/6/2005 2:35:18 AM
In article <c1871$42f4177f$45491c57$5646@KNOLOGY.NET>,
LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>> In article <a767b$42f3eb60$45491c57$14973@KNOLOGY.NET>,
>> LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
>> 
>>>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>
>>>>In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>>>>Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
>>>>>>having provided no answer at all.
>>>>>
>>>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
>>>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>>>
>>>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer 
>>>>sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session... and 
>>>>aswering a question with a question is, of course, no answer at all.
>>>
>>>So, you believe that Mr. Wong's full example (of which the first part is 
>>>shown above, but I've reposted below) does not represent reasoned discourse?
>> 
>> 
>> I believe that it indicates answering a question with a question, hence my 
>> response.
>> 
>> The reasons I give for attempting to avoid such a construct have been 
>> given again and again... do you need me to repost the URLs?
>
>No - I'm just, like Mr. Brazee, having a hard time believing that you're 
>completely serious about this.

That might make it a bit more difficult to categorise, then, and require a 
bit more thought on the matter... how horrid!

>It's not necessarily "answering" a 
>question with a question, as the question is *not* meant to delay, 
>obfuscate, or change the subject.

As Wittgenstein has it, meaning is the result of interpretation... 'I 
cannot know what you mean, only what you say.'  What is said is answering 
a question with a question.

>(1 - "What do you think?"  2 - "Well, 
>what do *you* think?" - it's not that sort of thing)

Do tell... how is one to know this?

>
>I thought you only did that with me, but I've seen you reply to nearly 
>every other person in this discussion with you "not an answer at all" 
>cookie-cutter response.

What, you think you're special?  I do my best to treat folks equally... 
I'll admit to admixing a bit more gentility and tenderness when dealing 
with what used to be called 'the handicapped'... but I haven't seen too 
many of those posting here.

>This, to me, seems to be hampering reasoned 
>discourse *much* more than their attempts at clarification - and, as the 
>discussion has shifted from shared procedure division code to your 
>debating techniques, you've changed the subject - one of the things you 
>claim your "reasoned discourse" avoids!

My memory is, admittedly, porous... but I do not recall stating that 
avoiding answering a question with a question will prevent UseNet thread 
drift.

>
>I don't know if I've got this word for word, but there's a saying that 
>lawyers have that goes something like...
>   - If the law is on your side, pound on the law.
>   - If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
>   - If neither is on your side, pound on the table.
>
>Your refusal to continue discourse when asked to clarify questions *you* 
>posited in the course of said discussion seems to be little more than 
>pounding on the table.

How interesting that you see it this way.  I see it that not answering 
questions is the 'refusal to continue discourse', you see that my pointing 
this out is the refusal.  This seems, to me, like believing that a 
program's throwing a non-numeric divide error is the fault of the user 
entering bad data, not the coder's lack of numeric testing.

>Just as you take great pride in saying that you 
>barely know what you know, much less anyone else, your refusal to 
>clarify anything you've said in the form of a question deprives others 
>from determining just what the point is that you're trying to get 
>across.

I do not 'take great pride' in this, I state it as a matter of fact when I 
am asked to posit the thinking or knowledge of others.  I do not know what 
you are trying to say when you refer to my 'refusal to clarify anything 
(I've) said in the form of a question'... when asked a question I do my 
best to supply an answer, when I ask of others it would be nice were they 
to do the same.

>We scarcely know what we know, much less what you do!  :)
>
>To me, the point seems to be "don't question the Doc."

This appears a rather... curious interpretation of 'answering a question 
with a question is no answer at all'.

'This person, upon seeing a question responded-to with another question, 
points out that 'answering a question with a question is no answer at 
all'... the point of this seems to be 'don't question him'.'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/6/2005 1:29:55 PM
In article <3lilk7F12k3erU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd0528$3jc$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
><snip>. you'd have found a wholly roaming umpire.
>:-) Good one, Doc...

Glad you enjoyed.

>>
>>>Anyway, what were you trying to contradict? He stated that two people have
>>>to agree before something is fact..not that two people agreeing on 
>>>something
>>>made it a fact.
>>
>> In the case of my friend, no... as stated above, '... he asserted that
>> something was true if two or more people agreed to it.'
>>
>If two people agree on something it is true FOR THEM.

That is not what my friend said, no... but are you saying that '... it is 
true FOR THEM' is an absolute fact?

>
>I did not intend to imply that agreement by itself makes things true.
>
>JCE's interpretation of what I said is the one I intended: For something to 
>be a fact, two or more people must agree to it. NOT that two or more people 
>agreeing makes something a fact. Subtle but important.

And as pointed out... one day Galileo, alone, disagrees with Aristotle and 
the next day both Galileo and his buddy, Giuseppe, both disagree.  A 
rather... malleable universe.

[snip]

>In the case which prompted this discussion, I was expressing an opinion. 

In that it was stated in the form of absolute fact this is to be known 
only in retrospect and with clarification.

>Whenever I post to CLC I am expressing an opinion.

Now that some are aware of this it might be kept in mind.

>As I don't believe in 
>"absolute fact" I can do nothing OTHER than express an opinion.

Is that an absolute fact, now?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/6/2005 1:59:38 PM
In article <3lik42F12ra7rU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvjkv$gap$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <3lftfrF10nd9jU1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

[snip]

>>>Agreed. A fact is a fact as long as people agree to it. When observations
>>>extend the information, the agreement changes. And so does the fact.
>>
>> So, Mr Dashwood, it seems that we live in a rather Malleable Place, where
>> one day heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day
>> they don't, or one day spontaneous generation works and the next Pasteur
>> is right, Spallanzani wrong.
>>
><DISCLAIMER - Pete's opinion follows. Usual rules apply... no offense, 
>Unisys sites excluded, yadayadayada...>
>Yes, Doc. That is a fair summation. Only it isn't 'malleable' because it 
>obeys the laws of physics in this universe.

Mr Daswhwood, that seems to be a contradiction.  If 'it seems that we live 
in a rather Malleable Place, where ond day heavier objects fall faster 
than lighter ones and the next day they don't' is 'a fair summation'... 
but 'it isn't malleable' because it obeys the laws of physics in this 
universe' (never mind the question of these laws being absolute facts')

.... then in one sentence you say that the laws of physics change from day 
to day, in that the laws governing the acceleration of falling bodies are 
the result of such laws, while in the next you say these laws are 
immutable (in the given universe).

Given that 'a thing cannot both be, and yet not be, the same thing in 
regards to the same aspect at the same time' (Aristotle) it would seem 
that you have broken the Law of Non-Contradiction.

>They tend to be inviolate... 

'Tend to be', Mr Dashwood?  'Half dead' is still very much alive... either 
the laws to which you refer get violated or they don't... which is it?

>Those same laws also guarantee a degree of uncertainty which often conflicts 
>with 'common sense'. The universe is unknowable, not by the decree of a 
>Supreme Being, but by the behaviour of energy and particles at a quantum 
>level.

That a measurement of an electron, necessarily made with light, makes one 
of its aspects (eg, location) unknowable with respect to another (eg, 
speed) in no wise makes it impossible for a skilled hunter to determine 
both aspects well enough to put a duck on the table, Mr Dashwood.

[snip]

>>>'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is not a statement of fact.
>>
>> No matter who makes it?
>
>Nope. No matter who makes it. The past is no longer verifiable with absolute 
>certainty. Only a degree of certainty (which may be very close to 100%...)

Wow... must have been a dull day on the obstetrics ward, nobody was born 
on 04 Aug 1895... sorry, could not resist.

Verification was not asked for, Mr Dashwood... but in that being born is a 
'thing done' it appears that your definition of 'fact' is different from 
that which appears in a commonly-accepted source which I have cited here, 
repeatedly 
(http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=fact&x=0&y=0 , 1).

It might be that our disagreement arises from using different definitions; 
would you be so kind as to provide the definition you are using for 'fact' 
so that this possibility might be addressed or dismissed?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/6/2005 2:18:50 PM
In article <3lilvhF131g2nU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvkl2$g7o$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> In article <3lfvvnF12eps7U1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dcto8u$eq4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>>
>>>> In article <dctnlm$eae$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>>>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>On  4-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>>
>>><snip>
>>>> In this case, Mr Brazee, Mr Dashwood seems to have made a statement 
>>>> which
>>>> had 'no restriction, exception or qualification' about 'a thing done'; 
>>>> by
>>>> these definitions he made a statement of absolute fact.
>>>
>>>No I didn't.
>>
>> Yes, you did... see how easy?
>>
>>>Even 'by these definitions' which are NOT a definition of
>>>"absolute fact". (There is nothing in either of your authorities that 
>>>claims
>>>them to be definitions of "absolute fact"). You are making it up, 
>>>presumably
>>>because you enjoy the argument.
>>
>> Mr Dashwood, I have attempted to show the sources of my definitions, the
>> processes by which I relate these definitions and the conclusions which
>> arise out of my relatings.  If you see an error I have made then please,
>> by all means, point out where the error lies.  Once again:
>>
>> Mr Dashwood stated, of something that was done, 'It is stupid'.
>>
>> According to
>> http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=fact&x=0&y=0 a
>> definition of fact is 'a thing done'.
>
>I dispute that definition so what is the point of discussing it?

Mr Dashwood, as noted in an earlier post working from different 
definitions for a given word - English being a language where words are 
admitted to having more than one definition - can generate difficulties 
based solely on definition.

I have supplied the definition upon which I based my conclusions, well and 
good... would you be so kind as to supply the one you are using, so that 
it might be seen whence arise these differences?

>
>>
>> 'It is stupid' is a statement of equality, containing no restrictions,
>> exceptions or qualifications.
>
>Apart from the context in which it was made.

It was made in the context of the English language, Mr Dashwood, for which 
there are commonly-accepted sources of definition.
>
>>
>> According to
>> http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=absolute+&x=0&y=0
>> a definition of absolute is 'having no restriction, exception, or
>> qualification'.
>>
>> In that Mr Dashwood made a statement (having no restriction, exception or
>> qualification) of (a thing done) Mr Dashwood, by definition, made a
>> statement (absolute) of (fact).
>>
>
>You can obviously believe whatever you want to.

Mr Dashwood, I have attempted to show the definitions from which I began, 
the way in which I related them and the conclusions to which I came... a 
form of demonstration which seems to work fairly well in resolving matters 
of disagreement.

Your responses, in this case, are along the lines of 'I dispute that' and 
'you can believe what you want to'... how is anyone to see or learn 
anything beyond the statements of your disagreement?

A: 'Given (x) under condition (y) result (z) appears to be reasonable.'
B: 'You can obviously believe whatever you want to.'

If that is all you wish to supply, Mr Dashwood, it would seem that your 
desire is something I suggested as a possibility in an earlier posting:

A: (g)

B: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (r)

A: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (3)

B: Ahhhhh, it is so.  (XIV) 

.... and it just might be that I am not sufficiently... 'enlightened' to 
appreciate such a thing.

(Oblique reference to a joke about Buddhists: There are two Perfect 
Masters, each sitting on his own mountaintop.  One calls over to the other 
'How is the weather over there?'

A hundred years pass.

The second calls back to the first 'Do you want to fight about it?')

(Now, all together: 'Ahhhhh, it is so.')

[snip]

>>>What exactly are you trying to achieve here?
>>
>> A bit of clarity, if only for myself... how is it that someone can make a
>> statement of absolute fact and then demand the reader supply the
>> qualification?
>>
>I really have no idea. It is not my nature to demand anything of anybody, 
>and, as, discussed here to the point of tedium, I don't believe in "absolute 
>facts". I expressed an opinon. I stand by it.

As shown by the definitions above, Mr Dashwood, you may have intended to 
express an opinion... but it seems to have appeared in the form of a 
statement of absolute fact.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/6/2005 2:36:07 PM
> If 'it seems that we live
> in a rather Malleable Place, where ond day heavier objects fall faster
> than lighter ones and the next day they don't' is 'a fair summation'...

It seems to me that a lead weight does actually fall faster than a
feather. always has done (in this place), and continues to do so.  Your
claim was never a 'fair summation'.

> but 'it isn't malleable' because it obeys the laws of physics in this
> universe' (never mind the question of these laws being absolute facts')

Those objects do obey the laws of physics, or those we use as
simplifications, it is only the explanations of why things happen that
change, not the observable facts.

0
riplin (4127)
8/6/2005 7:13:51 PM
"Richard" <riplin@Azonic.co.nz> wrote in message 
news:1123355630.959750.293010@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> If 'it seems that we live
>> in a rather Malleable Place, where ond day heavier objects fall faster
>> than lighter ones and the next day they don't' is 'a fair summation'...
>
> It seems to me that a lead weight does actually fall faster than a
> feather. always has done (in this place), and continues to do so.  Your
> claim was never a 'fair summation'.
>
>> but 'it isn't malleable' because it obeys the laws of physics in this
>> universe' (never mind the question of these laws being absolute facts')
>
> Those objects do obey the laws of physics, or those we use as
> simplifications, it is only the explanations of why things happen that
> change, not the observable facts.

Was there not an implied, "in my opinion it is...."

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/6/2005 8:37:17 PM
> Was there not an implied, "in my opinion it is...."

What part of "It seems to me .." did you fail to notice ?

0
riplin (4127)
8/6/2005 11:44:28 PM
In article <1123355630.959750.293010@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
Richard <riplin@Azonic.co.nz> wrote:
>> If 'it seems that we live
>> in a rather Malleable Place, where ond day heavier objects fall faster
>> than lighter ones and the next day they don't' is 'a fair summation'...
>
>It seems to me that a lead weight does actually fall faster than a
>feather. always has done (in this place), and continues to do so.  Your
>claim was never a 'fair summation'.

Mr Plinston, the question of opposing forces was covered previously and 
responded-to by Mr Dashwood in 
<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/83b819eae988603c?dmode=source&hl=en> 
; I was not aware that there were those who required the shorthand of 
'heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones' to be expanded to 'heavier 
objects fall faster than lighter ones under conditions where both are 
unopposed by other forces'.

As far as calling my claim a 'fair summation'... as I read 
<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/b181d45236e25b10?dmode=source&hl=en> 
the text of:

--begin quoted text:

> So, Mr Dashwood, it seems that we live in a rather Malleable Place, where
> one day heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the next day
> they don't, or one day spontaneous generation works and the next Pasteur
> is right, Spallanzani wrong.
>
<DISCLAIMER - Pete's opinion follows. Usual rules apply... no offense, 
Unisys sites excluded, yadayadayada...>
Yes, Doc. That is a fair summation. 

--end quoted text

.... the label of 'a fair summation' is applied by Mr Dashwood.  If you 
disagree with it you might mention that to him.

>
>> but 'it isn't malleable' because it obeys the laws of physics in this
>> universe' (never mind the question of these laws being absolute facts')
>
>Those objects do obey the laws of physics, or those we use as
>simplifications, it is only the explanations of why things happen that
>change, not the observable facts.

I am not sure how Mr Dashwood considers observation in the scheme of 
things... but I recall his asserting that 'I was born on 04 Aug 1895' is 
not a statement of fact... As it is a past event there is no possible way 
to verify the truth of it.'  That being the case it might be readily 
concluded that observed facts, being past events, are equally impossible 
to verify... but that might not matter so much as we seem to live in such 
a Malleable Place.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/7/2005 1:00:08 AM
> [snip]
>
>>>>What exactly are you trying to achieve here?
>>>
>>> A bit of clarity, if only for myself... how is it that someone can make 
>>> a
>>> statement of absolute fact and then demand the reader supply the
>>> qualification?
>>>
>>I really have no idea. It is not my nature to demand anything of anybody,
>>and, as, discussed here to the point of tedium, I don't believe in 
>>"absolute
>>facts". I expressed an opinon. I stand by it.
>
> As shown by the definitions above, Mr Dashwood, you may have intended to
> express an opinion... but it seems to have appeared in the form of a
> statement of absolute fact.
>
Only to you, Doc.

Hence my statement: "You can believe whatever you want to".

And you can provide all the definitions and logic you like; it doesn't 
change what I was doing. It only explains why YOU view what I was doing the 
way you do.

You can accept a dictionary definition that tells you what a fact is; I 
can't.

You have deliberately excluded contexts that were very important to this 
argument, and you refuse to accept that they were.

Even above (in the area I snipped) you see the only context as being "the 
English Language".  Check your dictionary for the meaning of 'context', and 
consider how it affects meaning.  You might consider also that Wittgenstein 
may not have had the whole story and it could be risky to build your 
understanding of 'meaning' on the writings of  someone who did not live in 
today's world, and was not privy to the understandings acquired in the last 
twenty years. (Or not... it really doesn't matter. My point is that rather 
that trot out the same old cliches, why not consider if they are still 
applicable? Some re-evaluation is often good, even if you come to the same 
conclusion...)  He died in 1951; the world has changed considerably since 
then and the understanding we have now about the nature of things is far 
different from that which we had then.

