Wednesday, August 08, 2007





Frege for Phun.

"(Frege) invented axiomatic predicate logic, in large part thanks to his invention of quantified variables, which eventually became ubiquitous in mathematics and logic, and solved the problem of multiple generality. Though previous logic had dealt with the logical constants and, or, if...then..., not, and some and all, iterations of these operations were little understood; even the distinction between a pair of sentences like "every boy loves some girl" and "some girl is loved by every boy" could not be represented. It is sometimes noted that Aristotle's logic would not be able to represent even the most elementary inferences in Euclid's geometry, but Frege's "conceptual notation" could represent inferences involving indefinitely complex mathematical statements. Hence the analysis of logical concepts and the machinery of formalization that is essential to Bertrand Russell's theory of descriptions and Principia Mathematica (with Alfred North Whitehead), and to Gödel's incompleteness theorems, and to Alfred Tarski's theory of truth, is ultimately due to Frege."

34 comments:

Max said...

Sorry to get O.T., but I wanted to let you know I checked out a blog that seems to be authored by a real live commenter on your site, The Lighthouse, by one Cassandra.

I found I agreed with very little, but what I found interesting was that I still found the writing oddly compelling and couldn't stop reading it. I finally realized, it's like Contingencies but without the insults! You might want to do some comparison of your styles and perhaps you'll see it too. Her approach is straightforward, no holds barred, sometimes almost shocking and definitely not P.C., but she's not bludgeoning me over the head as I'm reading, hence I continue to read and find myself on the verge of understanding an opposing perspective. Definitely refreshing.

J said...

NO kidding. I checked it out some time ago, McEinstein, and approve of most of it, though some of the argumentation is rather specious. She's a catholic I believe (and Randian), and in Europe I believe: and were you living in SO Europe you probably would be to the right of that. You and your cronies would do well to avoid the site, lest you melt into vinegar or something.

J said...

Oops: the A-word (as in Argumentation). Sorry to startle you. I know it's sort of verboten at NW . A large dose of Frege might assist both leftist and rightist narcissists all over the web.

Note the strange flip-flops of MormRab from Card to KS Robinson. Be assured KSR--really quite socialistic (yet not some hysterical, ID politics-obsessed, Bukharin wannabe like, uh, someone on NWonius) would not approve of Card. Card IS an extremist: and it's not all fun and games. You avoided the central issues in that little quote. Some of us have been exposed to anti-abortion extremism. I accompanied a lady friend to an abortion clinic in the Valley a few years ago, and it was a ugly scene, made all the more ugly by some anti-abortion xtians (probably OS Card fans). Blocking sidewalks, screaming, holding their stupid signs, etc.


Moreover your refusal to address Card's quaint reactionary thoughts on non-traditional marriages says quite a bit about your lack of any real progressive spine (I wager any of your Bay area associates would take issue with Card's hick perspective). It's like someone posts a quote from Mein Kampf, saying he agrees with most of it, and you said, "how interesting! Let's move on." And you ducked the Mormon theocracy issue as you have repeatedly. Again, some of us know quite a bit about the real history and policies of the Mormon church, and take exception to the LDS wingnuts (perhaps like view a few South Park episodes on Mormons 101--or the old Twain essay I linked to months ago).

I doubt that KSR would sip a non-alcoholic beer with Elder Card (did you check out OS Card's site? Where he supports Romney, and Mitt's platform), nor , uh, a martini with Heinleinians.

J said...

""""Joseph Smith [Mormonism's] enterprisingly mendacious inventor, went to the lengths of composing a complete new holy book, the Book of Mormon, inventing from scratch a whole new bogus American history, written in bogus seventeenth-century English. Mormonism, however, has evolved since it was fabricated in the nineteenth century and has now become one of the respectable mainstream religions of America -- indeed, it claims to be the fastest-growing one, and there is talk of fielding a presidential candidate.""""

Dawkins on MormonCorp. "Bogus"; you got that right, Doc. Smith and Young are the quintessence of Bogusness.

Max said...

