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veinglory
06-17-2009, 03:55 AM
I just had a publisher insist on cutting a chapter from my non-fcition book which was a thought experiment based on considering what the world would be like if certain parapsychological phenomena were real. Apparently this was consider weird, freaky and insulting by suggesting people should beleive in psychic phenomena.

I don't believe in psychic phenomena, but apparently I have far too much faith in imagination and intellectual curiousity.

Higgins
06-17-2009, 05:49 PM
I just had a publisher insist on cutting a chapter from my non-fcition book which was a thought experiment based on considering what the world would be like if certain parapsychological phenomena were real. Apparently this was consider weird, freaky and insulting by suggesting people should beleive in psychic phenomena.

I don't believe in psychic phenomena, but apparently I have far too much faith in imagination and intellectual curiousity.

That's the thing about those "unexplained" things: if you think they are real, you don't mean that you think they are real, you mean that only you know what they are (even if you don't really think they are real).

The Irony is inherent in the idea of "secret knowledge of the reality of X"...well if it is real then its reality can't really be much of a secret, can it?

Ruv Draba
06-21-2009, 06:36 AM
I don't believe in psychic phenomena, but apparently I have far too much faith in imagination and intellectual curiousity.There's a branch of mathematics called paraconsistent logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraconsistent_logic). These logics are used to model how we might deal with uncertainty and unreliable information. They're not terribly effective logics, but they are very interesting and I've often wondered if they could offer ideas for some sort of SF story.

My point here is that paraconsistent reasoning is still recognisably a valid area of study, and that even when paranormal belief is paraconsistent (as much of it is), that doesn't just confine its study to anthropology, or exempt its beliefs from logical or philosophical examination.


The Irony is inherent in the idea of "secret knowledge of the reality of X"...well if it is real then its reality can't really be much of a secret, can it?Well, there's a logic I've never heard of: Sekrit Calculus, where the number of times you can use a proposition in a proof (or ever) diminishes its Truthiness... If the only real knowledge is Sekrit then the more people who know something, the more false it ought to become.

Really, the best thing to do with Sekrit Calculus is to eat your axioms as you write them down, and burn any proof before someone gets to check it -- cos the checking will diminish the truthiness and that's when people will begin to find the holes.

(Damn, I wish I'd thought of that when I was doing my undergraduate math assignments.)

Higgins
06-21-2009, 07:08 PM
Well, there's a logic I've never heard of: Sekrit Calculus, where the number of times you can use a proposition in a proof (or ever) diminishes its Truthiness... If the only real knowledge is Sekrit then the more people who know something, the more false it ought to become.

Really, the best thing to do with Sekrit Calculus is to eat your axioms as you write them down, and burn any proof before someone gets to check it -- cos the checking will diminish the truthiness and that's when people will begin to find the holes.

(Damn, I wish I'd thought of that when I was doing my undergraduate math assignments.)

Perhaps that's the special irony of Sekrit Calculus: you never know it when it would do you any good. Or to refine the axiom: No Sekrit Axiom can be used in such a way that it might in any way be useful. Oddly the real uselessness of Sekrit axioms can only be demonstrated by wasting a lot of time on them, which suggests that if you think you are the only one who knows whether X is really real or not, then you are about to waste a lot of time.

Ruv Draba
06-22-2009, 03:32 AM
Perhaps that's the special irony of Sekrit Calculus: you never know it when it would do you any good. Or to refine the axiom: No Sekrit Axiom can be used in such a way that it might in any way be useful. Oddly the real uselessness of Sekrit axioms can only be demonstrated by wasting a lot of time on them, which suggests that if you think you are the only one who knows whether X is really real or not, then you are about to waste a lot of time.Actually, the trick to prolonging the use-by date of your Sekrit Axioms is to attach the Sekrit Symbol 'o.O'.