You have played your broken record of "Is that absolute?" even after I have 
genuinely explained why I do not believe in "absolute fact". You just keep 
re-iterating your dictionary definitions to support your argument that my 
expression of opinion was one of absolute fact. It wasn't. As the originator 
of it, I believe I am better placed to know what was intended than you are. 
It is just tiresome and silly. No progress is possible because you are not 
listening to what I'm saying, and I won't accept your argument from 
Authoriity. We have fundamental differences of opinion about this that will 
not be resolved by debate. So I say, with all goodwill and absence of 
petulance: "Believe whatever you want to."

As I am not accountable to you, am fine for you to have whatever opinion you 
like about it, do not need your approval before posting here, and am certain 
nothing I can say or do will change your mind on this anyway, it is 
pointless (for me) to continue this dialogue.

I am satisfied I have explained my position to the point where any 
reasonable person would understand it. Although I enjoy informed debate and 
don't even mind losing such debates occasionally, this one is going nowhere 
so it has to be terminated.

I expressed an opinion. That's what I always do when I post here. That's 
what I'm doing right now.

Believe whatever you want to about it.

Sorry, it's tea-time...game's over :-)

Pete. 


0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/7/2005 2:53:25 AM
"Richard" <riplin@Azonic.co.nz> wrote in message 
news:1123371868.830664.94460@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> Was there not an implied, "in my opinion it is...."
>
> What part of "It seems to me .." did you fail to notice ?

It appears my highlight / delete failed...

It should have read:
<begin>
>> If 'it seems that we live
>> in a rather Malleable Place, where ond day heavier objects fall faster
>> than lighter ones and the next day they don't' is 'a fair summation'...
>
> It seems to me that a lead weight does actually fall faster than a
> feather. always has done (in this place), and continues to do so.  Your
> claim was never a 'fair summation'.

Was there not an implied, "in my opinion it is....[a fair summation]"
<end>

JCE


0
defaultuser (532)
8/7/2005 5:08:40 AM
In article <3llbdcF134ai5U1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

[snip]

>> As shown by the definitions above, Mr Dashwood, you may have intended to
>> express an opinion... but it seems to have appeared in the form of a
>> statement of absolute fact.
>>
>Only to you, Doc.
>
>Hence my statement: "You can believe whatever you want to".
>
>And you can provide all the definitions and logic you like; it doesn't 
>change what I was doing.

Mr Dashwood, you appear to fall prey to your own logic.  According to you 
there is no 'what you were doing', or 'absolute fact of action'; there is 
only what people agree what you were doing.

You and I disagreed about this.  I offered definitions, logic and 
conclusions; despite repeated and polite requests you were unwilling or 
unable to do likewise.

Since there's disagreement and you do not believe there's 'absolute fact' 
to rely on... it seems that all there is left is definition, logic, 
conclusion and discussion.  For some reason you appear to think that 'I 
did not!' is a substitute for these.

>
>You can accept a dictionary definition that tells you what a fact is; I 
>can't.

The what is someone else to make of your use of the word, Mr Dashwood?  
How is anyone to do what is called 'communicating' without a common basis?

>
>You have deliberately excluded contexts that were very important to this 
>argument, and you refuse to accept that they were.

Mr Dashwood, if different use of definition are carried into the same 
context the result might be different; that is why I have tried so hard to 
clarify definitions first.  This seems to be anathema to you, for reasons 
I do not know... but I have found that careful attention to definition can 
remove many apparent disagreements.  Perhaps you enjoy the disagreements 
in some manner and wish to preserve them; I do not find disagreement based 
on definition to be anything of pleasure.

>
>Even above (in the area I snipped) you see the only context as being "the 
>English Language".  Check your dictionary for the meaning of 'context', and 
>consider how it affects meaning.

I should check my dictionary for a definition you suggest whilst you 
refuse repeated requests to do the same?  Mr Dashwood, that would appear 
to be expecting a behavior from another which one refuses, one'sself, to 
do.

[snip]

>You have played your broken record of "Is that absolute?" even after I have 
>genuinely explained why I do not believe in "absolute fact".

I have attempted to demonstrate, Mr Dashwood, that your beliefs lead to a 
contradiction; my apologies if I was unclear.

>You just keep 
>re-iterating your dictionary definitions to support your argument that my 
>expression of opinion was one of absolute fact. It wasn't.

You keep repeating this, Mr Dashwood, and I point out that you are asking 
me to accept this 'it was'nt'.  Consider:

A: (x)
B: According to definition that is (y).
A: No, it isn't.
B: Says who?
A: Says me.
B: Your word trumps that of a commonly-accepted source?
A: That's right.  I say so, there it is.

>As the originator 
>of it, I believe I am better placed to know what was intended than you are. 

That may well be, Mr Dashwood; Author's Intent is very important.  In this 
case Author's Intent appears to contradict definition; if that is the case 
an Author might wish to reconsider the words used or the method in which 
they were used since commonly-accepted definitions appear to show that an 
opposite interpretation is possible.

>It is just tiresome and silly. No progress is possible because you are not 
>listening to what I'm saying, and I won't accept your argument from 
>Authoriity.

I do not make an Argument from Authority, Mr Dashwood; I take definitions 
from there and I qualify following statements with 'in that'.  I am more 
than willing to countenance a counter but all you seem to have is 'As 
Author I intended...'

It is fine that you intend such, Mr Dashwood... but how is that made 
manifest in your statements?  Do you expect all readers to approach your 
works and universally substitute 'It is my opinion' or 'I believe' for 
your uses of 'It is'?

>We have fundamental differences of opinion about this that will 
>not be resolved by debate. So I say, with all goodwill and absence of 
>petulance: "Believe whatever you want to."
>
>As I am not accountable to you, am fine for you to have whatever opinion you 
>like about it, do not need your approval before posting here, and am certain 
>nothing I can say or do will change your mind on this anyway, it is 
>pointless (for me) to continue this dialogue.

In the fashion you present it, Mr Dashwood, this may be the case.  I try 
to supply definitions, logic and conclusions... you counter with what 
appears to be Humpty-Dumptyistic 'it means what I want it to'.

>
>I am satisfied I have explained my position to the point where any 
>reasonable person would understand it. Although I enjoy informed debate and 
>don't even mind losing such debates occasionally, this one is going nowhere 
>so it has to be terminated.

I tried to direct it otherwise, Mr Dashwood... but my solo efforts can go 
only so far.

>
>I expressed an opinion. That's what I always do when I post here. That's 
>what I'm doing right now.

Is that a fact, now?

>
>Believe whatever you want to about it.
>
>Sorry, it's tea-time...game's over :-)

When you feel up to trying again, Mr Dashwood, perhaps your efforts may 
have a different outcome... but feel free to try again, by all means.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/7/2005 10:02:59 AM
docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
> In article <c1871$42f4177f$45491c57$5646@KNOLOGY.NET>,
> LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
> 
>>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>>In article <a767b$42f3eb60$45491c57$14973@KNOLOGY.NET>,
>>>LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>In article <HWJIe.158898$HI.67263@edtnps84>,
>>>>>Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcovt5$arh$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>That is because you left the FIFO answer-queue filled with my question,
>>>>>>>having provided no answer at all.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>For most of the question/answer sessions I've participated it, I believe 
>>>>>>they tend to work better as LIFO stacks; e.g.:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>Person A: How do I set the wallpaper on my desktop?
>>>>>>Person B: Are you using Windows?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>Ummmm... with all due respect, Mr Wong, you speak of 'question/answer 
>>>>>sessions' and then post an example of a question/question session... and 
>>>>>aswering a question with a question is, of course, no answer at all.
>>>>
>>>>So, you believe that Mr. Wong's full example (of which the first part is 
>>>>shown above, but I've reposted below) does not represent reasoned discourse?
>>>
>>>
>>>I believe that it indicates answering a question with a question, hence my 
>>>response.
>>>
>>>The reasons I give for attempting to avoid such a construct have been 
>>>given again and again... do you need me to repost the URLs?
>>
>>No - I'm just, like Mr. Brazee, having a hard time believing that you're 
>>completely serious about this.
> 
> 
> That might make it a bit more difficult to categorise, then, and require a 
> bit more thought on the matter... how horrid!

Well, if you are serious, you don't want to know the thoughts I'm 
having.  It doesn't require any more - I've already had them.

>>It's not necessarily "answering" a 
>>question with a question, as the question is *not* meant to delay, 
>>obfuscate, or change the subject.
> 
> As Wittgenstein has it, meaning is the result of interpretation... 'I 
> cannot know what you mean, only what you say.'  What is said is answering 
> a question with a question.

And as you've repeated (in this thread, no less), that nothing is 
absolute.  Yet, you treat any response ending in a question mark to an 
original question as a stalling tactic.  You've said yourself that you 
find that that's what people *usually* do, but you treat it as if that's 
what people are *always* trying to do.

>>(1 - "What do you think?"  2 - "Well, 
>>what do *you* think?" - it's not that sort of thing)
> 
> Do tell... how is one to know this?

How is one to know it *is* that?  (for those keeping score at home, yes, 
that's a question in response to a question)  You *assume* that any 
question as a response is an attempt to delay.

>>I don't know if I've got this word for word, but there's a saying that 
>>lawyers have that goes something like...
>>  - If the law is on your side, pound on the law.
>>  - If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
>>  - If neither is on your side, pound on the table.
>>
>>Your refusal to continue discourse when asked to clarify questions *you* 
>>posited in the course of said discussion seems to be little more than 
>>pounding on the table.
> 
> How interesting that you see it this way.  I see it that not answering 
> questions is the 'refusal to continue discourse', you see that my pointing 
> this out is the refusal.  This seems, to me, like believing that a 
> program's throwing a non-numeric divide error is the fault of the user 
> entering bad data, not the coder's lack of numeric testing.

You refuse to attribute even a smidgen of pure motives to those with 
whom you are discussing.  To some observers (and as has been evidenced 
in this thread, it's not just me), it looks like *you* don't want to 
answer the question.  Rather than clarify your statement (which would 
require to answering a question posed as a response to a question with a 
real answer, instead of the auto-responder), you trot out your standard 
reply.

There's no really good way to take it, either.  If you're trying to 
delay, you get miffed that you were called on it.  If you just wanted 
clarification, it comes across as either *you* trying to delay; or an 
attempt to claim some sort of high ground based on technique; or just 
flat condescending.  In all but the first, it hampers the discourse, not 
enhances it.

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/8/2005 2:07:40 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvfct$kpv$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
> [snip]
>
> >> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
> >> >of Forms.
> >>
> >> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most
likely
> >> did.
> >
> >Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
> >never my goal.
>
> Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of eidos
> (translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.

"There is no reason for studying philosophy--so Hume
maintains--except that, to certain temperaments, this is
an agreeable way of passing the time." -- Bertrand
Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy"

Having now read two similar descriptions of Plato's
Forms, I find that further study of Plato would not be
an agreeable way of my passing the time.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/8/2005 3:00:22 AM
In article <11fdiopk2atsqbe@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dcvfct$kpv$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> >> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
>> >> >of Forms.
>> >>
>> >> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most likely
>> >> did.
>> >
>> >Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
>> >never my goal.
>>
>> Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of eidos
>> (translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.
>
>"There is no reason for studying philosophy--so Hume
>maintains--except that, to certain temperaments, this is
>an agreeable way of passing the time." -- Bertrand
>Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy"

The abovenoted quotation seems not to mention whether Hume believed that 
he had such a temperament... that's one of the problems with secondary 
sources.

>
>Having now read two similar descriptions of Plato's
>Forms, I find that further study of Plato would not be
>an agreeable way of my passing the time.

How interesting... was one of those descriptions Nietzsche's 'Christianity 
is Platonism for the masses'?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 5:36:34 AM
In article <8f14c$42f6be5f$45491c57$28129@KNOLOGY.NET>,
LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:
>docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>> In article <c1871$42f4177f$45491c57$5646@KNOLOGY.NET>,
>> LX-i  <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote:

[snip]

>>>No - I'm just, like Mr. Brazee, having a hard time believing that you're 
>>>completely serious about this.
>> 
>> 
>> That might make it a bit more difficult to categorise, then, and require a 
>> bit more thought on the matter... how horrid!
>
>Well, if you are serious, you don't want to know the thoughts I'm 
>having.  It doesn't require any more - I've already had them.

Then it might be wise to question your beliefs a bit more, to see if any 
thoughts of value arise.

>
>>>It's not necessarily "answering" a 
>>>question with a question, as the question is *not* meant to delay, 
>>>obfuscate, or change the subject.
>> 
>> As Wittgenstein has it, meaning is the result of interpretation... 'I 
>> cannot know what you mean, only what you say.'  What is said is answering 
>> a question with a question.
>
>And as you've repeated (in this thread, no less), that nothing is 
>absolute.

I do not recall making such a statement and I would be very interested to 
see a quoting of my writing in which I assert such.  Mr Dashwood is, as I 
recall, the one who has asserted an absolute belief that there are no 
absolute facts.

>>Yet, you treat any response ending in a question mark to an 
>original question as a stalling tactic.  You've said yourself that you 
>find that that's what people *usually* do, but you treat it as if that's 
>what people are *always* trying to do.

Once again, I would be interested your supplying a quotation which 
supports this assertion.  I have posted, I believe, something entirely 
alternate at least three times and URLs to those postings several more 
times... do I need to yet again?  Try searching on the text:

--begin quoted text:

This having been said - that in the overwhelming majority of cases it is
used as an evasion instead of an answer and that there are, as noted
above, structures readily available to render its use unnecessary - then
the conclusion is that the technique of answering a question with a
question is treated as an ALTER and should be structured out of
existence. 

--end quoted text

.... and see if you can find statement where, clearly and unambiguously, I 
draw attention to the fact that I refer to 'an overwhelming majority' and 
not 'all'.

>
>>>(1 - "What do you think?"  2 - "Well, 
>>>what do *you* think?" - it's not that sort of thing)
>> 
>> Do tell... how is one to know this?
>
>How is one to know it *is* that?  (for those keeping score at home, yes, 
>that's a question in response to a question)  You *assume* that any 
>question as a response is an attempt to delay.

That has been addressed in the quotations and URLs given repeatedly, as 
mentioned above.  Now, please be so kind as to answer my question of 'Do 
tell... how is one to know this?' ('this' referring to 'it's not that sort 
of thing')

>>>I don't know if I've got this word for word, but there's a saying that 
>>>lawyers have that goes something like...
>>>  - If the law is on your side, pound on the law.
>>>  - If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
>>>  - If neither is on your side, pound on the table.
>>>
>>>Your refusal to continue discourse when asked to clarify questions *you* 
>>>posited in the course of said discussion seems to be little more than 
>>>pounding on the table.
>> 
>> How interesting that you see it this way.  I see it that not answering 
>> questions is the 'refusal to continue discourse', you see that my pointing 
>> this out is the refusal.  This seems, to me, like believing that a 
>> program's throwing a non-numeric divide error is the fault of the user 
>> entering bad data, not the coder's lack of numeric testing.
>
>You refuse to attribute even a smidgen of pure motives to those with 
>whom you are discussing.

If that were the case I might be loth to resume discourse once the form of 
answering a question with a question has been changed... and this is not, 
in my experience, the case.

>To some observers (and as has been evidenced 
>in this thread, it's not just me), it looks like *you* don't want to 
>answer the question.

I cannot be held responsible for their interpretations... as noted above, 
once a non-answer is changed to an answer things can continue along on 
their merry way.

>Rather than clarify your statement (which would 
>require to answering a question posed as a response to a question with a 
>real answer, instead of the auto-responder), you trot out your standard 
>reply.

There's a reason for my doing that... and it has been posted and reposted, 
repeatedly, to the point where at least one reader has reconsidered his 
behavior in light of it.  Have you read it, perchance?

>
>There's no really good way to take it, either.  If you're trying to 
>delay, you get miffed that you were called on it.  If you just wanted 
>clarification, it comes across as either *you* trying to delay; or an 
>attempt to claim some sort of high ground based on technique; or just 
>flat condescending.  In all but the first, it hampers the discourse, not 
>enhances it.

The first few times, being a non-standard response, there might be a bit 
of stumbling... or for pettifogging, niggling, legalistic sticklers there 
might be a bit of a delay - 'Well, what about if it is Tuesday in Estonia 
and the local scissors-grinder has just celebrated his daughter's 
betrothal to the brewer's left-handed middle son... might not *then* be a 
time when answering a question with a question is, truly, an answer? - 
(the answer, of course, is 'no')... but I have found that with a bit of 
time it facilitates things.

This is, of course, only my experience.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 6:08:51 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11fdiopk2atsqbe@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dcvfct$kpv$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> [snip]
> >>
> >> >> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
> >> >> >of Forms.
> >> >>
> >> >> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most
likely
> >> >> did.
> >> >
> >> >Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
> >> >never my goal.
> >>
> >> Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of eidos
> >> (translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.
> >
[snip]
> >
> >Having now read two similar descriptions of Plato's
> >Forms, I find that further study of Plato would not be
> >an agreeable way of my passing the time.
>
> How interesting... was one of those descriptions Nietzsche's 'Christianity
> is Platonism for the masses'?

No, in fact, I had neither read Nietzsche nor about him.