I find it interesting that you lasted all the way to the tenth word in your response before resorting to the dubious tactic that was central to my post. I'm betting Cassandra could respond for several paragraphs without a single juvenile McEinstein, or McFlipFlop, or whatever.

J said...

Really tho' it's quite amusing that you take issue with my fairly lightweight jests, when I have been subjected (and continue to be subjected) to rather slashing insults, libels, and defamations from The Great Santini-onius.

What was that old Lennon tune? "Just gimme some truth." Frege approves of that (at least of the message, tho' not the noise). And if you can't confirm it as being the Truth, don't offer it as such.

J said...

Btw, did you ever learn how to read bass clef? Or work out at least an arpeggio bass line to say Autumn Leaves

Max said...

And to your point, I'm not offended by your "jests." I usually find them entertaining to a degree. What I mean is that they demean the overall quality and effect of your writing; especially when it comes across as obsessive and neurotic, as with the byronius infatuation. Someone who knows nothing of the back story would no doubt find it an annoying distraction and be less inclined to pay serious attention to the non-personal aspects of your essays.

J said...

Hah. He's infatuated. In fact Sarge-Ron told me he's copied and filed my entire blog: c'est infatuation. I also think it's really amusing how lenient you are with two clowns who have repeatedly dodged the Dawkins discussion, and who have defended the Xtian church.

I also find it amusing that you are "refreshed" by The Lighthouse, which has a reputation as a rather right-leaning blog (tho' I hold that PoMo is not really leftist but can be good for extreme right as well. PoMo's like Heidegger as well as the french marxists and psychoanalysis. But it's an overwhelming subject).

I don't think you quite understand that code-shifting from extreme right to extreme left to right irritates many normal, sane people. Like shifting from OS Card's naive rural conservativism to KS Robinson's sort of futurist socialism in a matter of seconds (or at least allowing it). Or now, back to RA Wilson, NRA supporter, anti-feminist, pro-legalization of drugs person---as well as Pound and Nietzsche reader, RAW while talented (tho' a bit too fond of occult) was not really liberal and he never offered any ideas, even "liberal" ones, as dogma--that seemed to be (note "seem," not "was") the point of "maybe logic" (tho' some fairly respectable academics have objected to "maybe logic" as well. But ml's a start)

Max said...

This "code shifting" annoys you because it keeps you from successfully pinning a label on me. When I stop code shifting I'll know it's time to die. I'll have stopped growing and will only be waiting for the worms.

If you want to get a taste for my bedrock principles, do a search on New Worlds for Rebecca Borgstrom. Now I better duck to avoid the flying McAppelations.

J said...

Nicht. Political code-switchers are not new, by any means. They are generally opportunists--

Hitchens in fact is held to be a great code switcher (he was a Trotskyite then shifted to moderate position--not really "neo-con" as so many KOS lemmings think), and note how his writing bothers you, and other "liberals". Code-switchers are known as Rats, by leftist partisans (i.e. someone who ratted out a frenchie to the Vichy or Nazi. Often found dead). Not sure what fascists called 'em: Soft or something. Or Mort.

J said...

I'm still waiting for your comments on Mormonism, btw. I take your silence on that issue (and on OS Card) as a type of acceptance.

Of course I was insulted (by Sarge-Ron and others on NW) for simply posting a few Hitchens things (or Sam Harris) which were hardly as bizarre and rightist as OS Card. I have never supported GOP. I do object to the 911 conspiro-bots (or rather there is no evidence to support that). Quite a few dems have supported Hitchens' "agenda", and his attacks on muslim fundies (and xtians as well). Dawkins himself has. He has offered some support for Edwards.

I was with Hitchens until 2004 (tho' acknowledged force of some leftists such as Chomsky), when he said he wouldn't support Kerry. I thought it was f-ed up, and posted some things on Slate (and here, maybe). He later said he did not vote for Bush. So who knows? But some hick like OS Card is far to the right of all of that. He's supporting Romney! And you didn't say anthing. I bet Ms. Bergstrom herself would object.

J said...