'o.O' is a modal operator, and can be read as 'For me' or 'For us'. So you can say:

o.O The earth is flat.
There are fairies at the bottom of my garden -- O.o!! (you can write it either way, and prepend or append. Exclamation points do not change the modal interpretation)
I have the Sekrit Truth (O.O) about the gubmint (here used in the middle of the proposition and capitalised for emphasis. The use of brackets here makes it Sekriter, and hence Truthier.)The 'For me' operator acts to restrict modal context, preventing your proposition from being testable in any reality other than one which you personally own -- and because the reality is yours you can shift it however you like to invalidate the tests before they invalidate your Sekrit Axioms. But it also acts like the symbol -- the uninitiated aren't allowed to quote and comment on anything to which you attach a o.O because o.O makes it not just Sekrit but Sakrid.

In the interests of efficiency and efficacy, I think that the Sekrit Espistimologikal Society should adopt . as the standard. The stronger form of . is proposed for the more aggressive subcommittees that not only object to questioning, but persecute any querent foolish enough to test and thereby depreciate the value of their Sekrit Axioms, while . is reserved for the more evangelical Sekrit Epistimologikals who are nevertheless attempting to be tolerant.

I don't know if my suggestion will get up though. I'm still trying to find a reality in which they all meet.

Higgins
06-22-2009, 04:24 PM
Actually, the trick to prolonging the use-by date of your Sekrit Axioms is to attach the Sekrit Symbol 'o.O'.

'o.O' is a modal operator, and can be read as 'For me' or 'For us'. So you can say:

o.O The earth is flat.
There are fairies at the bottom of my garden -- O.o!! (you can write it either way, and prepend or append. Exclamation points do not change the modal interpretation)
I have the Sekrit Truth (O.O) about the gubmint (here used in the middle of the proposition and capitalised for emphasis. The use of brackets here makes it Sekriter, and hence Truthier.)The 'For me' operator acts to restrict modal context, preventing your proposition from being testable in any reality other than one which you personally own -- and because the reality is yours you can shift it however you like to invalidate the tests before they invalidate your Sekrit Axioms. But it also acts like the symbol -- the uninitiated aren't allowed to quote and comment on anything to which you attach a o.O because o.O makes it not just Sekrit but Sakrid.

In the interests of efficiency and efficacy, I think that the Sekrit Espistimologikal Society should adopt . as the standard. The stronger form of . is proposed for the more aggressive subcommittees that not only object to questioning, but persecute any querent foolish enough to test and thereby depreciate the value of their Sekrit Axioms, while . is reserved for the more evangelical Sekrit Epistimologikals who are nevertheless attempting to be tolerant.

I don't know if my suggestion will get up though. I'm still trying to find a reality in which they all meet.

I like the o.O for reasons that have nothing to do with the ironies of secret realities. A few years back, there used to be big controversies on many multiplayer online game websites about "Carebear" players versus other type of players. The eyes of Carebears were always represented as being boggled ( o.O ) by the more gamey aspects of gamey reality.
In online games of course, there was a time when there was an actual law suit that wanted compensation for players who thought the game was going to be a certain way and it wasn't. Now there is a warning on MMOGs tha says something line "game play may change" (or something like that, ie, unexpected (and bad) things may happen to you in the game from which there is no instant (ie saved game) recovery.

Ruv Draba
06-23-2009, 12:52 AM
In online games of course, there was a time when there was an actual law suit that wanted compensation for players who thought the game was going to be a certain way and it wasn't.A fair call in any arena. If game-players can do it then certainly our military personnel should be entitled to. 'I thought it would be a nicer war than this'. Vietnam at least should warrant a class action.

And I've always felt that if there was a Supreme Deity with a Plan for me, it should have an ethical duty to disclose it. For instance, most men die these days from heart-attacks, strokes or prostate- or bowel-cancer. I'd like to know which one was Planned for me. And why that one -- is it carefully matched to my personality and diet, or just to balance the statistics? And I notice that the Plan seems to be getting tweaked in response to modern medicine. What's that about?

Higgins
06-23-2009, 04:44 PM
A fair call in any arena. If game-players can do it then certainly our military personnel should be entitled to. 'I thought it would be a nicer war than this'. Vietnam at least should warrant a class action.