I got the distinct impression that Plato's Forms are
inextricably linked to his monotheism. Take away that
belief and his system collapses; not that I claim to
understand Plato, but only that it is the impression
I got.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/8/2005 12:08:39 PM
In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11fdiopk2atsqbe@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dcvfct$kpv$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>> >news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> >> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> [snip]
>> >>
>> >> >> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
>> >> >> >of Forms.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most likely
>> >> >> did.
>> >> >
>> >> >Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
>> >> >never my goal.
>> >>
>> >> Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of eidos
>> >> (translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.
>> >
>[snip]
>> >
>> >Having now read two similar descriptions of Plato's
>> >Forms, I find that further study of Plato would not be
>> >an agreeable way of my passing the time.
>>
>> How interesting... was one of those descriptions Nietzsche's 'Christianity
>> is Platonism for the masses'?
>
>No, in fact, I had neither read Nietzsche nor about him.

What a Wonderful World it is that has new things to learn in it... ol' 
Friederich was quite a character.

>
>I got the distinct impression that Plato's Forms are
>inextricably linked to his monotheism. Take away that
>belief and his system collapses; not that I claim to
>understand Plato, but only that it is the impression
>I got.

Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text I'm 
familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly 
comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so 
kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this 
monotheism?

(I tride to find it on my own... but 
<http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2004-33,RNWE:en&q=%22plato%27s+monotheism%22> 
didn't give too much to go on.)

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 12:45:45 PM
In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11fdiopk2atsqbe@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dcvfct$kpv$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>> >news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> >> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> [snip]
>> >>
>> >> >> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
>> >> >> >of Forms.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher', most likely
>> >> >> did.
>> >> >
>> >> >Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
>> >> >never my goal.
>> >>
>> >> Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of eidos
>> >> (translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.
>> >
>[snip]
>> >
>> >Having now read two similar descriptions of Plato's
>> >Forms, I find that further study of Plato would not be
>> >an agreeable way of my passing the time.
>>
>> How interesting... was one of those descriptions Nietzsche's 'Christianity
>> is Platonism for the masses'?
>
>No, in fact, I had neither read Nietzsche nor about him.

What a Wonderful World it is that has new things to learn in it... ol' 
Friederich was quite a character.

>
>I got the distinct impression that Plato's Forms are
>inextricably linked to his monotheism. Take away that
>belief and his system collapses; not that I claim to
>understand Plato, but only that it is the impression
>I got.

Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text I'm 
familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly 
comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so 
kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this 
monotheism?

(I tride to find it on my own... but 
<http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2004-33,RNWE:en&q=%22plato%27s+monotheism%22> 
didn't give too much to go on.)

(Come to think of - and look for - it... 
<http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=RNWE%2CRNWE%3A2004-33%2CRNWE%3Aen&q=%22plato%27s+polytheism%22> 
doesn't give too much to go on, either.)

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 12:49:28 PM
 
Gross misrepresentation corrected below...

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd6stj$nit$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> I do not recall making such a statement and I would be very interested to
> see a quoting of my writing in which I assert such.  Mr Dashwood is, as I
> recall, the one who has asserted an absolute belief that there are no
> absolute facts.

I asserted no such thing and this is just a deliberate misrepresentation of 
what I DID assert. Qualifying it with 'as I recall' and then admitting later 
to a 'porous memory' does not disguise the mischievous intention behind it. 
Before  assigning assertions to people, a simple search of the thread would 
reveal how incorrect this is.

For the last time...

I DO believe there are no "absolute facts".

I do NOT , and have never asserted, that belief to be ABSOLUTE.

My position is therefore non contradictory and follows logically, unlike the 
tautological representation of it above.

[Here are a series of quotes from a number of posts in this thread, which 
show I have NEVER considered this belief to be absolute, despite the Doc 
consistently representing that I do...]
----------------------------- quote 1 ------------------------------------
DASHWOOD:
This is where we come back to "absolute fact".  Is our individual perception
of reality simply belief or is it fact? (I believe facts are what we agree
to be true; but I don't believe they are absolute.) Can there be anything
outside of our perception that is a fact? Is  "absolute fact"  simply tiny
strings of energy oscillating in different ways through eleven dimensions,
understandable by us as being subject to the laws of probability, but not
necessarily so? Maybe. Can our perception change this reality? Maybe.
Indications are that observing experiments may change the outcome of them.

Has anybody seen the film "What the bleep do we know?". I found it enjoyable
but irritating in places because people who should know better were not
telling the whole story or were putting their own spin it. But that's
reality. It is all about getting agreement on what each of us perceive.

When I post to this forum you are getting a glimpse of my universe. When you
post, I am getting a glimpse of yours. If our perceptions tally, we are in
agreement and share a reality; if they don't, then we get irritated with
each other... :-) But none of it has anything to do with "absolute fact".
------------------------------ end quote 1 ---------------------------------

------------------------------start quote 
2 ---------------------------------
DASHWOOD:
The bottom line is that observing things in this universe may well change 
the
way they behave. Nobody knows what energy and particles are doing when they
are not observed, and when they ARE observed they behave in a way that is
logically inconsistent [like being in two places at once, or being
simultaneously a wave and a particle, and a whole lot of  other weird
shit...).  Our Common Sense gives us the same view as Newton's idea of God
winding up the clock and letting it tick at a standard rate throughout the
Cosmos. An "absolute" background of space and time on which events happen.
Where "absolute facts" are a reality.

I don't ascribe to it, and anyone who has dabbled in modern Physics is
unlikely to, either. The universe confounds our common sense and is far more
complex than our three dimensional brains can easily perceive. Space and
time vary with relative location and acceleration; there is no "absolute
fabric" for "absolute facts" to be painted on.
------------------------------ end quote 2 ---------------------------------

------------------------------start quote 3---------------------------------
DWARF:
> 'There are no "absolute facts" is absolutely true'... how many variations
> of this are you going to offer, Mr Dashwood?
>
DASHWOOD:
I have offered NO variations on it because I never said it. It is YOUR
quote, repeated to the point of being tiresome.

In my universe there are no absolutes, only probabilities. I have been clear
on that on every occasion.
------------------------------ end quote 3 ---------------------------------

------------------------------start quote 4---------------------------------
DWARF:
> Once again this curious 'we'... I ask you to speak for yourself, Mr
> Dashwood: in the universe *you* inhabit is 'NOTHING is absolute'
> absolutely true?
>
DASHWOOD:
It is of an extremely high probability... close to, but not touching,
certainty. Get over it.
------------------------------ end quote 4 ---------------------------------

Pete.
<snip> 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/8/2005 1:51:15 PM
On  5-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> I believe that it indicates answering a question with a question, hence my
> response.
>
> The reasons I give for attempting to avoid such a construct have been
> given again and again... do you need me to repost the URLs?

No.

Our responses have been repeated, expanded upon, and illustrated.   But they
aren't as funny as your running gag.

That non-sequitur fails to solve the original need for more information much
more than a request for more information does.
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 1:58:14 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7k5p$qbp$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11fdiopk2atsqbe@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dcvfct$kpv$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> In article <11f4r0kga57eda3@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >> >
> >> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >> >news:dctb6q$q9p$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> >> >> In article <11f49d4jh9pqg99@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> >> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> [snip]
> >> >>
> >> >> >> >Well, I don't know nuthin' about that Platonic Universe
> >> >> >> >of Forms.
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> Mr Hume, having a goal of becoming 'a Scholar & Philosopher',
most likely
> >> >> >> did.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Having waded through a wee bit of Philosophy, I'm glad it was
> >> >> >never my goal.
> >> >>
> >> >> Not to have included at least a passing reference to concept of
eidos
> >> >> (translated as 'form')... a 'wee bit' it seems to have been.
> >> >
> >[snip]
> >> >
> >> >Having now read two similar descriptions of Plato's
> >> >Forms, I find that further study of Plato would not be
> >> >an agreeable way of my passing the time.
> >>
> >> How interesting... was one of those descriptions Nietzsche's
'Christianity
> >> is Platonism for the masses'?
> >
> >No, in fact, I had neither read Nietzsche nor about him.
>
> What a Wonderful World it is that has new things to learn in it... ol'
> Friederich was quite a character.
>
> >
> >I got the distinct impression that Plato's Forms are
> >inextricably linked to his monotheism. Take away that
> >belief and his system collapses; not that I claim to
> >understand Plato, but only that it is the impression
> >I got.
>
> Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text I'm
> familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly
> comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so
> kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this
> monotheism?

From Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy",
page 122,
"In the last book of the Republic, ..., there is a very clear
exposition of the doctrine of ideas or forms.
"Here Plato explains that, whenever a number of individuals
have a common name, they have also a common 'idea' or
'form.' For instance, though there are many beds, there is
only one 'idea' or 'form' of a bed. Just as a reflection of a
bed in a mirror is only apparent and not 'real,' so the various
particular beds are unreal, being only copies of the 'idea,'
which is the one real bed, and is made by God. Of this one
bed, made by God, there can be knowledge, but in respect
of the many beds made by carpenters there can be only
opinion."

Antony Flew, "A Dictionary of Philosophy," does not mention
Plato's theism in the article on Plato; but monotheism is
discussed in the article "Platonism," page 256,
"... Characteristic features of Platonism in the intervening
three centuries, sometimes called 'Middle Platonism', are the
concepts of Ideas as 'thoughts in the mind of God', the moral
idea of 'assimilation to God', and the elaborate doctrine of
demons as intermediaries between the divine and the human."

Russell suggests monotheism, directly, and the followers of
Plato suggest monotheism, indirectly;.thus it is my 'impression'
that 'Plato's Forms are inextricably linked to his monotheism.'
The accuracy of my stating 'his monotheism' depends, it
would seem, on the contents of the last book of the Republic.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/8/2005 2:02:31 PM
In article <3lp6apF13loqhU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
> 
>Gross misrepresentation corrected below...
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd6stj$nit$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> I do not recall making such a statement and I would be very interested to
>> see a quoting of my writing in which I assert such.  Mr Dashwood is, as I
>> recall, the one who has asserted an absolute belief that there are no
>> absolute facts.
>
>I asserted no such thing and this is just a deliberate misrepresentation of 
>what I DID assert.

Mr Dashwood, according to 
<http://groups-beta.google.com/group/comp.lang.cobol/msg/b181d45236e25b10?dmode=source&hl=en> 
you state, without restriction, exception or qualification:

--begin quoted text:

In my universe there are no absolutes, only probabilities.

--end quoted text

So... in this universe of yours either there are absolutes or not.

In that you state 'there are no' then if even one absolute exists your 
assertion is incorrect.

If there are no absolutes then your universe has an absolute freedom from 
absolutes... and an absolute exists and your assertion is incorrect.

I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with 
what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust my 
logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 2:19:00 PM
In article <dd7odl$k29$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  5-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> I believe that it indicates answering a question with a question, hence my
>> response.
>>
>> The reasons I give for attempting to avoid such a construct have been
>> given again and again... do you need me to repost the URLs?
>
>No.
>
>Our responses have been repeated, expanded upon, and illustrated.   But they
>aren't as funny as your running gag.
>
>That non-sequitur fails to solve the original need for more information much
>more than a request for more information does.

Mr Brazee, I do not understand what you are calling a non-sequitur.  In 
that what is previously said before 'answering a question with a question 
is no answer at all' is the answering of a question with a question how 
are you seeing it as not following from what is previously said?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 2:22:39 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7pkk$ihe$1@panix5.panix.com...

> I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with
> what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust my
> logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.

I trust you haven't injured your Bach in the process ...     ;-)

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/8/2005 2:55:19 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7pkk$ihe$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <3lp6apF13loqhU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
snip

> --begin quoted text:
>
> In my universe there are no absolutes, only probabilities.
>
> --end quoted text
>
> So... in this universe of yours either there are absolutes or not.
>
> In that you state 'there are no' then if even one absolute exists your
> assertion is incorrect.
> If there are no absolutes then your universe has an absolute freedom from
> absolutes... and an absolute exists and your assertion is incorrect.

What if there was a probabilistic method to determine the likelihood of 
finding an absolute and that the limits of said equation were 0 and 1?
I believe that all conditions would be satisfied.

> I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with
> what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust my
> logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.

I cannot find a commonly accepted source that describes a common basis for 
using the words Goedel in this context.
Neither can I find reference to "logical foundation garments"

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22logical+foundation+garments%22

I'm not sure how I am to make use of the words here.

> DD

Perhaps a relational quantum mechanics approach to text and its 
interpretation would be beneficial at this juncture in clc history.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 2:55:57 PM
"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3llbdcF134ai5U1@individual.net...

> > As shown by the definitions above, Mr Dashwood, you may have intended to
> > express an opinion... but it seems to have appeared in the form of a
> > statement of absolute fact.
> >
> Only to you, Doc.

Absolutely, and incontrovertibly, wrong.

 > You can accept a dictionary definition that tells you what a fact is; I
> can't.

At least in the case of the Merriam-Webster offerings and the Oxford
University Press offerings (and specifically in contrast to the publications
and the activities of such organizations as, say, the Acad�mie Fran�aise),
English dictionaries tend to evolve as *reflections* of common usage, not as
a list of academic pronouncements as to how people ought to be referring to
things.   I have found that the Merriam-Webster offerings best reflect
common current American English; etymological matters are better covered by
the Oxford (greater or lesser) in my opinion.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/8/2005 3:11:26 PM
In article <11fephkks48so70@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7k5p$qbp$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...

[snip]

>> Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text I'm
>> familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly
>> comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so
>> kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this
>> monotheism?
>
>From Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy",
>page 122,
>"In the last book of the Republic, ..., there is a very clear
>exposition of the doctrine of ideas or forms.
>"Here Plato explains that, whenever a number of individuals
>have a common name, they have also a common 'idea' or
>'form.' For instance, though there are many beds, there is
>only one 'idea' or 'form' of a bed. Just as a reflection of a
>bed in a mirror is only apparent and not 'real,' so the various
>particular beds are unreal, being only copies of the 'idea,'
>which is the one real bed, and is made by God. Of this one
>bed, made by God, there can be knowledge, but in respect
>of the many beds made by carpenters there can be only
>opinion."

(sources given farther down)

'... made by God'.  My guess is that Russell was using Jowett's 1901 
translation.  The Greek shows 597B as having the text 'theon ergasasthai' 
(theta-epislon-omicron-nu 
epsilon-rho-gamma-alpha-sigma-alpha-sigma-theta-alpha-iota), without a 
definite article, capitalisation or any indication that the god who made 
(worked) is any different from other members of the pantheon.

In support of Socrates' polytheism one might wish to take a look at the 
Cratylus - also by Jowett - where Socrates states things like 'Yes, 
indeed, Hermogenes; and there is one excellent principle which, as men of 
sense, we must acknowledge,--that of the Gods we know nothing, either of 
their natures or of the names which they give themselves; but we are sure 
that the names by which they call themselves, whatever they may be, are 
true.  And this is the best of all principles; and the next best is to 
say, as in prayers, that we will call them by any sort or kind of names or 
patronymics which they like, because we do not know of any other.'

.... and, referring to a singular, 'And he is the God who presides over 
harmony, and makes all things move together, both among Gods and among 
men.'

(Also consider Phaedrus, which, while making use of the capitalised 'God' 
also contains lines like:

 'Zeus, the mighty lord, holding the reins of a winged chariot, leads the 
way in heaven, ordering all and taking care of all; and there follows him 
the array of gods and demigods, marshalled in eleven bands; Hestia alone 
abides at home in the house of heaven; of the rest they who are reckoned 
among the princely twelve march in their appointed order.' ...

.... and the Timaeus, where Socrates states 'I see that I shall receive in 
my turn a perfect and splendid feast of reason. And now, Timaeus, you, I 
suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the Gods.' ... and 
then later mentions 'But the father and maker of all this universe is past 
finding out; and even if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be 
impossible'... but these are the words of Timaeus, not Socrates... and 
there are questions about how this 'I shall' should be translated, 
especially in the presence of an iota, indicating the optative mood...

.... so there may, indeed, be a primus inter deis... but there most 
certainly appear to be other divinities acknowledged as existing.

(note - Jowett's capital G is not mirrored (in the texts with which I am 
familiar) by a capital theta)

>
>Antony Flew, "A Dictionary of Philosophy," does not mention
>Plato's theism in the article on Plato; but monotheism is
>discussed in the article "Platonism," page 256,
>"... Characteristic features of Platonism in the intervening
>three centuries, sometimes called 'Middle Platonism', are the
>concepts of Ideas as 'thoughts in the mind of God', the moral
>idea of 'assimilation to God', and the elaborate doctrine of
>demons as intermediaries between the divine and the human."

This starts to sound like Platonism for the Masses, yes... but Socrates 
freely confessed to having a daimon.

>
>Russell suggests monotheism, directly, and the followers of
>Plato suggest monotheism, indirectly;.thus it is my 'impression'
>that 'Plato's Forms are inextricably linked to his monotheism.'
>The accuracy of my stating 'his monotheism' depends, it
>would seem, on the contents of the last book of the Republic.