And why don't my comments--not at all rude, simply criticism-- appear on NW? A few have; most don't. Odd. Yes, post Elder OS Card, but censor someone posting Sam Harris. You often seem to be a bit of biblethumper yrself.

Max said...

Do you recall a post entitled I am an Athiest? so much for bible thumping.

You have told me countless times that you're not a member of the GOP. What you've never told me is what you are.

I won't go into the countless reasons why you are not aloud to post on NW because I would like to remain friendly and civil. Besides, you know the reasons very well.

J said...

Aloud? True, I am not aloud. Allowed.


Ontologically, Contingencies holds to bio-economic determinism--humans while obviously sophisticated primates (having developed language, technology and science, culture, etc), are nonetheless primates---yet we take exceptions to the more extreme forms of reductionism, either behaviorist or social Darwinist. Alas, humans do not appear to have (note the qualification of "appear") any special Ghostly consciousness floating around their neural cortex (disprove that); it only seems that way. In a very real sense persons-as-egos do not exist, except as organisms in various environments, and their lives are in a sense conditioned by economic circumstances, and that conditioning includes language, technological and scientific knowledge, culture, etc.. The conditioning obviously relates to various types of violent behavior, territoriality, and sexual aspects as well. While skeptical, we, however, recognize the metaphorical power of many religious texts, and of various myth cycles.

The politics flows from that view.

Max said...

Thank you and 'scuse the typo. I should use preview.

J said...

The last post was a bit more insulting than mine (not published). I don't spend hours working on witty humorous posts. I read Swift for that (a good place to start for those who have not read much English satire. As is Russell). I am a content person, history guy, realist (in political, not metaphysical sense), documentarian and fact-oriented: not belle-lettrist or bon vivant. Not even really a fan of much fiction or lit., whether traditional or sci-fi. Besides, you want superb wit, try Swift and Dr. Johnson, even some Americuns like Twain and Bierce (see my post on Twain and MormBots).

You simply want your satire to be all PC--sort of pre-programmed with the right targets. Twain or Bierce never did that--they took on corrupt people of all types (even in Huck Finn the "do-gooders"--IM think Widow Douglas--were sort of satirized. As was everyone really).

Satire of rightists and militarists, financiers, IT Barons may be warranted, but satire of sentimental, PC Emocrats is warranted as well. Or say satire of religious fundies, including muslims and jews.

Personally I find my latest post on bad writingonius somewhat witty (using colloquial hypothetical questions to generate emotional responses, while begging the question on various economic and ethical issues is not effective writing). Note also the rather PC section on Elder-Bot. It required at least 5 minutes away from a busy work schedule.

Hunter is no Gilliam, and not half as witty as Hitchens on a bad day, or even Dawkins. And I don't think the Pythons are that leftist: Jones is a bit. I don't really care for all their humor anyways (Shakespeare did great zany comedy 400 years ago). Hunter seems pretty hysterical really. Not really funny. The media pundit targets are easy shooting as well: anyone can shoot at Bill O'Reilly or Gonzales. Where is someone lampooning Di-Fi or Hillary (there are some. One even pities Hill seeing her with her strap-on on top of Chelsea after a while). It takes a different type of satirist to say take on a Steve Jobs, or Schwarzenegger, Larry "Shekels" Ellison or various Silicon Wally barons. I'll try to find some witty and not too right-wing dude (that counts out PJ O Rourke, whose politics I even object to on occasion). Anyways, like some old-school social realists, I think comedy generally works for the Right. Shakespeare, great comic writer, worked for the King.

Max said...

Now that I spend a few moments digesting your little manifesto, it seems overly broad and somewhat obvious. It seems that my general philosophy concurs almost exactly. How odd then that we so often seem to disagree, or should I say you so often take vigorous offense at my views. I usually don't mind yours, just think the obligatory high insult quotient is distracting. I don't see anywhere in your description where it says you have to nail anyone who steps outside the bounds of a narrow interpretation of their rightful category of thought via nonsensical namecalling. Perhaps you left something out?

J said...

"The Metaphysical implications of Hillary-Chelsea Lez Porn" ? Now that's f-n satire.