And I've always felt that if there was a Supreme Deity with a Plan for me, it should have an ethical duty to disclose it. For instance, most men die these days from heart-attacks, strokes or prostate- or bowel-cancer. I'd like to know which one was Planned for me. And why that one -- is it carefully matched to my personality and diet, or just to balance the statistics? And I notice that the Plan seems to be getting tweaked in response to modern medicine. What's that about?

Once you create a world, medical ethics is the first thing that goes out the window. For example, in many online games, one gets killed many times. The work of getting yourself back into full fighting trim after getting killed can be a big deal or not, depending completely on the whims of the game world creators. However, if a game is not "persistant"...ie you play some rounds and the next time the world resets, you died without a penalty or a tear..okay you die screaming and covered with blood, but if you turn the sound down when you think you are going to get it, then you don't jump quite so bad in your gamey chair when your own dying screams come through the headphones.
The god of such instant death games could tell you useful things such as: if you die now, you will have to wait 5 minutes back at the depot to get a Sherman and a Grease Gun....but no, your fate is horrifyingly random especially if you are the kind of guy who has to get the next machine gun or sniper rifle at the depot.
Not only that but, nothing is worse than getting horribly wounded and or horribly wounded and trapped say under a damaged tank or something. One should always save a grenade (if one is lucky enough to get a grenade or two or three at the depot) for that final Kabuki Dance with Nominal Death.

Ruv Draba
06-24-2009, 03:15 AM
The work of getting yourself back into full fighting trim after getting killed can be a big deal or not, depending completely on the whims of the game world creators.So True and yet So Unfair. My concern about the Sekrit Axioms of Afterlife and/or Reincarnation are these...

Since the Sekrit Axioms tie my afterlife to my game-score, and my game-score is tied to my behaviour in my current life, it's clearly in my interests to optimise this. However, I'm not persuaded that spending all my allocated game time is actually going to maximise my score. If my score erodes through inactivity, negligence or my ham-fisted newbishness at certain zones then surely I'm better off Skipping that Zone. A true Power-levelling approach to Life, informed by the Sekrit Axioms, would avoid certain experiences alltogether, minimax certain behaviours, and exit like a Chinese gold-farmer the moment that their success criteria had been met: GG. GtG. Baibai.

And yet, according to my snatched glimpses of the Sekrit Axioms, the Game Designers (whichever they are) all want you to play Every Damn Zone they Built. And the Devotees of Sekrit Axioms seem to be Ignoring their Score and just grinding through it all like Trade-Skill Junkies -- which behaviour boggles me. This is a subscription service, right? Why else all the Sekrit Rituals to appease the Game Masters? So get some Customer Support already.

Dawnstorm
06-24-2009, 04:38 AM
You know, the Sekrit Calculus sounds interesting. I sense an uncertainty principle at work:

At any time, you can either know a proposition's truth value or content, but not both. So if you have the proposition:

"A tri-warble often downgrades the experience of hench-fording,"

you can either know with 100 % cetainty that it is true, but you cannot be sure that you know what it means.

On the other hand, you could know exactly what it means, but you'd then have to wonder if it is true.

The logical conclusion is that meaning impedes truth. I'm sure it's true, but what does it mean?

Ruv Draba
06-24-2009, 07:32 AM
Well, Meanulence and Truthitude are both by degrees. I think that there must be some sort of trade-off.

For instance, there's a lot of Well-Turned Formulance (WTF) in Sekrit Calculus. These WTF statements sure sound attractive enough to be Truthilicious -- and if they're that good then we can certainly believulate them into o.O Truthibles (i.e. Truthilicious for me), but when we try and explain them to people who haven't believulated them yet, all they can really do is admire the turning of our formulance and say: WTF!

Wow -- you mean the collapse of my mortgage, my unemployment and my kid's cystic fibrosis are all part of a Great Planning!?? WTF!

