Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
Those are totally independent ideas, which can be
mixed and matched
in any way you want:
- Nominalism vs. realism is the issue of whether the
laws of nature
refer to something real or whether they
are arbitrary patterns
that somebody has merely given a name to.
Exception: names can be given to the
unreal, imaginary, constipated, undefined or responsible, but each of those
names implies a structure of common understanding among hearer and hearee.
I'm pretty sure you and each reader understand that the value we associated
with each name in our vocabulary isn't in the name (a rose is a rose etc) but
in the experience of the designee (smelly, nice, red etc). Whether the
common concept we share communicates any element of reality is debatable.
These are the blocks we move in the game, like in the Winograd blocks world.
We talk to each block and listen to the response if we find them
interesting. If you like realism, cool! I like gritty errors that
can be used to put twos together. That way, every time a theoretical
structure cracks by inserting that error, a nice new one is formed without it;
it just takes a little time to crack and restructure the solid bits better.
Then the game continues for the rest of the tick. Tock. Time to
continue. We still have work to do.
- Grouping things in sets is used in every
would say that all groupings are more or
less arbitrary, and
realists would insist on looking for the
principles for grouping.
But if causality is designatable but not
predictable by your (my) definition, how do you define the sets? It would
have to be extensionally, if you are using the system to completely predict the
next tick. If not, the intensional subset hasn't been absorbed into the
extensional one yet. It's just a matter of ticks. Induction (Whoops,
examples of induction: recursion; iteration; problem reduction; structured
programming; event scheduling etc).
- Reductionism is the idea that there is an ultimate
that everything else can be reduced to --
e.g., biology can
be reduced to chemistry, and chemistry
can be reduced to
physics. In effect, belief in
foundations is more realist
than nominalist. However, you can
have debates between
realists and nominalists at each level
about the reality
of the principles discovered at that
My personal preference is for realism about the laws
Reductionism is as real as algebra, lisp,
sql, or other convenient context management apparatus, method, representation
or specification. Concepts are real because we speak their name to each
other (us, not them) and hear the responder signal back a unique interpretation.
So a concept is a sign in a time slice located between at least two people with
enough interest to discuss it, and each will give it their own unique name, and
perhaps definition, if they choose to remember it at all. Only the
terminal nodes are semantic. Concepts are useful nominal handholds to
pick and carry the big reality loads that language users sling around nominally.
Anaphora (Category error instances) are slips of the mind, convenient
compression tactics, or other . Perhaps due to not enough information (misnamed,
ununifiable, defective context projected...), or bad signal/noise (lots of extraneous
symbols, unrepresentative data ...).
JS> I prefer to use the word 'set' for a grouping
that is neutral
with respect to the existence or nonexistence of some
Your intension is not the word. The word 'set' is itself a
nominal signal with a substantial baggage (impedimentum) of definition specs to
interpret when it gets applied to an instance. Then the definition
changes with time and has to be relearned using empirical error
management. There is no need to solve every problem NOW, certainly not those
which haven't occurred YET; predicting the future is itself an error; patience
is rewarded with future errors, to be analyzed then. The analysis improves
the play (theory, missive, design, artifact...) for interpretation (emulation, analysis,
query...) and the play's the thing.
I prefer to use the word 'type' for groups that are
by some principle -- either a law of nature or a human
Although I agree that the principles of biology are
chemistry and the principles of chemistry are based on
I also believe that there are laws at each level that
be extremely difficult, and probably humanly
translate directly to the lowest possible level.
You convinced me. Thus the need for
recursion; iteration; replication - choice among alternative equivalent
interpretations. Each concept has a unique context (possibly) which we
haven't YET decoded, other than perhaps as far as naming (nominally) the
observable constituents in that same context box (from which we recursed to do
the analysis of the constituents). The error is in our projections of
past concepts onto new concepts which don't relate - those are orthogonal
context projections, namable perhaps, but with its constituents still TBD IMHO.
That makes them projection patterns echoed from the scene to the observer: not
realities. Allegory of the cave.
By capturing those projections (not the
data itself), we design a vocabulary and axiom set in our personal projection of
that slice in time. We have other projections for those other
contexts. Get enough of them, figure out which context is part of whom, specify
an analysis (identify concepts, properties, processes), consider alternative performance
improvement tactics (compress, shrink, conserve, deduplicate...) for accuracy
and efficiency (process improvement). After that, you can use
reductionism, modeling, math or medication to do the analysis and performance
In computer system design, we develop many different
high-level languages such as Java, a lower-level
for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), a still lower
some machine architecture, such as the X86 or Power,
multiple levels of functional units for supporting a
interface, which is mapped to some kind of computer
which is itself mapped to silicon chips.
Multiple levels of compilers can "reduce"
to chips, but it's humanly impossible to understand
one level of reduction at a time. To correct any
necessary to go back to the top level and recompile.
What's wrong with that? Recompile.
The play has to be played at least once to discover its context - remember the
halting problem. From that its constituents' own interpreters (concept,
context, constituents, with one completely new triple for each defined (not
In other words, God might be able to implement and
reductionism, but humans can't.
But since we can't be God, we don't have to. We can implement,
take measurements, theorize about the results, update the old theories, update both
intensive theories and extensive data, and recurse for the next tick. Keeps
you busy. Sometimes implementation is the only way to get to another
cycle. You can't be told how to ride a bike; you have to experience
it. I couldn't give advice to my kids; they're too smart to follow static
instructions. Implementation provides a working model with flaws and
inefficiencies which you can use like a binary search against your
theories. Start at the middle; choose the best direction (earlier or
later theory); measure performance so far; repeat from "choose" until
goal satisfied. All you need is an enumerator of the structures to visit
within the goal definition (initially stored in the DB; updated as necessary at
least once in each tick).
I would love to see you write more about recursive content management
(active and passive both), because I have found your tutorials and expositions
so clear and communicable to others. Thanks!