J said...

It's not overly broad whatsoever: I think your "core principles" statement was overly broad, and indeed overly idealistic. The comment was rather to the point and specific, and indeed touching on a few issues which many progressives refuse to address (ie. bio-dependency of consciousness, and the conditioning aspect of learning which moralists continually overlook). It's not some grand theory, or manifesto, just a few foundational statements . And note the lack of any assumptions regarding what goodness or "morality" is. We here at Contingencies avoid the grand generalizations, the bourgeois morality, even the presumption that democracy is innately good, unlike the NWers. Nearly ideology free. Russell would approve, mostly (though taking issue with the somewhat a posteriori views of all knowledge).

J said...

A better question though, is, why don't you tell me about all the crap Sarge-Ron has said about me, online, in person, all over? Hmmm? How many people has he passed his defamations and libel to? I suspect many; perhaps I'm mistaken, but I sort of doubt it, given his hysteria and weird insults over the last few months. You want civil, honest discussion, maybe we start with that. I don't care for liars. Even ones who claim to be the inheritors of Jefferson and Franklin.

J said...

"""you so often take vigorous offense at my views.""""

I don't disagree with your more rational posts (as with Peak Oil or Dawkins--tho I think there are SOME arguments one could raise against Dawkins. That doesn't mean I approve of those counter-Darwinian arguments, nor do I think they are ultimately "sound," but they exist). It's more about your actions, and sort of implied actions. Like letting someone post OC Card's little Mormal manifesto with little or no criticism. Or allowing posters to make all sorts of grand claims or ideological statements without supporting facts. Or letting someone spam in pointless nostalgia, insults, kitsch, pop, and then screening my fairly tame comments.

Max said...

Because you prefer not to entertain a wide range of subject material means I must not either? New Worlds was designed to be a wide open eclectic blog, and any viewpoints are allowable as long as they are expressed politely. I don't fear information that I don't agree with.

J said...

A fine line separates eclectic from schizophrenic. Or maybe it's not so fine. This blog is fairly eclectic. On the schizo-o-meter NWs outscores about any blogs I can think of.

Note for instance the incessant, even obsessive references to "morality" by one prominent posteronius on NW. Of course, he seems to think he knows something about ethics. He doesn't. Indeed he sounds about like a baptist minister (tho' Preacher B. likes to include some 60s occultism in his salespitches now and then for a bit of sizzle). There are no innate ethical systems, no secret handshake, no objective visions of Beulahland, and no "Justice universals" (if there are such universals, they can not be proven to exist via observation, or deduction. If you think otherwise, prove it).


Jefferson says "self-evident" in the Dec. of Ind. because he can't really establish those "truths" by argument. That all might seem trivial or a type of pettifogging, but it is rather profound. Quickly reading the Dec. of Ind. closely one sees that it's a conjecture, a statement of faith, a proclamation, not an argument.

At least Hume (and later the utilitarians like Bentham) shows that one cannot (at least easily) prove that values and obligations exist in the way that observable facts and states of affairs exist. Really Darwin suggests that as well; and there's no Moralium on the Periodic Table. So when you write "good," or "just," or "moral," recall that those words are somewhat meaningless to many people (ie Darwinists of all types)--they do not denote anything we can observe--all the values follow from the observation, they are constructed, and the contruction is by no means "necessary". Watching the hanging of Hussein offends Y. X on the other hand has an orgasm watching it (a bit extreme example, and I would say X is deviant, but the issue remains). Who's to say which view is right? Lacking some way to prove objective morality, no one, that's who.

The older Heinlein himself seemed fairly social Darwinist and anti-morality, if not machiavellian like most Reaganites (see the Annapolis speech if you doubt that). He was no pal of liberal dems, whatsoever; OR of quacky mystics who misread their "Quantum Mechanics for Bad Poets" reader.

Max said...

"...NWs outscores about any blogs I can think of."

From gross insults to raving adulation. I could ask you to make up your mind, but I'll just say... thank you.

J said...