Wow -- you mean that the newb who did Naughtitude but Regretulated it gets a better Game Score than the uber-pro who did mondo Kindulence but didn't suck up to the Game Master!?? WTF!

AMCrenshaw
06-24-2009, 07:42 AM
Somewhere...

you all lost me.


AMC



(Only I know where but I know truthiliciously... WTF!)

Dawnstorm
06-24-2009, 09:42 AM
For instance, there's a lot of Well-Turned Formulance (WTF) in Sekrit Calculus. These WTF statements sure sound attractive enough to be Truthilicious -- and if they're that good then we can certainly believulate them into o.O Truthibles (i.e. Truthilicious for me), but when we try and explain them to people who haven't believulated them yet, all they can really do is admire the turning of our formulance and say: WTF!

Ah, so that's what they mean with "Optimal Balance Integrating Truth, Usage And Redistributed Yearning" (OBITUARY x.x).

I think I get it; I'm just not sure I actually agree with it. I think I'll be working on my OBITUARY x.x for a good while yet.

Dawnstorm
06-24-2009, 09:46 AM
Somewhere...

you all lost me.


AMC



(Only I know where but I know truthiliciously... WTF!)

I envy you. Or do I, now that I shared the knowledge? Hm...

Dawnstorm
06-24-2009, 09:50 AM
I just had a publisher insist on cutting a chapter from my non-fcition book which was a thought experiment based on considering what the world would be like if certain parapsychological phenomena were real. Apparently this was consider weird, freaky and insulting by suggesting people should beleive in psychic phenomena.

I don't believe in psychic phenomena, but apparently I have far too much faith in imagination and intellectual curiousity.

And just to address the original topic:

I'm a bit worried that people disregard thought experiments. They're quite important to game theory, or AI research alone. You won't get anywhere if you never examine the logic behind your thought.

Ruv Draba
06-24-2009, 10:14 AM
I'm a bit worried that people disregard thought experiments. They're quite important to game theory, or AI research alone. You won't get anywhere if you never examine the logic behind your thought.Damn you for getting back on topic! :mad:

But you're right. Thought experiments are an exercise in modelling. Model-theoretic analyses are an important way to reveal possible proofs and disproofs. Way back in the dim, dark days of my Automated Reasoning career I used to write computer programs to do just that. And thought experiments in paraconsistent or counterfactual domains can sometimes be just as insightful -- especially metamathematically or metalogically -- as experiments in regular domains.

Higgins
06-24-2009, 04:39 PM
So True and yet So Unfair. My concern about the Sekrit Axioms of Afterlife and/or Reincarnation are these...

Since the Sekrit Axioms tie my afterlife to my game-score, and my game-score is tied to my behaviour in my current life, it's clearly in my interests to optimise this. However, I'm not persuaded that spending all my allocated game time is actually going to maximise my score. If my score erodes through inactivity, negligence or my ham-fisted newbishness at certain zones then surely I'm better off Skipping that Zone. A true Power-levelling approach to Life, informed by the Sekrit Axioms, would avoid certain experiences alltogether, minimax certain behaviours, and exit like a Chinese gold-farmer the moment that their success criteria had been met: GG. GtG. Baibai.

And yet, according to my snatched glimpses of the Sekrit Axioms, the Game Designers (whichever they are) all want you to play Every Damn Zone they Built. And the Devotees of Sekrit Axioms seem to be Ignoring their Score and just grinding through it all like Trade-Skill Junkies -- which behaviour boggles me. This is a subscription service, right? Why else all the Sekrit Rituals to appease the Game Masters? So get some Customer Support already.

The game creator or his fully authorized representatives can't always be at the beck and call of every single gamer. The creator may be upgrading the game universe or buying new servers or something...so in many games it used to be (I'm not sure about these days since I'm on a break from MMOGs) semi-authorized representatives of the creator. These were like players but had special powers, the most important being the ability to move you from a location where you were trapped. However these players with special powers could also favor one player or group over another and they did not seem to have quite the same level of disengagement as the creator so players tended to be very suspicious of them. Anyway, that's what you got instead of customer service.