.... and, in particular, a specific translation of the last book of the 
Republic, said translation not reflecting the punctuation of the 
original... and this might be why a Scholar of Oldene Dayse paid 
attention to 'the last iota' lo, such as *ten* Scholars cannot, today!

(well... also, they didn't have television...)

Sources: Jowett's translation of The Republic: 

http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications/plato_republic.htm

Original text of Books IX - X:

http://lightning.prohosting.com/~flea333/resp9_10.zip

Jowett's Cratylus:

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext99/crtls10.txt

Jowett's Phaedrus:

<http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications/Projects/digitexts/plato/phaedrus/phaedrus.html>

Jowett's Timaeus:

http://www.piney.com/DocPlatoTim.html

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 3:42:48 PM
In article <dd7rpi$1d6e$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com>,
Chuck Stevens <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7pkk$ihe$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
>> I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with
>> what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust my
>> logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.
>
>I trust you haven't injured your Bach in the process ...     ;-)

Not so much that I cannot go up and down stairs at the same time, Mr 
Stevens.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 3:44:50 PM
"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message 
news:dd7snm$1dtg$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
> news:3llbdcF134ai5U1@individual.net...
>
>> > As shown by the definitions above, Mr Dashwood, you may have intended 
>> > to
>> > express an opinion... but it seems to have appeared in the form of a
>> > statement of absolute fact.
>> >
>> Only to you, Doc.
>
> Absolutely, and incontrovertibly, wrong.
>
> > You can accept a dictionary definition that tells you what a fact is; I
>> can't.
>
> At least in the case of the Merriam-Webster offerings and the Oxford
> University Press offerings (and specifically in contrast to the 
> publications
> and the activities of such organizations as, say, the Acad�mie Fran�aise),
> English dictionaries tend to evolve as *reflections* of common usage, not 
> as
> a list of academic pronouncements as to how people ought to be referring 
> to
> things.   I have found that the Merriam-Webster offerings best reflect
> common current American English; etymological matters are better covered 
> by
> the Oxford (greater or lesser) in my opinion.
>    -Chuck Stevens
You have found that M-W best reflects common current American English...and 
by what means did you determine this?
By use of language with the people that you know (who I assume are educated 
middle america, and not for example, inner cities or the bowels of 
Mississippi).  It took me years to convince my wife that "chuddy" was 
chewing gum (she didn't believe me until she made a friend who lived less 
than 30 miles from where I grew up)....I never checked that was in the 
dictionary...I know people that I grew up with would know what "itchy chin" 
means...but I doubt anyone outside of that group would know...

We've also had a discussion with the use of "dialogue" as a verb.  I don't 
believe mw was the source, but rather the american heritage, but 
nonetheless, the argument there went that Coleridge and Shakespeare used the 
word as a verb and it's in the dictionary therefore it stands as acceptable 
and perfectly reasonable usage.  This despite the fact that it was majority 
considered "archaic".

I agree whole heartedly with your assertion that a dictionaries exist as a 
reflection of common usage..to assist with communication..if only people 
would use them as such.

JCE



0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 3:47:49 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7uho$neu$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11fephkks48so70@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dd7k5p$qbp$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> [snip]
>
> >> Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text
I'm
> >> familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly
> >> comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so
> >> kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this
> >> monotheism?
> >
> >From Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy",
> >page 122,
> >"In the last book of the Republic, ..., there is a very clear
> >exposition of the doctrine of ideas or forms.
> >"Here Plato explains that, whenever a number of individuals
> >have a common name, they have also a common 'idea' or
> >'form.' For instance, though there are many beds, there is
> >only one 'idea' or 'form' of a bed. Just as a reflection of a
> >bed in a mirror is only apparent and not 'real,' so the various
> >particular beds are unreal, being only copies of the 'idea,'
> >which is the one real bed, and is made by God. Of this one
> >bed, made by God, there can be knowledge, but in respect
> >of the many beds made by carpenters there can be only
> >opinion."
>
> (sources given farther down)
>
> '... made by God'.  My guess is that Russell was using Jowett's 1901
> translation.  The Greek shows 597B as having the text 'theon ergasasthai'
> (theta-epislon-omicron-nu
> epsilon-rho-gamma-alpha-sigma-alpha-sigma-theta-alpha-iota), without a
> definite article, capitalisation or any indication that the god who made
> (worked) is any different from other members of the pantheon.
>
> In support of Socrates' polytheism one might wish to take a look at the
> Cratylus - also by Jowett - where Socrates states things like 'Yes,
> indeed, Hermogenes; and there is one excellent principle which, as men of
> sense, we must acknowledge,--that of the Gods we know nothing, either of
> their natures or of the names which they give themselves; but we are sure
> that the names by which they call themselves, whatever they may be, are
> true.  And this is the best of all principles; and the next best is to
> say, as in prayers, that we will call them by any sort or kind of names or
> patronymics which they like, because we do not know of any other.'
>
> ... and, referring to a singular, 'And he is the God who presides over
> harmony, and makes all things move together, both among Gods and among
> men.'
>
> (Also consider Phaedrus, which, while making use of the capitalised 'God'
> also contains lines like:
>
>  'Zeus, the mighty lord, holding the reins of a winged chariot, leads the
> way in heaven, ordering all and taking care of all; and there follows him
> the array of gods and demigods, marshalled in eleven bands; Hestia alone
> abides at home in the house of heaven; of the rest they who are reckoned
> among the princely twelve march in their appointed order.' ...
>
> ... and the Timaeus, where Socrates states 'I see that I shall receive in
> my turn a perfect and splendid feast of reason. And now, Timaeus, you, I
> suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the Gods.' ... and
> then later mentions 'But the father and maker of all this universe is past
> finding out; and even if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be
> impossible'... but these are the words of Timaeus, not Socrates... and
> there are questions about how this 'I shall' should be translated,
> especially in the presence of an iota, indicating the optative mood...
>
> ... so there may, indeed, be a primus inter deis... but there most
> certainly appear to be other divinities acknowledged as existing.
>
> (note - Jowett's capital G is not mirrored (in the texts with which I am
> familiar) by a capital theta)
>
> >
> >Antony Flew, "A Dictionary of Philosophy," does not mention
> >Plato's theism in the article on Plato; but monotheism is
> >discussed in the article "Platonism," page 256,
> >"... Characteristic features of Platonism in the intervening
> >three centuries, sometimes called 'Middle Platonism', are the
> >concepts of Ideas as 'thoughts in the mind of God', the moral
> >idea of 'assimilation to God', and the elaborate doctrine of
> >demons as intermediaries between the divine and the human."
>
> This starts to sound like Platonism for the Masses, yes... but Socrates
> freely confessed to having a daimon.
>
> >
> >Russell suggests monotheism, directly, and the followers of
> >Plato suggest monotheism, indirectly;.thus it is my 'impression'
> >that 'Plato's Forms are inextricably linked to his monotheism.'
> >The accuracy of my stating 'his monotheism' depends, it
> >would seem, on the contents of the last book of the Republic.
>
> ... and, in particular, a specific translation of the last book of the
> Republic, said translation not reflecting the punctuation of the
> original... and this might be why a Scholar of Oldene Dayse paid
> attention to 'the last iota' lo, such as *ten* Scholars cannot, today!
>
> (well... also, they didn't have television...)
>
> Sources: Jowett's translation of The Republic:
>
> http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications/plato_republic.htm
>
> Original text of Books IX - X:
>
> http://lightning.prohosting.com/~flea333/resp9_10.zip
>
> Jowett's Cratylus:
>
> http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext99/crtls10.txt
>
> Jowett's Phaedrus:
>
>
<http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/publications/Projects/digitexts/plato/phaedrus/
phaedrus.html>
>
> Jowett's Timaeus:
>
> http://www.piney.com/DocPlatoTim.html
>
> DD
>


0
8/8/2005 3:59:37 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >That non-sequitur fails to solve the original need for more information much
> >more than a request for more information does.
>
> Mr Brazee, I do not understand what you are calling a non-sequitur.  In
> that what is previously said before 'answering a question with a question
> is no answer at all' is the answering of a question with a question how
> are you seeing it as not following from what is previously said?


It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how language
is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.

But in more real discussions - such as the example of asking how to set one's
computer resolution, It is takes the discussion away from the original problem.

We are no longer talking about shared procedure division code, nor even what
coding practices are stupid.   If I program the way we are contributing to the
original problem, I should be fired.
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 4:00:14 PM
In article <1oKJe.85771$mC.65879@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7pkk$ihe$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <3lp6apF13loqhU1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>snip
>
>> --begin quoted text:
>>
>> In my universe there are no absolutes, only probabilities.
>>
>> --end quoted text
>>
>> So... in this universe of yours either there are absolutes or not.
>>
>> In that you state 'there are no' then if even one absolute exists your
>> assertion is incorrect.
>> If there are no absolutes then your universe has an absolute freedom from
>> absolutes... and an absolute exists and your assertion is incorrect.
>
>What if there was a probabilistic method to determine the likelihood of 
>finding an absolute and that the limits of said equation were 0 and 1?
>I believe that all conditions would be satisfied.

I believe I'll worry about that when it happens.

>
>> I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with
>> what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust my
>> logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.
>
>I cannot find a commonly accepted source that describes a common basis for 
>using the words Goedel in this context.
>Neither can I find reference to "logical foundation garments"
>
>http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22logical+foundation+garments%22
>
>I'm not sure how I am to make use of the words here.

Goedel is accredited with formulating the Incompleteness Theorems, which 
appear to both apply and not-apply, simultaneously and in regard to the 
same aspect, to Mr Dashwood's logical system.

One of the points of difficulty between Mr Dashwood and me seems to be 
that of definition, a foundation for logic.

'Goedel' is a homonym of 'girdle', which belongs to a class of 
garments referred to, e'er-so-long ago, as 'foundation garments'.  

'My girdle is killing me' was an advertising slogan for such garments a 
few decades back...

.... proving, yet again, that a joke explained is a joke lost.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 4:02:20 PM
In article <dd7vid$nsr$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >That non-sequitur fails to solve the original need for more information much
>> >more than a request for more information does.
>>
>> Mr Brazee, I do not understand what you are calling a non-sequitur.  In
>> that what is previously said before 'answering a question with a question
>> is no answer at all' is the answering of a question with a question how
>> are you seeing it as not following from what is previously said?
>
>
>It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how language
>is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.

I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and 
occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be 
concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.

>
>But in more real discussions - such as the example of asking how to set one's
>computer resolution, It is takes the discussion away from the original problem.

I do not know what you are calling 'more real discussions', outside of the 
example you give here... but I have seen discussions take the form of:

A: 'What are the suppositions and logic you employed in reaching this 
conclusion?' 

B: 'What suppositions and logic would *you* employ to reach this 
conclusion?' 

A: 'I cannot see *any* set of suppositions and logic which might be 
employed to reach this conclusion, hence my asking you this.' 

B: 'Well don't blame *me* because *you* can't see things... you must be a 
poopie-head, nyah nyah nyah!' 

.... and I do my best to avoid them by pointing out that answering a 
question with a question is no answer at all.

>
>We are no longer talking about shared procedure division code, nor even what
>coding practices are stupid.   If I program the way we are contributing to the
>original problem, I should be fired.

Others have noticed a phenomenon called 'thread drift' as well, Mr Brazee.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 4:11:48 PM
Answering a question with nothing at all is not an answer at all!
JCE

(or did I miss it?) 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 4:26:15 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how
> >language
> >is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.
>
> I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and
> occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be
> concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.

Interesting disagreement to what I said above.   I'm not sure that I quite
follow it though.
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 4:31:59 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7vmc$fk7$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <1oKJe.85771$mC.65879@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dd7pkk$ihe$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>> In article <3lp6apF13loqhU1@individual.net>,
>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>snip
>>
>>> --begin quoted text:
>>>
>>> In my universe there are no absolutes, only probabilities.
>>>
>>> --end quoted text
>>>
>>> So... in this universe of yours either there are absolutes or not.
>>>
>>> In that you state 'there are no' then if even one absolute exists your
>>> assertion is incorrect.
>>> If there are no absolutes then your universe has an absolute freedom 
>>> from
>>> absolutes... and an absolute exists and your assertion is incorrect.
>>
>>What if there was a probabilistic method to determine the likelihood of
>>finding an absolute and that the limits of said equation were 0 and 1?
>>I believe that all conditions would be satisfied.
>
> I believe I'll worry about that when it happens.
>
>>
>>> I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with
>>> what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust 
>>> my
>>> logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.
>>
>>I cannot find a commonly accepted source that describes a common basis for
>>using the words Goedel in this context.
>>Neither can I find reference to "logical foundation garments"
>>
>>http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22logical+foundation+garments%22
>>
>>I'm not sure how I am to make use of the words here.
>
> Goedel is accredited with formulating the Incompleteness Theorems, which
> appear to both apply and not-apply, simultaneously and in regard to the
> same aspect, to Mr Dashwood's logical system.
> One of the points of difficulty between Mr Dashwood and me seems to be
> that of definition, a foundation for logic.
>
> 'Goedel' is a homonym of 'girdle', which belongs to a class of
> garments referred to, e'er-so-long ago, as 'foundation garments'.

> 'My girdle is killing me' was an advertising slogan for such garments a
> few decades back...
For those of old enough to enjoy such advertising I'm sure this was not 
lost.
Proving once again that context is important.

> ... proving, yet again, that a joke explained is a joke lost.
Oh, I'm _so_ sorry.  I thought, not understanding the "joke" that I could 
use commonly accepted sources such as used extensively in this thread to 
determine the meaning.  I didn't anticipate anything to be such a mildly 
amusing quip or play on words.

It was not a joke lost as now in future I will understand that perhaps some 
of your posts are "not entirely serious".

[I did actually find it amusing which I loathe to admit ;-) ]

JCE


0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 4:34:28 PM
In article <oQLJe.77314$t43.9487@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7vmc$fk7$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <1oKJe.85771$mC.65879@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>>news:dd7pkk$ihe$1@panix5.panix.com...

[snip]

>>>> I hope that makes clear at least one difficulty I seem to be having with
>>>> what is being presented here as logic... now pardon me whilst I adjust 
>>>> my logical foundation garments, my Goedel is killing me.
>>>
>>>I cannot find a commonly accepted source that describes a common basis for
>>>using the words Goedel in this context.
>>>Neither can I find reference to "logical foundation garments"
>>>
>>>http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22logical+foundation+garments%22
>>>
>>>I'm not sure how I am to make use of the words here.
>>
>> Goedel is accredited with formulating the Incompleteness Theorems, which
>> appear to both apply and not-apply, simultaneously and in regard to the
>> same aspect, to Mr Dashwood's logical system.
>> One of the points of difficulty between Mr Dashwood and me seems to be
>> that of definition, a foundation for logic.
>>
>> 'Goedel' is a homonym of 'girdle', which belongs to a class of
>> garments referred to, e'er-so-long ago, as 'foundation garments'.
>
>> 'My girdle is killing me' was an advertising slogan for such garments a
>> few decades back...
>For those of old enough to enjoy such advertising I'm sure this was not 
>lost.

Or for those who, while not paying attention to it during its 
introduction, learned about it through other means... one might not need 
to be as old as Beethoven would be to have familiarity with or enjoyment 
of his music.

>Proving once again that context is important.

Shared experience as a necessary, but not unique, basis for humor... now 
there's yet another possible subject for a dissertation.  How something 
goes from being considered idiosyncratic-to-the-point-of-psychotic to an 
'in reference' to 'moderately esoteric' to 'widely accepted' to 
'*everyone* knows'... then again, sometimes letting academicians write 
about humor causes it to stop partaking of the Form of the Funny.

>
>> ... proving, yet again, that a joke explained is a joke lost.
>Oh, I'm _so_ sorry.  I thought, not understanding the "joke" that I could 
>use commonly accepted sources such as used extensively in this thread to 
>determine the meaning.  I didn't anticipate anything to be such a mildly 
>amusing quip or play on words.

Some might argue that it didn't exist as a 'done thing' until two-or-more 
folks agreed that it did, as well.

>
>It was not a joke lost as now in future I will understand that perhaps some 
>of your posts are "not entirely serious".

Haw... any less serious and I would be all-too-doggedly Polaris!

(serious is a homonym of Sirius, sometimes referred to as... oh, never 
mind)

>
>[I did actually find it amusing which I loathe to admit ;-) ]

Pfoo... you'se jes' easily amused.  Glad you enjoyed.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 5:36:41 PM
In article <dd81dv$oue$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how
>> >language
>> >is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.
>>
>> I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and
>> occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be
>> concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.
>
>Interesting disagreement to what I said above.   I'm not sure that I quite
>follow it though.