Your "politeness" criteria is interesting. Is your pal Hunter polite? Or any of the leading Kos-hacks? Nicht. Is Preach-Ron polite? Nicht. Or, he's about as polite as often as he produces a sound argument (i.e.rarely).

A better blog-criteria would be something like a ad hoc verification criteria: "only make statements about events/states of affairs/situations which can be confirmed as true, or not true. OR assigned a likelihood of occurring, or having occurred." How cool! No more leading questions, bogus ideology, preacher-speak (Moral-i-TAY!), occultist crap. Included with that would be a "dissent" clause: "all evidence shall be considered in regards to claims about political/scientific/cultural matters, even that which tends to disprove a view which would confirm one's own preferred ideology or ethical perspective."

Which means, for instance (read carefully here), when some Mr. X points out that the pre-vote polls predicted a Bush win in Ohio 2004, that the official exit-polls had Bush ahead (that included liberal exit polls, like Zogby's) as well and his win fell within the predicted margin of error, that the DNC refused to press the "vote fraud" issue that a few freaks raised (most of them not demos), and that GOP voter registration was approx. 5% higher than dems, and that more GOPers voted than Dems, an intelligent person holding the opposite (and minority view) that "vote fraud" still occurred doesn't start bitching like some Crackho on RikkiLake and calling X fascist simply because his argument has been severely damaged, if not destroyed (especially when X voted for Kerry anyway).

Similarly for 911 conspiracy claims (funny Preacher B no longer seems fond of that grand prevarication.) Anyway, the NIST has accounted for nearly all the "glitches" of 911, including the supposed mystery of WTC 7 (oil fire big part of it). Yet Jees-ussRon never admitted defeat, jus' like he refused to acknowledge the evidence against vote fraud.

You have the audacity, however, to suggest that I am in the wrong, simply for demanding that assessment/investigations include as much evidence as possible (similarly with say the bizarre ideas of OS Card, a mormon reactionary). Or you seem to imply that those sorts of demands for proof and evidence are impolite.

Either way, you are the one in error, and indeed letting the falsehoods (or at least great speculations without supporting facts) proliferate. You have, at least in terms of the political content on NW, thus ignored and disregarded the goals and methods of objective, investigative writing, and chosen to uphold ideology over fact.

Max said...

"You have the audacity, however, to suggest that I am in the wrong, simply for demanding that assessment/investigations include as much evidence as possible (similarly with say the bizarre ideas of OS Card, a mormon reactionary). Or you seem to imply that those sorts of demands for proof and evidence are impolite."

No, it's much simpler than that. You are impolite for repeatedly making personal attacks unrelated to the topics under discussion and causing a chilling effect that has driven away NW collaborators- by their words in offline communications to me. Believe it or not, I enjoy dissent on the site. That's why I credited Senrab with a "good post" for the O.S.Card piece because it sparked civil discussion which I thought enhanced the site. I disagreed with it almost entirely, but I respected the civil expression of his viewpoint. byronius was able to respond politely though he too disagreed vehemently. Nobody called anyone a stalinist or a preacher of came up with silly nicknames. In short, we acted like grownups.

You believe so highly in proven truth and verification of theses. blah, blah, blah. Where is your proof that byronius attends Sunday school or that he uses steroids, or any other of the countless scurrilous charges you throw at him? Where's your proof that Senrab is a Mormbot or whatever? These are personal attacks plain and simple and you should be embarrassed for making them. They are ad hominem- against the person. If I thought you had a clue why this is wrong I would consider letting you post, but you've never shown an iota of understanding of why I find this kind of personal attack methodology abhorrent.

J said...

I point out errors in reasoning: as with my analysis of Roid-Ron's poverty guessing game and his begging the question of "ethics" and economic distribution (see my above post on ?????????). I pointed out the hasty generalizations and false assumptions of his ideas on vote fraud and 911 conspiracy. That's what matters: all about facts, dude. You ducked the issue again. I pointed out the flaws in his ARGUMENT. The assertion of truth when there are no facts to support it is an error, indeed in informal logic it's called hasty generalization. Don't talk about the low-level character issues: talk about verification.


