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Why Should That Have Any Bearing On The Problem?

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on December 17, 2004 23:11:08 UTC

Harv, you seem to avoid thinking about this with a vengeance. The issue is that the explainee must come up with a rational method of establishing an explanation of the information he has to work with: i.e., a method of determining a set of expectations consistent with the information he has.

If that is being provided by "God" in a way most beneficial to the explainee's understanding or by a demon who does his very best to confuse the explainee, all you have changed is "exactly what is to be explained", not the problem of building an explanation. Clearly you should understand that there is no way for the explainee to differentiate between the two circumstances. And his trust or distrust of the source is of absolutely no consequence. The only thing he can do is rationalize the information he has to go on and adjust that view if new information is inconsistent with his expectations.

In fact, the explainee's problem does not change in any way even if your "God" and demon exchange places at random. The explainee's problem is to create an explanation of the information he is given and my model tells him exactly how to do that. My model is general in that it will produce a set of expectation consistent with the information no matter what that information might be.

You seem to be missing the whole issue here. I have defined "an explanation" and, from that definition, constructed a general model applicable to any explanation. In doing that, I discover that all explanations have a curious commonality: they can be interpreted (or mapped to) to a system where my fundamental equation is valid. To me (apparently to me alone) that is an interesting and fundamental discovery.

Now, somewhere in your head, you have a mental model of an explanation based on your definition. I don't know what your definition is nor do I know what your mental model is. But I do have a serious question! Is there anything you can deduce from your model which you can prove is applicable to any explanation. Some little prediction which we (you and I) might use to determine if your model is superior to mine? I.e., can you make any predictions at all based on your model and nothing else?

What I have done provides very little of any applicable to problem solving; however, that little it does provide is a universe compared to the currently accepted model.

Please Harv, just sit down quietly and think about it for a while.


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