You state that the observation 'works (whatever that is seen to be) if we 
are discussing language'; I attempted to show how the usefulness might be 
extended to discussions of other subjects.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 5:38:50 PM

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd8084$7a0$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <dd7vid$nsr$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>>
>>On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>>
>>> >That non-sequitur fails to solve the original need for more information 
>>> >much
>>> >more than a request for more information does.
>>>
>>> Mr Brazee, I do not understand what you are calling a non-sequitur.  In
>>> that what is previously said before 'answering a question with a 
>>> question
>>> is no answer at all' is the answering of a question with a question how
>>> are you seeing it as not following from what is previously said?
>>
>>
>>It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how 
>>language
>>is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.
>
> I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and
> occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be
> concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.
>
>>
>>But in more real discussions - such as the example of asking how to set 
>>one's
>>computer resolution, It is takes the discussion away from the original 
>>problem.
>
> I do not know what you are calling 'more real discussions', outside of the
> example you give here... but I have seen discussions take the form of:
>
> A: 'What are the suppositions and logic you employed in reaching this
> conclusion?'
>
> B: 'What suppositions and logic would *you* employ to reach this
> conclusion?'
>
> A: 'I cannot see *any* set of suppositions and logic which might be
> employed to reach this conclusion, hence my asking you this.'
>
> B: 'Well don't blame *me* because *you* can't see things... you must be a
> poopie-head, nyah nyah nyah!'
>
> ... and I do my best to avoid them by pointing out that answering a
> question with a question is no answer at all.

W.H. Auden said that : "History is, strictly speaking, the study of 
questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology. "

I guess that you are undertaking the historiography of the history of lack 
of sociology or somesuch...

You ignore the cases where a question is not an answer but a seeking of 
clarification before answering the wrong question.  This could all get 
rather silly.

A: 'Are you gay?'
B: 'Which definition of gay are referring to?'
A:'Answering a question with a question is no answer at all'

What about the following?

A: 'Are you gay?'
B: 'I prefer not to answer unless you clarify which definition of gay are 
referring to'
A:'I'm talking about the "happy, merry" one
B: 'Answering an answer that is not a question is not an answer at all'

I guess we should all be much more explicit.  I don't understand why I don't 
see more of the following:

A:'Can anyone help me here with my COBOL problem, I have to .......'
B: Of course someone can.  Please rephrase your question in the form of a 
request for specific information at which point we will provide a list of 
rates....

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 5:56:28 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> >> >It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how
> >> >language
> >> >is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.
> >>
> >> I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and
> >> occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be
> >> concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.
> >
> >Interesting disagreement to what I said above.   I'm not sure that I quite
> >follow it though.
>
> You state that the observation 'works (whatever that is seen to be) if we
> are discussing language'; I attempted to show how the usefulness might be
> extended to discussions of other subjects.

I agree that it can be extended, but didn't see how extensibility is of a form
of disagreement. (with an "of course").

Kind of like saying "CoBOL works for some accounts receivable needs".   "I
disagree of course, it can also be used for accounts payable needs".

Unless the "of course" implies - "I always disagree, even when it looks to all
the world that I am agreeing".
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 6:04:33 PM
In article <g1NJe.85896$mC.11841@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd8084$7a0$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <dd7vid$nsr$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
>> Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:

[snip]

>>>It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how 
>>>language
>>>is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.
>>
>> I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and
>> occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be
>> concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.
>>
>>>
>>>But in more real discussions - such as the example of asking how to set 
>>>one's
>>>computer resolution, It is takes the discussion away from the original 
>>>problem.
>>
>> I do not know what you are calling 'more real discussions', outside of the
>> example you give here... but I have seen discussions take the form of:
>>
>> A: 'What are the suppositions and logic you employed in reaching this
>> conclusion?'
>>
>> B: 'What suppositions and logic would *you* employ to reach this
>> conclusion?'
>>
>> A: 'I cannot see *any* set of suppositions and logic which might be
>> employed to reach this conclusion, hence my asking you this.'
>>
>> B: 'Well don't blame *me* because *you* can't see things... you must be a
>> poopie-head, nyah nyah nyah!'
>>
>> ... and I do my best to avoid them by pointing out that answering a
>> question with a question is no answer at all.
>
>W.H. Auden said that : "History is, strictly speaking, the study of 
>questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology. "
>
>I guess that you are undertaking the historiography of the history of lack 
>of sociology or somesuch...

I'm trying to be more measured and not indulge in such histrionics... but 
some might say that I succeed only in being trying, aye.

>
>You ignore the cases where a question is not an answer but a seeking of 
>clarification before answering the wrong question.

As stated previously:  'Note that I said 'overwhelming majority of cases', 
not 'all'... but I have *never* found a case where the answering question 
could not be phrased in a manner that would turn the dialogue away from 
the seriocomic interchange you posted into something a bit closer to what 
I would call 'rational discourse'.'

>This could all get 
>rather silly.

With a bit of practise a lot of things can, sure.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 6:09:51 PM
In article <dd86rh$roq$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> >> >It works if we are discussing language, as it makes a point about how
>> >> >language
>> >> >is used and contributes to the discussion of questions and answers.
>> >>
>> >> I disagree, of course; in that the discussion occurs in language and
>> >> occurs, one hopes, towards the answering of questions then it might be
>> >> concluded that indicating what might be an obstacle is appropriate.
>> >
>> >Interesting disagreement to what I said above.   I'm not sure that I quite
>> >follow it though.
>>
>> You state that the observation 'works (whatever that is seen to be) if we
>> are discussing language'; I attempted to show how the usefulness might be
>> extended to discussions of other subjects.
>
>I agree that it can be extended, but didn't see how extensibility is of a form
>of disagreement. (with an "of course").

My error and apologies, Mr Brazee; I took the following sentence (which I 
edited out) of 'But in more real discussions - such as the example of 
asking how to set one's computer resolution, It is takes the discussion 
away from the original problem.' as your way of saying 'it works if we are 
discussing language but in more real discussions it doesn't.'
>
>Kind of like saying "CoBOL works for some accounts receivable needs".   "I
>disagree of course, it can also be used for accounts payable needs".

More like 'COBOL works for some accounts receivable needs but in more real 
environments it doesn't'; my apologies for my lack of precision.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 6:15:19 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

> As stated previously:  'Note that I said 'overwhelming majority of cases',
> not 'all'... but I have *never* found a case where the answering question
> could not be phrased in a manner that would turn the dialogue away from
> the seriocomic interchange you posted into something a bit closer to what
> I would call 'rational discourse'.'

Obviously switching the conversation into a discussion based upon "answering a
question with a question..." is more fun, even if it is quite a bit further to
what I would call "rational discourse" about the original topic.
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 6:20:57 PM
In article <dd87q9$sci$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  8-Aug-2005, docdwarf@panix.com wrote:
>
>> As stated previously:  'Note that I said 'overwhelming majority of cases',
>> not 'all'... but I have *never* found a case where the answering question
>> could not be phrased in a manner that would turn the dialogue away from
>> the seriocomic interchange you posted into something a bit closer to what
>> I would call 'rational discourse'.'
>
>Obviously switching the conversation into a discussion based upon "answering a
>question with a question..." is more fun, even if it is quite a bit further to
>what I would call "rational discourse" about the original topic.

Obvious is in the mind of the beholder, Mr Brazee... but if others feel 
more comfortable in addressing 'answering a question with a question' or 
in generating 'But what about...' scenaria than they do in examining how 
the matter at hand then it might be best that they are given an easy way 
out.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 6:46:26 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7uho$neu$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <11fephkks48so70@corp.supernews.com>,
> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >
> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dd7k5p$qbp$1@panix5.panix.com...
> >> In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
> >news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> [snip]
>
> >> Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text
I'm
> >> familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly
> >> comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so
> >> kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this
> >> monotheism?
> >
> >From Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy",
> >page 122,
> >"In the last book of the Republic, ..., there is a very clear
> >exposition of the doctrine of ideas or forms.
> >"Here Plato explains that, whenever a number of individuals
> >have a common name, they have also a common 'idea' or
> >'form.' For instance, though there are many beds, there is
> >only one 'idea' or 'form' of a bed. Just as a reflection of a
> >bed in a mirror is only apparent and not 'real,' so the various
> >particular beds are unreal, being only copies of the 'idea,'
> >which is the one real bed, and is made by God. Of this one
> >bed, made by God, there can be knowledge, but in respect
> >of the many beds made by carpenters there can be only
> >opinion."
>
> (sources given farther down)
>
> '... made by God'.  My guess is that Russell was using Jowett's 1901
> translation.  The Greek shows 597B as having the text 'theon ergasasthai'
> (theta-epislon-omicron-nu
> epsilon-rho-gamma-alpha-sigma-alpha-sigma-theta-alpha-iota), without a
> definite article, capitalisation or any indication that the god who made
> (worked) is any different from other members of the pantheon.
>
[snip]
>
> ... and the Timaeus, where Socrates states 'I see that I shall receive in
> my turn a perfect and splendid feast of reason. And now, Timaeus, you, I
> suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the Gods.' ... and
> then later mentions 'But the father and maker of all this universe is past
> finding out; and even if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be
> impossible'... but these are the words of Timaeus, not Socrates... and
> there are questions about how this 'I shall' should be translated,
> especially in the presence of an iota, indicating the optative mood...
>
> ... so there may, indeed, be a primus inter deis... but there most
> certainly appear to be other divinities acknowledged as existing.
>
[snip]
> >
> >Russell suggests monotheism, directly, and the followers of
> >Plato suggest monotheism, indirectly;.thus it is my 'impression'
> >that 'Plato's Forms are inextricably linked to his monotheism.'
> >The accuracy of my stating 'his monotheism' depends, it
> >would seem, on the contents of the last book of the Republic.
>
> ... and, in particular, a specific translation of the last book of the
> Republic, said translation not reflecting the punctuation of the
> original... and this might be why a Scholar of Oldene Dayse paid
> attention to 'the last iota' lo, such as *ten* Scholars cannot, today!

So ... if I understand correctly, 'monotheism' is not accurate;
but (translating 'primus inter deis' to 'first among gods') Plato
may have been referring to a single god (the one that Timaeus
called 'the father and maker of all this universe') ... and this
inextricably links Forms to a single god theism, just not
monotheism, exactly.



0
ricksmith (875)
8/8/2005 6:58:18 PM
"jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:F8LJe.39377$iG6.6353@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...

> You have found that M-W best reflects common current American
English...and
> by what means did you determine this?

I have compared various English dictionaries and have also done some
rudimentary research into the scholarship and research methodology that has
gone into those dictionaries (and families of dictionaries).   I believe
M-W's research is both more extensive and more careful than its competition
among those dictionaries that are specifically targeted to that purport to
reflect American English.  That has been confirmed by comparison of a number
of definitions, in particular between the M-W Third Unabridged and the
American Heritage and Random House erstwhile competitors.

A four-year degree in Linguistics, with several courses on the history of
English as well as on American Dialectology, also gave me some tools to form
such opinions.

> By use of language with the people that you know (who I assume are
educated
> middle america, and not for example, inner cities or the bowels of
> Mississippi).  It took me years to convince my wife that "chuddy" was
> chewing gum (she didn't believe me until she made a friend who lived less
> than 30 miles from where I grew up)....I never checked that was in the
> dictionary...I know people that I grew up with would know what "itchy
chin"
> means...but I doubt anyone outside of that group would know...

There are lots of dialect variations across the country, and there are lots
of dictionaries that reflect them.  Some regional dialect items do end up in
the "mainstream" dictionaries, but typically only when they are both used
and understood by a large and diverse subset of the population.    "Tonic"
as a noun, denoting a carbonated flavored beverage,  is in the Ninth
Collegiate -- because it's a well-known dialect feature -- but is also
described as "chiefly New England".

> We've also had a discussion with the use of "dialogue" as a verb.  I don't
> believe mw was the source, but rather the american heritage, but
> nonetheless, the argument there went that Coleridge and Shakespeare used
the
> word as a verb and it's in the dictionary therefore it stands as
acceptable
> and perfectly reasonable usage.  This despite the fact that it was
majority
> considered "archaic".

The M-W's I have handy at work don't mark the verb "dialogue" archaic.  What
"majority" considers it archaic?

And if it's the fact that it's fundamentally a "verbed noun", the practice
of verbing a noun has been a structural feature of English for a very long
time.   Some authorities on Proper English deem it anathema; others, who
seek to *describe* the language, recognize that it's part of the way the
language works -- just as "I ain't got no ..." is understandable in casual
speech as a *single* negative, and just as everybody understands that a
preposition is not an incomprehensible thing to end a sentence with.  Both
proscriptions have their origins at medieval English universities, where the
rules of *valid Latin* were presumed to apply to *proper English*.  My
recollection of high school Latin is that it's not quite so fluid in terms
of restructuring words in such ways as the hypothetical verbum => verbare
(or verbere, or verbire!).  I do recall that multiple negatives in Germanic
languages typicall serve to emphasize the negative sense of the utterance,
unlike Latin where, if they are allowed at all, logically reverse the sense.
Terminating propositions are structurally impossible in Latin but I'm
certain they represent an echo of the Germanic "separable-prefix"
compounding of verbs, which practice survives much more obviously in modern
German (as in a few more obvious in modern English -- "take the trash out"
vs. "take out the trash" vs. "out-take" vs. (courtesy of Babelfish -- 
idiomatic they may not be, but they illustrate the structure) "Nehmen Sie
den Abfall heraus" vs. "Ich erklaerte Ihnen, den Abfall herauszunehmen."

> I agree whole heartedly with your assertion that a dictionaries exist as a
> reflection of common usage..to assist with communication..if only people
> would use them as such.

Well, hmm.  My assertion is *not* a blanket assertion.  Some American
English dictionaries don't do as good a job of it, in my observation, as
others, and it is common in *some* languages (e.g. French) for dictionaries
to be *prescriptive* rather than *descriptive*.   My observations while
comparing the styles and approaches used in the development of dictionaries
in various language lead me to treat current Merriam-Webster's offerings,
starting with their Third Unabridged as a base, with more respect than those
from other publishers, from the standpoint that it was a better *reflection*
of common usage than most.  Such was also the opinion of my various English
Linguistics professors.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/8/2005 7:21:37 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, "Rick Smith" <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:

> So ... if I understand correctly, 'monotheism' is not accurate;
> but (translating 'primus inter deis' to 'first among gods') Plato
> may have been referring to a single god (the one that Timaeus
> called 'the father and maker of all this universe') ... and this
> inextricably links Forms to a single god theism, just not
> monotheism, exactly.

Of course, the Bible mentions multiple gods.   We are only supposed to worship
the One, and discard the false ones.   Dictionary definitions of monotheism tend
to be on the line of "belief in a single god", and tend to apply to religions of
the book.   It is not clear by reading scripture though that "false" gods didn't
(or don't) exist, nor what their nature is (or are).

So there's some evidence that we can apply monotheism (also in the case of
ancient Egypt), in such a way as to have one dominant God - that doesn't
preclude other divine creatures.    Not that it makes a significant difference
in modern worship - but historically, that difference is more significant.
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 7:36:29 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:

> And if it's the fact that it's fundamentally a "verbed noun", the practice
> of verbing a noun has been a structural feature of English for a very long
> time.   Some authorities on Proper English deem it anathema; others, who
> seek to *describe* the language, recognize that it's part of the way the
> language works -- just as "I ain't got no ..." is understandable in casual
> speech as a *single* negative, and just as everybody understands that a
> preposition is not an incomprehensible thing to end a sentence with.  Both
> proscriptions have their origins at medieval English universities, where the
> rules of *valid Latin* were presumed to apply to *proper English*.

I was aware of the Latin basis for the silly prohibition of ending sentences
with preposition.   You mentioned "both proscriptions" with "verbing a noun" and
with "double negatives".    I know some romance languages use double negatives.
 For my information, which of these are Latin impossibilities?


(As a programmer, I dislike double negatives as negative - but that doesn't mean
I have an objection to using them in Spanish).
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 7:52:06 PM
"Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote in message 
news:dd8bd0$1mpp$1@si05.rsvl.unisys.com...
>
> "jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:F8LJe.39377$iG6.6353@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>
>> You have found that M-W best reflects common current American
> English...and
>> by what means did you determine this?
>
> I have compared various English dictionaries and have also done some
> rudimentary research into the scholarship and research methodology that 
> has
> gone into those dictionaries (and families of dictionaries).   I believe
> M-W's research is both more extensive and more careful than its 
> competition
> among those dictionaries that are specifically targeted to that purport to
> reflect American English.  That has been confirmed by comparison of a 
> number
> of definitions, in particular between the M-W Third Unabridged and the
> American Heritage and Random House erstwhile competitors.
>
> A four-year degree in Linguistics, with several courses on the history of
> English as well as on American Dialectology, also gave me some tools to 
> form
> such opinions.

You are indeed more qualified than I.

<snip good stuff>

The M-W's I have handy at work don't mark the verb "dialogue" archaic.  What
> "majority" considers it archaic?

I was referring to the American Heritage Usage Panel from which the original 
argument was drawn.
98% of the following http://www.bartleby.com/64/12.html
I assume it's the ones without the "*".

It's not relevant particularly, but as you asked the least I could do was 
show that I didn't just make it up.

