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An Apology To Harv!

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on October 25, 2001 17:43:21 UTC

Harv,

I apparently missed your post of September 10th. Since Paul and I were using Misc. Topics to talk, I didn't bother to check it when he was in the mountains. Apparently I missed the "New" tag and didn't realize I had not read your post. Sorry about that! Because the post is so old, I won't delete any part of it in this reference. You used three carrots for my comments so I will put two on yours.

>>Keep in mind that as long as my name or a reference to my posts are mentioned, I feel I have a right to clarify and support my position if I see the need to do so. >>I am sorry, but I am personally of the opinion that you do not have the intellectual ability to follow my thoughts. Please don't take this as an insult; I simply feel that you are so immersed in your own concept of reality that my picture is completely beyond your comprehension. That is, I personally feel that I am, for the most part, wasting my time trying to explain to you what is going on in my head.Well, I won't say anything of my impressions of your philosophical knowledge and ability to understand such discussions. >I define mathematics as the study of internally self consistent systems.... It follows almost by definition that any decent mental model of anything must be an internally self consistent system. So if you find a decent working model, it will be mathematical! There is no "haunting" question here!Your definition of mathematics does not specifically fit mathematics. For example, the U.S. Constitution is generally self-consistent (although Gödel claimed to find a contradiction in the Constitution just prior to his becoming a citizen of the U.S. -- but Einstein urged him not to mention it to the immigration board handling his citizenship). However, it is far far an over-statement to claim that the Constitution is thereby mathematical. Your definition of mathematical must be within the domain of what mathematicians discuss. >---- One definition!! --> "reality" is "a set of numbers". I offer up one clear definition. If you understood the consequences of that definition, you would clearly realize the complete inadequacy of that vague set of definitions you want to work with!I agree your definition is clear enough to understand, but I take issue with using a word that already has an established meaning. Use a different word. Why do you insist on using a word that already has a distinct meaning? What advantage does that bring to your model? Does your model fail if you cannot use the word 'reality'? If so, then that would appear to be something you should seriously look into. Alfred Tarski, for example, dwelved extensively into a 'model of truth' (which you, I believe, have equated truth with reality or existence) but refrained from getting heavily into the realist/antirealist discussion. He didn't need the word 'reality'. He simply used variables to represent his metalanguage. You should follow this practice (of course you are not a logician). >>And I am also fairly sure you will not understand Harv, so forget about me and what I have done: just go back to arguing religion. You will have a lot more fun.I'll quickly forget about you when you forget about me. As long as you cite responses to my posts (or make rude comments about me), I would like an opportunity to respond. Additionally, when someone mentions your model in a discussion I will also discuss my views if I have any. But, as a courtesy, I'll try to refrain from even doing that.

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