You're are mistaken about ad hominem as well. I NEVER said anyone's arguments were wrong because of their presumed character. I never said, for instance, RoidRon's arguments for vote fraud in Ohio should not be taken seriously since he is a *(&^^%*)) or whatever. I said there were more facts to support the claim that there was no vote fraud. It was a preponderance of evidence of thing, not about character. So you are in error there.

I doubt you really know what ad hominems are (review informal logical fallacies): insults by themselves or parody is not ad hominem. AD hom only applies when you say the argument is wrong or to be disregarded because so and so advocated it (but that IS often a consideration: you can be damn sure that people dismiss what AG Gonzales says because of what they assume about his character). Character aspects ARE often relevant, however (consider the source). You routinely attack people because of their presumed character. Satire makes use of ad hom. Indeed KOS depends on ad hominems and defamation in that sense. Nearly every one of PreachRon's "moralist" posts is an ad hominem.

Anyway, inferring that someone who quotes OS Card's writing and praises his writing also has a favorable view of the Mormon church is hardly some wild inference. Did you look at Card's site and did you note that he supports Romney? Check it out, "progressive." Did you not also say that you would ban people who supported Romney? Given the repeated very conservative viewpoints of Senrab, I don't think MormRab is that incorrect.

J said...

Anyways, why don't you ask the born-again clowns who now run your site whether they attend Church? (of course lying is not a problem from Mendaciousonius) Do you know how to read, really JM? Did you note Bb's completely bizarre comment on his cheap hs Civics poverty belch that we should be worried that Darwin would "sweep the earth"? Equating Darwin with fascism. Psycho-xtian-shit dude. Bad joss, and not at all what RAWilson was about. And you have allowed this to go on for months.

He's not right, or left, really: just psychotic. We plan to put the freak in a mental hospital where it belongs.

J said...

Actually we here at Contingencies are moderates, not liberals, and respect Herr Senrab, except when he quotes Mormons: I strongly doubt Martin Luther himself would have approved of the visions of Joe Smith (he barely approved of the visions of the New Testament). Senrab's post on Gore's bad research was important. For that matter, we respect Benford (no liberal)--and have a read a bit (sun-something) of him, and respect even the younger Heinlein (pre-60s--), and intelligent conservativism as a whole. We don't respect prattling Idiot-Rons, or those who enable them.

Max said...

"And you have allowed this to go on for months."

Don't expect me to stop anytime soon.

J said...

"proven truth and verification of theses. blah, blah, blah"

Yes, to the usual crass protestant (even a supposed "liberal" one), Truth more or less equals whatever he can get away with it. So much for Herr Frege.

Prepare to meet your LuegenMeister Crow-ley: the first assessment test his demons administer to you will probably be a German or latin test, then some logic (one has to know something about that which one mocks), then some integral review, then you hit his dungeon with yr fellow Calibans for a few centuries.

J said...

You got that right, McCaliban. Neither Reason nor Taste are your strong suits. NW: The Triumph of the Twit! er the sayings of Reverend Twit-Ron! And to think you have alluded to Mozart or Wagner or Verdi on occasion, or even the wit of the Pythons. Twit-Ron's no wit or aesthete either: he's Jonathan Edwards on crack; sort of a dyslexic Billy SUNDAY on 'roids. Wagner on a Kazoo. I'm sure Mike Palin and Cleese would agree, or Mozart were he around (he may be), or even Bob Hunter and Jerry, or the Beats--including RAWilson, I suspect. Sad, nay, pathetic.


I think our convo has finished.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind I am bookmarking your occultist drug-addict palonius' every libelous statement. Not that lying ever bothered you, McBeast. He's full of shit, like usual, and I got people on him as well. In fact I am sending his blithering idiocy (the hick can't even write a coherent paragraph, much less define supply and demand, or produce ONE valid argument) not only to my attorney but to some psych. people: I may send it to KS Robinson as well.

Each of my Heinlein posts is well-documented, clearly written, containing ample quotes and sources. In fact he's too stoned and stoopid to understand what the issues are about.

VacavilleRon! Pronto.

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