<snip more good stuff>

>> I agree whole heartedly with your assertion that a dictionaries exist as 
>> a
>> reflection of common usage..to assist with communication..if only people
>> would use them as such.
>
> Well, hmm.  My assertion is *not* a blanket assertion.  Some American
> English dictionaries don't do as good a job of it, in my observation, as
> others, and it is common in *some* languages (e.g. French) for 
> dictionaries
> to be *prescriptive* rather than *descriptive*.   My observations while
> comparing the styles and approaches used in the development of 
> dictionaries
> in various language lead me to treat current Merriam-Webster's offerings,
> starting with their Third Unabridged as a base, with more respect than 
> those
> from other publishers, from the standpoint that it was a better 
> *reflection*
> of common usage than most.  Such was also the opinion of my various 
> English
> Linguistics professors.

Correction understood and taken on board.

Interesting response - I've often wondered how and why someonen would choose 
dictionary (a) over dictionary (b).
I assumed (rather incorrectly for the more scholarly and literary amongst 
us) that the main reason would have been primarily size and then price.

Thanks.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 7:59:57 PM
"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message
news:dd8d56$1u7$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
> On  8-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>
> > And if it's the fact that it's fundamentally a "verbed noun", the
practice
> > of verbing a noun has been a structural feature of English for a very
long
> > time.   Some authorities on Proper English deem it anathema; others, who
> > seek to *describe* the language, recognize that it's part of the way the
> > language works -- just as "I ain't got no ..." is understandable in
casual
> > speech as a *single* negative, and just as everybody understands that a
> > preposition is not an incomprehensible thing to end a sentence with.
Both
> > proscriptions have their origins at medieval English universities, where
the
> > rules of *valid Latin* were presumed to apply to *proper English*.
>
> I was aware of the Latin basis for the silly prohibition of ending
sentences
> with preposition.   You mentioned "both proscriptions" with "verbing a
noun" and
> with "double negatives".    I know some romance languages use double
negatives.
>  For my information, which of these are Latin impossibilities?

Nouns follow prepositions in Latin, and Latin doesn't have separable
prefixes.  So far as I know, ending a sentence with a preposition is a
structural impossibility in Latin.

> (As a programmer, I dislike double negatives as negative - but that
doesn't mean
> I have an objection to using them in Spanish).

I'm not sure a native or near-native reader or speaker of Latin would
recognize a machine translation of something like "he ain't got no sense,
nohow" into that language (or for that matter, a number of other languages)
as having a *single* negative sense rather than *three* negative expressions
that have the cumulative result of negativity.   Dropping the "nohow" at the
end has no effect on the overall negativity of the utterance to the average
native-English hearer; the argument about such multiple negatives in "proper
English" is that it *does* affect the sense, and "propriety" would demand
the use of one, and only one, negative indicator in the utterance.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/8/2005 8:10:56 PM
"jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1ROJe.85909$mC.10067@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...

> Interesting response - I've often wondered how and why someonen would
choose
> dictionary (a) over dictionary (b).
> I assumed (rather incorrectly for the more scholarly and literary amongst
> us) that the main reason would have been primarily size and then price.

I have two book-form English dictionaries at home:  the M-W Third Unabridged
and the old two-volume Compact Oxford (the one that came with a magnifying
glass).   While I would have liked the twenty-volume version of the latter,
the price and the bookshelf space required for it were both beyond my
resources at the time.  I think the Compact Edition of that era actually
contained all the information in the "regular" first edition OED, with its
supplement, reproducing four of its pages on each page of onionskin paper.
I believe the *current* Compact Oxford is actually more competitive with a
M-W Collegiate.  In any case, I primarily use the (C)OED for etymological
questions, the answers to which don't go out of date.

    -Chuck Stevens


0
8/8/2005 8:28:29 PM
I have HEARD (or read) that there is an (unwritten?) rule that when somone 
(naturally) brings Hitler into a thread in a newsgroup, that it is supposed to 
kill off (end) that thread.

I seem to remember (although certainly will not stake my life and liberty on it) 
that I have actually seen this happen.

My best guess (far from a certainty) is that this will NOT happen with this 
thread - knowing (or thinking I know) CLC and those who have posted comments so 
far.

I would HOPE (but also doubt this) that those who want to discuss "philosophy" 
"truth" "word origins" etc within the CLC newsgroup, would add "OT" to the 
subject line and otherwise indicate in the subject exactly what they are talking 
about - and/or replying to.

As the originator of this thread, I am certain that there are still perceptions, 
impressions, and thoughts  about

    "Shared" procedure division code

that have not yet been recorded, but I certainly don't perceive the current 
thread dealing with it - but that certainly may be just my understanding of the 
points being made.

-- 
Bill Klein
 wmklein <at> ix.netcom.com 


0
wmklein (2605)
8/8/2005 8:37:53 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:

> I have two book-form English dictionaries at home:  the M-W Third Unabridged
> and the old two-volume Compact Oxford (the one that came with a magnifying
> glass).   While I would have liked the twenty-volume version of the latter,
> the price and the bookshelf space required for it were both beyond my
> resources at the time.

I rarely use mine.   But I have other unabridged dictionaries that I can
actually read.
0
howard (6283)
8/8/2005 8:40:15 PM
Perhaps one should have added [OT] to his post  :-)
I think that perhaps shared procedure division code just isn't that 
interesting anymore.

Oh, and on the subject of Hitler....

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/legends/godwin/

Apparently you couldn't be wronger :-)

JCE

"William M. Klein" <wmklein@nospam.netcom.com> wrote in message 
news:BoPJe.959452$pI6.36867@fe06.news.easynews.com...
>I have HEARD (or read) that there is an (unwritten?) rule that when somone 
>(naturally) brings Hitler into a thread in a newsgroup, that it is supposed 
>to kill off (end) that thread.
>
> I seem to remember (although certainly will not stake my life and liberty 
> on it) that I have actually seen this happen.
>
> My best guess (far from a certainty) is that this will NOT happen with 
> this thread - knowing (or thinking I know) CLC and those who have posted 
> comments so far.
>
> I would HOPE (but also doubt this) that those who want to discuss 
> "philosophy" "truth" "word origins" etc within the CLC newsgroup, would 
> add "OT" to the subject line and otherwise indicate in the subject exactly 
> what they are talking about - and/or replying to.
>
> As the originator of this thread, I am certain that there are still 
> perceptions, impressions, and thoughts  about
>
>    "Shared" procedure division code
>
> that have not yet been recorded, but I certainly don't perceive the 
> current thread dealing with it - but that certainly may be just my 
> understanding of the points being made.
>
> -- 
> Bill Klein
> wmklein <at> ix.netcom.com 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/8/2005 9:06:44 PM
In article <11ffasfnirr28cd@corp.supernews.com>,
Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd7uho$neu$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <11fephkks48so70@corp.supernews.com>,
>> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >
>> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:dd7k5p$qbp$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> >> In article <11feisrmpuo4s3e@corp.supernews.com>,
>> >> Rick Smith <ricksmith@mfi.net> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> ><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message
>> >news:dd6r12$i7v$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> >> Now there's an interesting concept... Plato's monotheism?  Most text I'm
>> >> familiar with indicate that both Plato and Socrates were fairly
>> >> comfortable with the then-current polytheism in Athens; could you be so
>> >> kind to direct me towards the source which related the Forms to this
>> >> monotheism?
>> >
>> >From Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy",
>> >page 122,
>> >"In the last book of the Republic, ..., there is a very clear
>> >exposition of the doctrine of ideas or forms.
>> >"Here Plato explains that, whenever a number of individuals
>> >have a common name, they have also a common 'idea' or
>> >'form.' For instance, though there are many beds, there is
>> >only one 'idea' or 'form' of a bed. Just as a reflection of a
>> >bed in a mirror is only apparent and not 'real,' so the various
>> >particular beds are unreal, being only copies of the 'idea,'
>> >which is the one real bed, and is made by God. Of this one
>> >bed, made by God, there can be knowledge, but in respect
>> >of the many beds made by carpenters there can be only
>> >opinion."
>>
>> (sources given farther down)
>>
>> '... made by God'.  My guess is that Russell was using Jowett's 1901
>> translation.  The Greek shows 597B as having the text 'theon ergasasthai'
>> (theta-epislon-omicron-nu
>> epsilon-rho-gamma-alpha-sigma-alpha-sigma-theta-alpha-iota), without a
>> definite article, capitalisation or any indication that the god who made
>> (worked) is any different from other members of the pantheon.
>>
>[snip]
>>
>> ... and the Timaeus, where Socrates states 'I see that I shall receive in
>> my turn a perfect and splendid feast of reason. And now, Timaeus, you, I
>> suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the Gods.' ... and
>> then later mentions 'But the father and maker of all this universe is past
>> finding out; and even if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be
>> impossible'... but these are the words of Timaeus, not Socrates... and
>> there are questions about how this 'I shall' should be translated,
>> especially in the presence of an iota, indicating the optative mood...
>>
>> ... so there may, indeed, be a primus inter deis... but there most
>> certainly appear to be other divinities acknowledged as existing.
>>
>[snip]
>> >
>> >Russell suggests monotheism, directly, and the followers of
>> >Plato suggest monotheism, indirectly;.thus it is my 'impression'
>> >that 'Plato's Forms are inextricably linked to his monotheism.'
>> >The accuracy of my stating 'his monotheism' depends, it
>> >would seem, on the contents of the last book of the Republic.
>>
>> ... and, in particular, a specific translation of the last book of the
>> Republic, said translation not reflecting the punctuation of the
>> original... and this might be why a Scholar of Oldene Dayse paid
>> attention to 'the last iota' lo, such as *ten* Scholars cannot, today!
>
>So ... if I understand correctly, 'monotheism' is not accurate;
>but (translating 'primus inter deis' to 'first among gods') Plato
>may have been referring to a single god (the one that Timaeus
>called 'the father and maker of all this universe') ... and this
>inextricably links Forms to a single god theism, just not
>monotheism, exactly.

'Monotheism', according to 
http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=monotheism&x=0&y=0 , 
appears to be completely *in*accurate... unless one can, somehow, say that 
one can simultaneously hold 'the doctrine or belief that there is but one 
God' and say things like ''And he is the God who presides over harmony, 
and makes all things move together, both among Gods and among men' or 
'Timaeus, you, I suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the 
Gods'.

It is not that there is a single god; it seem the case of 'that which is 
god-made/worked' ('worked' might be a better translation given that the 
root is erg- and not poei-), in this case a bed, partakes more of the Form 
(eidos) of bed than that which a human might make.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 9:44:22 PM
"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message 
news:3lik42F12ra7rU1@individual.net...
> if you accept that the moon is there and the earth is here, how can you be 
> sure that they don't just exist in your imagination? Because other people 
> share that reality with you. Agreement makes things real. The moon doesn't 
> disappear because it is part of a collective reality.

    What if I were imagining those "other people" as well?

    I don't remember who said it, but someone said something along the lines 
of "if two peopel agree to something, then it is real to them." As an 
open-ended and undirected question to ponder, what if person A pereceived 
(either via reality or imagination, person A cannot distinguish between the 
two) persons B and C. Person C only perceives person B. Person A claims that 
it is raining, and claims that person B agrees with him. Person C claims 
that it is not raining and person B doesn't exist. Does this means it's 
raining?

    Person A might believe it's raining, having agreement from person B, and 
simply assume person C is insane.
    Person C might believe it's not raining, and assume A is insane.

    To make things more interesting, perhaps we can throw in a person D who 
agrees with C that it is not rainning, but whom person A cannot perceive.

    - Oliver 


0
owong (6177)
8/8/2005 9:49:55 PM
In article <1ROJe.85909$mC.10067@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:

[snip]

>Interesting response - I've often wondered how and why someonen would choose 
>dictionary (a) over dictionary (b).
>I assumed (rather incorrectly for the more scholarly and literary amongst 
>us) that the main reason would have been primarily size and then price.

I'm not sure about size... I believe Callimachus is often attributed as 
the source of 'mega biblion, mega kakon' (lit. 'big/great/large book, 
big/great/large bad/evil', sometimes rendered as 'A great book is a great 
evil').  I've found that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the way to 
go for derivations and useage-cites (the American Heritage Dictionary 
(AHD) seems to crib etymologies from the OED) while http://www.m-w.com is 
readily available online... and www.dictionary.com uses a few sources that 
can provide cites of interest.

As for the proscriptive/descriptive debate... I try to avoid that.  That a 
conclusion is reached based on a definition found in a commonly-accepted 
source is, to me, a good foundation for definition... anyond can 'look it 
up in their Funk 'n Wagnalls'.  That words can be defined for particular 
discussions - 'in this case I am using 'history' not in the sense of 'a 
chronological record of significant events' but in the more radical sense 
of 'an inquiry' - is also, to me, a good foundation.

That a word is idiosyncratically defined - I recall a UseNet discussion I 
had, years ago, with a fellow who equated socialism with communism with 
altruism; I pointed out a few definitions and asked how he generated this 
equation... and his response was along the lines of 'it doesn't matter how 
they are defined, I know they're the same! - can make for some *very* 
weary interchanges.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 10:16:45 PM
In article <dd8fvf$39s$1@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net> wrote:
>
>On  8-Aug-2005, "Chuck Stevens" <charles.stevens@unisys.com> wrote:
>
>> I have two book-form English dictionaries at home:  the M-W Third Unabridged
>> and the old two-volume Compact Oxford (the one that came with a magnifying
>> glass).   While I would have liked the twenty-volume version of the latter,
>> the price and the bookshelf space required for it were both beyond my
>> resources at the time.
>
>I rarely use mine.   But I have other unabridged dictionaries that I can
>actually read.

I keep my OED on a shelf near my computer at home... alone with Marshall's 
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, the Soncino Press Pentateuch, the 
Novum Testamentum Graece (Oxford 1910, 1953 reprint), a Greek-English 
Lexicon (the little Liddle, not the Great Scott) and a copy of The Holy 
Scriptures According To The Masoretic Text... which shows more dust than 
the rest of them put together.  The web allows me ready access to m-w.com, 
the KJV (http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/kjv/), the Constitution of the United 
States of America and other texts, which, along with these, the differing 
interpretations of which make for so much discussion.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 10:28:52 PM
In article <7sQJe.192230$tt5.56640@edtnps90>,
Oliver Wong <owong@castortech.com> wrote:
>
>"Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message 
>news:3lik42F12ra7rU1@individual.net...
>> if you accept that the moon is there and the earth is here, how can you be 
>> sure that they don't just exist in your imagination? Because other people 
>> share that reality with you. Agreement makes things real. The moon doesn't 
>> disappear because it is part of a collective reality.
>
>    What if I were imagining those "other people" as well?

Well, I'd *hope* you'd be able to make them a bit more interesting!

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/8/2005 10:29:59 PM
 

"Oliver Wong" <owong@castortech.com> wrote in message 
news:7sQJe.192230$tt5.56640@edtnps90...
>
>
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message 
> news:3lik42F12ra7rU1@individual.net...
>> if you accept that the moon is there and the earth is here, how can you 
>> be sure that they don't just exist in your imagination? Because other 
>> people share that reality with you. Agreement makes things real. The moon 
>> doesn't disappear because it is part of a collective reality.
>
>    What if I were imagining those "other people" as well?

There is some evidence to suggest that you are :-), but it is way beyond 
this discussion...

>
>    I don't remember who said it, but someone said something along the 
> lines of "if two peopel agree to something, then it is real to them." As 
> an open-ended and undirected question to ponder, what if person A 
> pereceived (either via reality or imagination, person A cannot distinguish 
> between the two) persons B and C. Person C only perceives person B. Person 
> A claims that it is raining, and claims that person B agrees with him. 
> Person C claims that it is not raining and person B doesn't exist. Does 
> this means it's raining?
>
>    Person A might believe it's raining, having agreement from person B, 
> and simply assume person C is insane.
>    Person C might believe it's not raining, and assume A is insane.
>
>    To make things more interesting, perhaps we can throw in a person D who 
> agrees with C that it is not rainning, but whom person A cannot perceive.
>

You might also ponder that any of the 4 of them who cannot perceive that he 
is wet,  would be unlikely to agree that it is raining... :-)

The arguments about perception and reality have persisted for centuries. All 
of your points above are very good ones. Agreeing to share a reality is a 
workable hypothesis for  dealing with what is perceived.

I cannot 'know' that what you call 'red' is exactly what I call 'red'. But 
we can agree that whatever it is that each of us perceives as 'red' can be 
labelled as such, and that enables us to deal with it. If you then ask me to 
pass you the can of red paint I will pass you something we both agree is 
red. (please don't deluge the thread with examples of red-green colour 
blindness and exceptions of that nature; I am painting with broad strokes 
here... :-)

Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create' 
reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an 
end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's where 
'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog. Dictionaries are 
intended to help communication, not to restrict meaning to whatever their 
definitions cover. That is why there is a wide diversity of such references. 
But, if you look across all of them for a given word, you will derive a 
'concept' that is agreed by all of them. Selecting any given one as "The 
Authority" is risky at best.

Pete.




0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/9/2005 3:11:07 AM
In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

[snip]

>Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create' 
>reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an 
>end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's where 
>'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog.

The arguments of 'proscriptive versus descriptive' aside... the tail does 
not wag the dog?  Is that an absolute fact, now?  In terms of Einsteinian 
motion everything is relative, you know...

