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You Haven't Shifted My Position!

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on April 2, 2002 20:33:10 UTC

Hi Dick,

***** Harv:
Gosh, you are a lot of fun.

Yeh, so are you!

***** Harv:
Hmm... Through your inductive experience of learning you have come to believe that deduction is more reliable? Good thing there's induction, or else you couldn't come to that conclusion, huh?

Yeh, sure is. That is the beginning of our difficulties. I have never said a word about how I got to where I am or whether or not that position can be justified. All I have really said is that it's a very powerful position none the less. By focusing on that issue, you miss almost the entirety of what I am saying.

***** Harv:
You have posed the biggest constraint of all, everything you cannot possibly imagine or conceptualize as numbers is excluded.

No, you entirely missed what I said. All I need do is enumerate the concepts. If you insist the number of concepts required are infinite, then certainly they cannot be communicated and we are wasting our time in any attempt to set down a rational explanation of reality. If the number of concepts is finite then they can be enumerated (numbers attached to them). This is part of the power that set theory gives to me! You seem to think that attachment of meaning has some bearing on this and it does not.

***** Harv:
Concepts cannot be shown to exist - except in the heads of people.

Now I defined "information" to be concepts sans meaning. And furthermore, if you check my reasoning, there is no point where the existence of reality is required anyway. The possibility that reality does not exist is included in the model.

***** Harv:
By conceptualizing the Universe we are constraining the Universe.

By the way, how did "the Universe" get in here anyway? In the current presentation, I have not defined any such thing. Nevertheless, I am not conceptualizing anything. I am discussing "all possible conceptualizations". Or are you simply dogmatically stating that there exists no acceptable conceptualization of the Universe? If that is the case, I would like to hear your arguments.

***** Harv:
I should have chosen a more realistic example, but then it is harder to demonstrate how a definition acts as a constraint.

I am well aware of the fact that definition acts as a constraint. That is exactly why I ask for comments as to what kinds of constraints people think my definitions are imposing!

***** Harv:
A false definition is a definition that is inherently inconsistent in an unworkable manner. For example, bachelors are married single people is an extreme example of a false definition.

Harv, what you are discussing here is not a false definition at all!! If you want to define "bachelors" as "married single people", that is fine and dandy. The issue is that your definition is inconsistent with some of your other definitions and, in order to maintain consistency, you will have to change those. What you are discussing is "inconsistent" definitions. And I agree, "inconsistent" definitions are to be avoided at all costs. But the only way to be sure you do that is to be very careful. (As per my position that the current "definitions" of time used by science are inconsistent with their common usage!)

***** Harv:
You might ask why that is a false definition. Well, what are numbers? They are mental representations of things that exist inside the heads of people. So, reality is a set of representations of things that exist inside the heads of people. Therefore reality resides inside the heads of people. But, this collection of people is also a 'set of numbers', hence reality is a subset of reality. That is inconsistent since a set cannot be its own subset. That definition is inconsistent and unworkable - hence it qualifies as a false definition.

How did this collection of people get to be a "set of numbers"? You seem to "know" something about reality which is beyond me. Please explain how you intend to define "people". Or is it that you think that it is impossible that any explanation of reality could ever be conceived which did not include the concept "people". If that is true, please show me your proof.

As I say Harv, most of what you present are unthoughtout cavils.

Have fun -- Dick

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