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/9/2005 9:24:18 AM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd9so2$eql$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
> [snip]
>
>>Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>>reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
>>end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>>where
>>'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog.
>
> The arguments of 'proscriptive versus descriptive' aside... the tail does
> not wag the dog?  Is that an absolute fact, now?  In terms of Einsteinian
> motion everything is relative, you know...
>
> DD

In my f-o-r, I've never met a tail strong enough to wag the earth.

By the way, I think Einstein was somewhat against the Nazis.....I also think 
he aimed to disprove Quirk's exception.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/9/2005 1:16:05 PM
In article <p02Ke.90338$mC.89151@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd9so2$eql$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>>>Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>>>reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
>>>end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>>>where
>>>'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog.
>>
>> The arguments of 'proscriptive versus descriptive' aside... the tail does
>> not wag the dog?  Is that an absolute fact, now?  In terms of Einsteinian
>> motion everything is relative, you know...
>>
>> DD
>
>In my f-o-r, I've never met a tail strong enough to wag the earth.

It's been said that there are things in Heaven and on Earth not dreamt of 
in your philosophies, Horatio... tune in next week when, perhaps, we might 
deal with events preceding their causes!

>
>By the way, I think Einstein was somewhat against the Nazis.....I also think 
>he aimed to disprove Quirk's exception.

Curious how you think his goal was to disprove something that happened 
some decades after his demise... maybe we are dealing with 'events 
preceding their causes' before we have cause to deal with such an event.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/9/2005 1:26:12 PM
On  8-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

> Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
> reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
> end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's where
> 'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog. Dictionaries are
> intended to help communication, not to restrict meaning to whatever their
> definitions cover. That is why there is a wide diversity of such references.
> But, if you look across all of them for a given word, you will derive a
> 'concept' that is agreed by all of them. Selecting any given one as "The
> Authority" is risky at best.

Some people prefer the function of dictionaries to act as authorities.   Heck,
at least one country does this.

Authorities are comfortable - if you know what is right, you don't have to
think, and certainly don't need to understand.

One trouble with dictionaries is that they don't adequately show context - look
up "database" and see what the general public thinks of this word compared to
what programmers use.   Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a theory".
  Authority has scope, and authoritarians don't want scope.
0
howard (6283)
8/9/2005 1:33:08 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:ddaatk$f6b$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <p02Ke.90338$mC.89151@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
>><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message 
>>news:dd9so2$eql$1@panix5.panix.com...
>>> In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
>>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>>
>>> [snip]
>>>
>>>>Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>>>>reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become 
>>>>an
>>>>end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's
>>>>where
>>>>'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog.
>>>
>>> The arguments of 'proscriptive versus descriptive' aside... the tail 
>>> does
>>> not wag the dog?  Is that an absolute fact, now?  In terms of 
>>> Einsteinian
>>> motion everything is relative, you know...
>>>
>>> DD
>>
>>In my f-o-r, I've never met a tail strong enough to wag the earth.
>
> It's been said that there are things in Heaven and on Earth not dreamt of
> in your philosophies, Horatio... tune in next week when, perhaps, we might
> deal with events preceding their causes!
>
>>
>>By the way, I think Einstein was somewhat against the Nazis.....I also 
>>think
>>he aimed to disprove Quirk's exception.
>
> Curious how you think his goal was to disprove something that happened
> some decades after his demise... maybe we are dealing with 'events
> preceding their causes' before we have cause to deal with such an event.
>
I didn't say what universe was in play. Quantum immortality RULZ!
In this universe, his bagels are great.

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/9/2005 2:55:13 PM
"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:ddabak$581$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
> On  8-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>> Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>> reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
>> end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>> where
>> 'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog. Dictionaries are
>> intended to help communication, not to restrict meaning to whatever their
>> definitions cover. That is why there is a wide diversity of such 
>> references.
>> But, if you look across all of them for a given word, you will derive a
>> 'concept' that is agreed by all of them. Selecting any given one as "The
>> Authority" is risky at best.
>
> Some people prefer the function of dictionaries to act as authorities. 
> Heck,
> at least one country does this.
One president was famous for trying his luck with with this.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." 
(Washington, D.C., January 26, 1998)"

I have never checked before but I think we would find him vindicated if we 
used m-w as the authority...but then what fun would that be.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=sexual+relations&x=18&y=19

> Authorities are comfortable - if you know what is right, you don't have to
> think, and certainly don't need to understand.
>
> One trouble with dictionaries is that they don't adequately show context - 
> look
> up "database" and see what the general public thinks of this word compared 
> to
> what programmers use.
I'll never forget the Dilbert when the pointy haired boss wanted a 
blindingly super database..."what color do you want that database?"

"...I think mauve has the most RAM"

Point is, I don't even have to look as far as the general public ;-)

>  Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a theory".
>  Authority has scope, and authoritarians don't want scope.

People can say evolution is only a theory, because it is a theory.  People 
say it because of the other scope creep...we as a group generally cannot 
separate evolution from "in the beginning...."

JCE 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/9/2005 3:17:32 PM
In article <lt3Ke.90347$mC.2836@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:ddaatk$f6b$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <p02Ke.90338$mC.89151@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>,
>> jce <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote:

[snip]

>>>By the way, I think Einstein was somewhat against the Nazis.....I also 
>>>think he aimed to disprove Quirk's exception.
>>
>> Curious how you think his goal was to disprove something that happened
>> some decades after his demise... maybe we are dealing with 'events
>> preceding their causes' before we have cause to deal with such an event.
>>
>I didn't say what universe was in play.

No need to, it was already known... just as it is already known which 
people equate 'it is' with 'I believe it is'.

>Quantum immortality RULZ!

Them as says 'RULZ' usually droolz.

>In this universe, his bagels are great.

To paraphrase Callimachus, then... mega bagelion, mega kalon.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/9/2005 3:32:21 PM
> Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a theory".

That is like saying "Gravity is only a theory".

Evolution is observable (except to those that seek 'enlightenment' on
their knees with their eyes closed), 'Natural Selection as the main
driving force of evolution' is a theory, 'Sexual selection as the main
driving force of evolution' is a theory. 'Neanderthals were a
sub-species of Homo Erectus' is a theory.

0
riplin (4127)
8/9/2005 9:00:07 PM
Richard wrote:
>>Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a theory".
> 
> 
> That is like saying "Gravity is only a theory".
> 
> Evolution is observable

How so?  I've observed gravity many times, and I've observed the slow 
animal being eaten.  It doesn't mean I extrapolate that to come up with 
my own ideas of how this world came to be - especially since all the 
"proof" I've ever seen for that theory is based on shoddy or 
now-discredited science (aka "junk science").

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~   /   \  /         ~        Live from Montgomery, AL!       ~
~  /     \/       o  ~                                        ~
~ /      /\   -   |  ~          daniel@thebelowdomain         ~
~ _____ /  \      |  ~      http://www.djs-consulting.com     ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ GEEKCODE 3.12 GCS/IT d s-:+ a C++ L++ E--- W++ N++ o? K- w$ ~
~ !O M-- V PS+ PE++ Y? !PGP t+ 5? X+ R* tv b+ DI++ D+ G- e    ~
~ h---- r+++ z++++                                            ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
0
lxi0007 (1830)
8/9/2005 10:12:23 PM
<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd9so2$eql$1@panix5.panix.com...
> In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
> [snip]
>
>>Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>>reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
>>end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>>where
>>'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog.
>
> The arguments of 'proscriptive versus descriptive' aside... the tail does
> not wag the dog?  Is that an absolute fact, now?  In terms of Einsteinian
> motion everything is relative, you know...
>
Funny you should say that, Doc...

Exactly that thought occurred to me when I wrote it... :-)

For the purpose of this discussion, I let it stand...:-) (I think it is fair 
to assume that the consciousness resides in the dog and not in its tail, so 
the the dog's frame of reference is the important one here.)

Pete.



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/10/2005 1:20:26 AM
"Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
news:ddabak$581$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
> On  8-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>> Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>> reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
>> end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>> where
>> 'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog. Dictionaries are
>> intended to help communication, not to restrict meaning to whatever their
>> definitions cover. That is why there is a wide diversity of such 
>> references.
>> But, if you look across all of them for a given word, you will derive a
>> 'concept' that is agreed by all of them. Selecting any given one as "The
>> Authority" is risky at best.
>
> Some people prefer the function of dictionaries to act as authorities. 
> Heck,
> at least one country does this.
>
> Authorities are comfortable - if you know what is right, you don't have to
> think, and certainly don't need to understand.
>
> One trouble with dictionaries is that they don't adequately show context - 
> look
> up "database" and see what the general public thinks of this word compared 
> to
> what programmers use.   Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a 
> theory".
>  Authority has scope, and authoritarians don't want scope.

During the course of this debate I have come to realise how important 
context is. It was only when the Doc started removing it (not from mischief, 
but because he honestly considered it irrelevant, or simply didn't want it 
to be considered in the argument) that I had a flash of insight about it. We 
do communicate in shades of grey. Context, including body language and 
expression, tone of voice, etc. are all important to the message.

One of the reasons Chuck was offended by my original post is because he 
believed I  was stating matters of opinion as matters of fact. That was fair 
enough, but he then went further and decided that there was implicit 
contempt in the posts. None of that was ever intended by me. I am forced to 
wonder whether he would have had the same opinion if we had been sitting in 
a bar discussing it over a beer. Would my body language and tone of voice 
have made a difference to his interpretation of my meaning?

I'm inclined to believe it would have. (But, obviously, I can't prove it...)

Are we so conditioned by the adversarial approach to argument that we always 
expect the worst? Is it always a contest? I honestly don't know.

I do know that relying only on rigid definitions is limiting and risky.

Context is much more important than I realised previously.

Pete. 


0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/10/2005 1:36:07 AM
"jce" <defaultuser@hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:gO3Ke.41155$iG6.9102@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
> "Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
> news:ddabak$581$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>>
>> On  8-Aug-2005, "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>>> Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>>> reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become 
>>> an
>>> end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>>> where
>>> 'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog. Dictionaries are
>>> intended to help communication, not to restrict meaning to whatever 
>>> their
>>> definitions cover. That is why there is a wide diversity of such 
>>> references.
>>> But, if you look across all of them for a given word, you will derive a
>>> 'concept' that is agreed by all of them. Selecting any given one as "The
>>> Authority" is risky at best.
>>
>> Some people prefer the function of dictionaries to act as authorities. 
>> Heck,
>> at least one country does this.
> One president was famous for trying his luck with with this.
>
> "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." 
> (Washington, D.C., January 26, 1998)"
>
> I have never checked before but I think we would find him vindicated if we 
> used m-w as the authority...but then what fun would that be.
>
> http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=sexual+relations&x=18&y=19
>

I was stunned at this...

Using that definition, what he said was true. (I owe him an apology; always 
considered he simply lied. Now it turns out he was using MW as his 
authority...)

But the general consensus is that "sexual relations" includes more than 
"physical union of male and female genitalia accompanied by rhythmic 
movements usually leading to the ejaculation of semen from the penis into 
the female reproductive tract; also : INTERCOURSE 3 -- compare ORGASM"

So, it could be argued that if the movement is not rhythmic, no "sexual 
relations" occurred... or if the semen end up on the blue dress, or 
somewhere else :-)

Could a rapist use authority to get off in this way? It is a frightening 
thought.

When meaning is restricted to authority only, and context is ignored, 
loopholes become apparent.


>> Authorities are comfortable - if you know what is right, you don't have 
>> to
>> think, and certainly don't need to understand.
>>
I agree.

>> One trouble with dictionaries is that they don't adequately show 
>> context - look
>> up "database" and see what the general public thinks of this word 
>> compared to
>> what programmers use.
> I'll never forget the Dilbert when the pointy haired boss wanted a 
> blindingly super database..."what color do you want that database?"
>
> "...I think mauve has the most RAM"
>
> Point is, I don't even have to look as far as the general public ;-)
>
>>  Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a theory".
>>  Authority has scope, and authoritarians don't want scope.
>
> People can say evolution is only a theory, because it is a theory.

Yes, inserting 'only' into the statement weakens it considerably. A theory 
may be well proven, and may never have failed to accurately predict 
phenomena, but saying it is 'only' a theory, diminishes it.

> say it because of the other scope creep...we as a group generally cannot 
> separate evolution from "in the beginning...."
>
> JCE
> 


0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/10/2005 1:55:09 AM
"LX-i" <lxi0007@netscape.net> wrote in message 
news:b3084$42f92a35$45491c57$13663@KNOLOGY.NET...
> Richard wrote:
>>>Or learn why someone says "evolution is only a theory".
>>
>>
>> That is like saying "Gravity is only a theory".
>>
>> Evolution is observable
>
> How so?  I've observed gravity many times, and I've observed the slow 
> animal being eaten.  It doesn't mean I extrapolate that to come up with my 
> own ideas of how this world came to be - especially since all the "proof" 
> I've ever seen for that theory is based on shoddy or now-discredited 
> science (aka "junk science").

Dan, I know this is sensitive and I have utmost respect for your beliefs and 
your right to believe them. But I feel pretty strongly about the Scientific 
approach so I would be very interested to see what, in your opinion, 
constitutes "junk science". Not looking for trouble, have no intention of 
starting another religious debate, but, if you have the same respect for my 
beliefs that I have for yours, you might post a link. Do it privately, if 
you'd prefer.

Pete.


0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/10/2005 2:02:01 AM
>> Evolution is observable

> How so?

It is observable by anyone who's mind is not shut tight and locked up.

For example a few thousand years ago there were only a very small
number of breeds of dog. Now there are hundreds of them.  That is
evolution, but it is not 'natural selection' because it is primarily
'artificial selection'.

> It doesn't mean I extrapolate that to come up with
> my own ideas ....

I very much doubt that you have _any_ 'my own ideas', you seem to only
have ideas that you have been indoctrinated with and by reading 'the
book'.

> all the "proof" I've ever seen for that theory ..

Demonstrating that you completely fail to understand what science is
and what 'theory' is and what would happen if there was 'proof'.

> is based on shoddy or now-discredited science
> (aka "junk science").

And your thoughts on 'creation science' [sic] would be ?

0
riplin (4127)
8/10/2005 3:46:01 AM
In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
 "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

> I cannot 'know' that what you call 'red' is exactly what I call 'red'. But 
> we can agree that whatever it is that each of us perceives as 'red' can be 
> labelled as such, and that enables us to deal with it. If you then ask me to 
> pass you the can of red paint I will pass you something we both agree is 
> red. (please don't deluge the thread with examples of red-green colour 
> blindness and exceptions of that nature; I am painting with broad strokes 
> here... :-)


I know you don't want this thread deluged with these...but I can't 
resist.

I was out of my single-cup coffee pods this weekend -- so I went to our 
local retailer, Target`, to get some more.

I selected a nice Columbian Roast in a silver box, with the label and 
text written on an orange band around the center of the box.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and took the first 
individually wrapped pod out to find that it clearly stated in Black 
letters on Silver background that it was "Decaf Columbian Roast".  My 
wife is still laughing -- she could clearly see the green "decafinated" 
letters above the "Columbian Roast" on the orange background, but I 
still cannot.
0
8/10/2005 3:48:43 AM
In article <3lt40aF14658jU1@individual.net>,
 "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

> "Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message 
> news:ddabak$581$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>
> During the course of this debate I have come to realise how important 
> context is. It was only when the Doc started removing it (not from mischief, 
> but because he honestly considered it irrelevant, or simply didn't want it 
> to be considered in the argument) that I had a flash of insight about it. We 
> do communicate in shades of grey. Context, including body language and 
> expression, tone of voice, etc. are all important to the message.
> 
> One of the reasons Chuck was offended by my original post is because he 
> believed I  was stating matters of opinion as matters of fact. That was fair 
> enough, but he then went further and decided that there was implicit 
> contempt in the posts. None of that was ever intended by me. I am forced to 
> wonder whether he would have had the same opinion if we had been sitting in 
> a bar discussing it over a beer. Would my body language and tone of voice 
> have made a difference to his interpretation of my meaning?
> 
> I'm inclined to believe it would have. (But, obviously, I can't prove it...)
> 
> Are we so conditioned by the adversarial approach to argument that we always 
> expect the worst? Is it always a contest? I honestly don't know.
> 
> I do know that relying only on rigid definitions is limiting and risky.
> 
> Context is much more important than I realised previously.

Context is everything.

It is what allows Daniel to see evolution as only a "theory" while 
Richand can see it as a Theory.  It is what allows DD to see unions as a 
helpful protection for the worker while I see them as nothing more that 
legal extortion and a threat to my kneecaps.  It allows Bill Clinton to 
consider a blow job "not sexual relations" while my wife has a very 
different view.

We are all waaaayyy coloured by our experiences and that alters the 
context from which we view things.

My wife, Tracy, likes to say that email always sounds 10 times worse 
than the writer intended.  But I was trained in the 15-user BBS 'if your 
post doesn't stir some controversy then the thread dies' school of 
online chatting.

It is almost impossible to get a clear indication of a posters emotion 
or any form of subtly in a media that allows less that 100 displayable 
characters.  Efforts to try are invariably going to be badly mistaken.

So don't worry about it.  Have another beer and appreciate that you live 
in one of the coolest places in the world...live is good...you can 
ski...then go to the beach...then ski....

Why read so much into a 300-iteration post/repost issue that started 
from a misunderstanding?
0
8/10/2005 4:11:08 AM
I _may_ be wrong...it happens less in real life than it appears in CLC...but 
nonetheless

<DISCLAIMER - this has the potential to be all completely bullshit. Best 
case is just an opinion>

I think my other post stands...

The failure of discussion with evolution is that we as a group of 
ape-descended humans cannot separate evolution from "in the beginning...."

Evolution <> Anti-Creationism......Why can't there be many theories....Why 
does it matter what was there before the beginning?  As a famous voice box 
said once...it's like asking what's north of the north pole.

Despite what "anti creationists" say, creationism is not your apple pie view 
of: there was Adam and there was Eve and there were many incestuous unions 
leading to you and I.....there are Gap Creationists, and Old Earth, Flat 
Earthers and even Progressive Creationists (I kid you not).

Similarly, despite what "anti evolutionarists" say there is evidence to 
support the theory that has been seen in a single generation. I don't 
understand why we cannot just say God invented evolution and it's not 
random..and just all get along.

I do suggest you go to Talk.Origins if you want to continue the debate 
though...they have forums to discuss this kind of crap.

Besides, the proof for God is far more solid than the junk science proving 
....well, pretty much anything else actually - I read it somewhere...the name 
of the book escapes me.  It's either Old something or New something, I 
forget.

JCE

Top Post Only

"Richard" <riplin@Azonic.co.nz> wrote in message 
news:1123645561.235262.32580@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>>> Evolution is observable
>
>> How so?
>
> It is observable by anyone who's mind is not shut tight and locked up.
>
> For example a few thousand years ago there were only a very small
> number of breeds of dog. Now there are hundreds of them.  That is
> evolution, but it is not 'natural selection' because it is primarily
> 'artificial selection'.
>
>> It doesn't mean I extrapolate that to come up with
>> my own ideas ....
>
> I very much doubt that you have _any_ 'my own ideas', you seem to only
> have ideas that you have been indoctrinated with and by reading 'the
> book'.
>
>> all the "proof" I've ever seen for that theory ..
>
> Demonstrating that you completely fail to understand what science is
> and what 'theory' is and what would happen if there was 'proof'.
>
>> is based on shoddy or now-discredited science
>> (aka "junk science").
>
> And your thoughts on 'creation science' [sic] would be ? 


0
defaultuser (532)
8/10/2005 6:41:03 AM
> there are Gap Creationists, and Old Earth, Flat
> Earthers and even Progressive Creationists (I kid you
> not).

And Brahmans, and Maidu Indian Wonomians, and Chiminigaguans, and
Awonawilonans and Gaiaists, and dozens or hundreds of other myth
believers. Or perhaps it was Xenu and the Thetans.

> the proof for God is far more solid ...

Oh I believe in gods, all of them (well most anyway), Khonvum, Chin,
Herohito, Zeus, Rama, ... I just don't deify them, they were chiefs,
warlords, generals. It is very likely that some Moses met some Jehovah
maybe even on a mountain. Jehovah was the local warlord and granted the
Jews some land.

Interestingly, Jehovah (or Yehwah) was, according to the Caananites,
the son of their 'god' El and brother to Baalim, the first of the
dynasty of the Baal family (of which Baal Zebub was one).

> I don't understand why we cannot just say God invented
> evolution and it's not random.

No, you probably don't understand that.

Why don't we all just say: "Before anything , there existed Shuzanghu
and his wife, Zumaing-Nui. In time she gave birth to a girl (earth) and
a boy (sky). Sky and earth mated and gave birth to the mountains. Then
they produced two frogs who married and made the first humans. These
humans were covered with thick hair, but when they mated they produced
people as they are now." and just all get along ?

> I read it somewhere...the name of the book escapes me.

Perhaps you should read somewhat wider.

0
riplin (4127)
8/10/2005 8:13:37 AM
In article <3lt32tF13uqsrU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
><docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:dd9so2$eql$1@panix5.panix.com...
>> In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
>> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>>>Thus words are symbols that allow us to share perception and 'create'
>>>reality. The danger is that the "word authority" (Dictionaries) become an
>>>end in themselves and become the dog instead of the tail (maybe that's 
>>>where
>>>'dogma' comes from :-))  The tail does not wag the dog.
>>
>> The arguments of 'proscriptive versus descriptive' aside... the tail does
>> not wag the dog?  Is that an absolute fact, now?  In terms of Einsteinian
>> motion everything is relative, you know...
>>
>Funny you should say that, Doc...
>
>Exactly that thought occurred to me when I wrote it... :-)

Oh good... some say that self-awareness and acknowledgment are a first 
step!

>
>For the purpose of this discussion, I let it stand...:-) (I think it is fair 
>to assume that the consciousness resides in the dog and not in its tail, so 
>the the dog's frame of reference is the important one here.)

I think it is fair to assume as little as possible, since assumptions can 
lead to agreement and thence to facts (or so some say)... and who wants 
too many of those cluttering up the landscape?

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/10/2005 9:07:07 AM
In article <1123661617.794438.163150@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
Richard <riplin@Azonic.co.nz> wrote:

[snip]

>Why don't we all just say: "Before anything , there existed Shuzanghu
>and his wife, Zumaing-Nui.

Ummmmm... because it posits a conditon prior to existence ('before 
anything') when things existed?  Because it posits time ('before') in 
the absence of the possibility of motion?  Because 'we all' don't share a 
common language and a bit of a racket might result?

Oh... you're talking about *religion*, here, not logic... sorry, my 
apologies... I'll go back to pondering how it is that a reptile without 
voice-mechanisms can speak - and share a common language with - human 
beings.

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/10/2005 9:18:57 AM
> I'll go back to pondering how ...
> and share a common language with - human beings.

Was that some pre-Babel language or is it that "If English was good
enough for Jesus, it's good enough for Texas."* ?

That would of course be the King's English as spoken by 'The King of
England'.




* Texas governor Miriam "Ma" Ferguson picked up a Bible and famously
declared, "If
English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for Texas."

0
riplin (4127)
8/10/2005 9:33:08 AM
In article <3lt40aF14658jU1@individual.net>,
Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:

[snip]

>During the course of this debate I have come to realise how important 
>context is.

Have a care, Mr Dashwood... next thing you know you'll be saying things 
like 'the meaning of a word is in its use'.

>It was only when the Doc started removing it (not from mischief, 
>but because he honestly considered it irrelevant, or simply didn't want it 
>to be considered in the argument) that I had a flash of insight about it.

At times, to learn of a building one might do well to strip away externals 
and examine the structural steel... there are things to be learned, and 
unlearned, from such an approach.

>We do communicate in shades of grey.

Well, there it is... in 'black-and-white', as it were.

>Context, including body language and 
>expression, tone of voice, etc. are all important to the message.

It has been said that the one who talks to the spirit-world is the 
underlying theme or idea... or that the medium is the message.  (sorry, 
couldn't resist)  What you mention above seems to be a subject of study in 
a field called 'semiotics'.

[snip]

>I do know that relying only on rigid definitions is limiting and risky.

.... and on the other hand constantly having to clarify idiosyncratic uses 
can make for a weary, weary time, Mr Dashwood... as some who have read my 
postings might point out.  As has been said about thighs, 'In media 
felicitas est.'

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/10/2005 9:39:00 AM
In article <joe_zitzelberger-873DF1.00110810082005@ispnews.usenetserver.com>,
Joe Zitzelberger  <joe_zitzelberger@nospam.com> wrote:

[snip]

>Why read so much into a 300-iteration post/repost issue that started 
>from a misunderstanding?

Besides the fact that one might learn things in the oddest of places... 
hey, everyone needs a hobby!

DD

0
docdwarf (6044)
8/10/2005 9:40:38 AM
In article <1123666388.477013.136680@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
Richard <riplin@Azonic.co.nz> wrote:
>> I'll go back to pondering how ...
>> and share a common language with - human beings.
>
>Was that some pre-Babel language or is it that "If English was good
>enough for Jesus, it's good enough for Texas."* ?

I wasn't dere, Charlie... but the earliest versions I've see report it in 
some form of proto-Aramaic.

DD
0
docdwarf (6044)
8/10/2005 9:42:35 AM
 

<docdwarf@panix.com> wrote in message news:ddchvk$pj4$1@panix5.panix.com...
>
> In article <3lt40aF14658jU1@individual.net>,
> Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
> [snip]
>
>>During the course of this debate I have come to realise how important
>>context is.
>
> Have a care, Mr Dashwood... next thing you know you'll be saying things
> like 'the meaning of a word is in its use'.
>

No, I don't think so. Context is important but it isn't everything. Neither 
is dictionary definition. They are all useful in arriving at meaning, but 
none of them alone is the full story.  It's as if there is a cloud of 
possible meaning and parts of it are more probable than other parts... Until 
understanding is attempted, all meanings are possible, but once a particular 
meaning is seized upon, the wave collapses and no other meanings are then 
possible.

But then, perhaps I am spending too much time considering Young's 
experiment, EPR, and Quantum Mechanics in general :-)

>>It was only when the Doc started removing it (not from mischief,
>>but because he honestly considered it irrelevant, or simply didn't want it
>>to be considered in the argument) that I had a flash of insight about it.
>
> At times, to learn of a building one might do well to strip away externals
> and examine the structural steel... there are things to be learned, and
> unlearned, from such an approach.
>
>>We do communicate in shades of grey.
>
> Well, there it is... in 'black-and-white', as it were.

Hahaha!  Absolutely... :-)

>
>>Context, including body language and
>>expression, tone of voice, etc. are all important to the message.
>
> It has been said that the one who talks to the spirit-world is the
> underlying theme or idea... or that the medium is the message.  (sorry,
> couldn't resist)

That just sounds like MacLuhanacy to me...

>What you mention above seems to be a subject of study in
> a field called 'semiotics'.

I claim no expertise in this field but I have a passing acquaintance with 
it. (mainly gained from reading the  fictional works of Professoer Umberto 
Eco who holds the chair of semiotics at the University of Bologna.)  My 
understanding, (which may be flawed) is that it is about subliminal 
symbology and the meaning ascribed to symbols in different cultures. I guess 
that could be an area of context exploration, as you suggest.

>
> [snip]
>
>>I do know that relying only on rigid definitions is limiting and risky.
>
> ... and on the other hand constantly having to clarify idiosyncratic uses
> can make for a weary, weary time, Mr Dashwood... as some who have read my
> postings might point out.  As has been said about thighs, 'In media
> felicitas est.'
>

et in vino veritas...:-)

Pete. 



0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/10/2005 10:32:03 AM
docdwarf@panix.com wrote:

>In article <3lt40aF14658jU1@individual.net>,
>Pete Dashwood <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>[snip]
>
>>During the course of this debate I have come to realise how important 
>>context is.
>
>Have a care, Mr Dashwood... next thing you know you'll be saying things 
>like 'the meaning of a word is in its use'.

"'When I use a word' said Humpty Dumpty, 'it means exactly what I
intend it to... Neither more, nor less.'".

-- 
Jeff.         Ironbridge,  Shrops,  U.K.
jeff@xjackfieldx.org (remove the x..x round jackfield for return address)
and don't bother with ralf4, it's a spamtrap and I never go there.. :)

.... "There are few hours in life more agreeable
      than the hour dedicated to the ceremony
      known as afternoon tea.."

         Henry James,  (1843 - 1916).

 
0
ralf4 (132)
8/10/2005 10:33:18 AM
 

"Joe Zitzelberger" <joe_zitzelberger@nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:joe_zitzelberger-5B05B4.23484309082005@ispnews.usenetserver.com...
>
> In article <3lql6iF12jsntU1@individual.net>,
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>> I cannot 'know' that what you call 'red' is exactly what I call 'red'. 
>> But
>> we can agree that whatever it is that each of us perceives as 'red' can 
>> be
>> labelled as such, and that enables us to deal with it. If you then ask me 
>> to
>> pass you the can of red paint I will pass you something we both agree is
>> red. (please don't deluge the thread with examples of red-green colour
>> blindness and exceptions of that nature; I am painting with broad strokes
>> here... :-)
>
>
> I know you don't want this thread deluged with these...but I can't
> resist.
>

No, Joe, that was a very fair exception. I enjoyed your story. Thanks.
(At least it wasn't simply contrived for the sake of argument... :-))

> I was out of my single-cup coffee pods this weekend -- so I went to our
> local retailer, Target`, to get some more.
>
> I selected a nice Columbian Roast in a silver box, with the label and
> text written on an orange band around the center of the box.
>
> Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and took the first
> individually wrapped pod out to find that it clearly stated in Black
> letters on Silver background that it was "Decaf Columbian Roast".  My
> wife is still laughing -- she could clearly see the green "decafinated"
> letters above the "Columbian Roast" on the orange background, but I
> still cannot.
>
I find that fascinating. I always understood that people with this type of 
colour blindness saw grey instead of red or green. You are saying it is 
literally invisible to you? How do you deal with that? Do you know the 
traffic light is red because the other lights are not lit?  What other 
impacts has it had on your life? (Sorry... my interest is causing me to 
forget my manners... it may be a sensitive/personal thing; don't respond 
unless you are OK with it.)

Pete.




0
dashwood1 (2140)
8/10/2005 10:40:34 AM
 

"Joe Zitzelberger" <joe_zitzelberger@nospam.com> wrote in message 
news:joe_zitzelberger-873DF1.00110810082005@ispnews.usenetserver.com...
>
> In article <3lt40aF14658jU1@individual.net>,
> "Pete Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote:
>
>> "Howard Brazee" <howard@brazee.net> wrote in message
>> news:ddabak$581$1@peabody.colorado.edu...
>>
>> During the course of this debate I have come to realise how important
>> context is. It was only when the Doc started removing it (not from 
>> mischief,
>> but because he honestly considered it irrelevant, or simply didn't want 
>> it
>> to be considered in the argument) that I had a flash of insight about it. 
>> We
>> do communicate in shades of grey. Context, including body language and
>> expression, tone of voice, etc. are all important to the message.
>>
>> One of the reasons Chuck was offended by my original post is because he
>> believed I  was stating matters of opinion as matters of fact. That was 
>> fair
>> enough, but he then went further and decided that there was implicit
>> contempt in the posts. None of that was ever intended by me. I am forced 
>> to
>> wonder whether he would have had the same opinion if we had been sitting 
>> in
>> a bar discussing it over a beer. Would my body language and tone of voice
>> have made a difference to his interpretation of my meaning?
>>
>> I'm inclined to believe it would have. (But, obviously, I can't prove 
>> it...)
>>
>> Are we so conditioned by the adversarial approach to argument that we 
>> always
>> expect the worst? Is it always a contest? I honestly don't know.
>>
>> I do know that relying only on rigid definitions is limiting and risky.
>>
>> Context is much more important than I realised previously.
>
> Context is everything.
>
> It is what allows Daniel to see evolution as only a "theory" while
> Richand can see it as a Theory.  It is what allows DD to see unions as a
> helpful protection for the worker while I see them as nothing more that
> legal extortion and a threat to my kneecaps.  It allows Bill Clinton to
> consider a blow job "not sexual relations" while my wife has a very
> different view.
>
> We are all waaaayyy coloured by our experiences and that alters the
> context from which we view things.

I'm coming to this point of view. I think we all realize it intuitively and 
intellectually, but it is only very recently that I have actually realized 
HOW much it colours the way we communicate. ( I'm not sure I agree it is 
everything, but it is way more important than I previously thought.) 
Removing the explicit stated contexts from a communication certainly changes 
the intended meaning, and that is before you even begin to consider the 
implicit contexts, like tone of voice, body language, etc.

>
> My wife, Tracy, likes to say that email always sounds 10 times worse
> than the writer intended.  But I was trained in the 15-user BBS 'if your
> post doesn't stir some controversy then the thread dies' school of
> online chatting.

I too, spent many happy hours on BBSs before the Internet was available, and 
understand whereof you speak...:-)

>
> It is almost impossible to get a clear indication of a posters emotion
> or any form of subtly in a media that allows less that 100 displayable
> characters.  Efforts to try are invariably going to be badly mistaken.
>
> So don't worry about it.  Have another beer and appreciate that you live
> in one of the coolest places in the world...live is good...you can
> ski...then go to the beach...then ski....
>

Another 20 cms of fresh snow fell on the Ski fields today...:-) As a result 
the overnight temperature has dropped to around 5 degrees Centigrade here in 
the Bay (some 200 KM from the snow). But we had brilliant sunshine today 
(18C) and I had the roof off the car... Still a bit too cold for the beach, 
though (at least for a pussy like me - people were surfing in wetsuits)...

I gave up some time back actually worrying about offence I may have given 
here; I do the best I can.

I said I'm sorry, have taken on board the objection, and attempted to 
clarify my position. I can't do much more.

The whole question of communication and meaning and the respective 
approaches to it, is a lot more fun th