The Great Gatsby

All discussions regarding politics, religion, philosophy, science, cake and related subjects should be posted here.

Moderator: Moderators

Postby Cassiel » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:43 pm

Dr.Mellifluous wrote:Divided into four sections, or four times?

Four times as in four divisions. Twice-divided works in the sense of divided on two occasions, but in that sense the line is still divided three times: the whole line is divided, then each of the divisions is divided again. That's three divisions, producing a line with four divisions.

English clearly has some issues with ambiguity here.
User avatar
Cassiel
 
Posts: 5084
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 2:12 pm

Postby Gorbadoc » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:20 pm

Cassiel wrote:English clearly has some issues with ambiguity here.

That's why we also speak math.
"Oh, you have promise. But wait until you have more years fall upon you, and you will see what a shell your heart will become."
-Kreia
User avatar
Gorbadoc
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Varies

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:11 pm

Communication has an inerent level of ambiguity. I don't think math transcends that.
User avatar
Dr.Mellifluous
 
Posts: 2165
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:30 am
Location: Pornosophically Philotheologising

Postby Shirushi » Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:07 am

I'm a man. A man like any other, with dreams and emotions. And that's why I'll never put a foreign object up my ass.
Why so serious?
User avatar
Shirushi
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:44 pm
Location: the mythical northwest

Postby Gorbadoc » Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:19 am

Math seeks to define from scratch, model from observation, and predict from the model. It's less vulnerable to the dual-meanings produced by linguistic evolution, as math defines its terms unambiguously. Math is still subject to misinterpretation, especially as its instruction often expects students to take abstraction on faith or intuition; I can observe that 1 duck + 1 duck = 2 ducks, but in the sentence 1+1=2, what the hell is a 2?
"Oh, you have promise. But wait until you have more years fall upon you, and you will see what a shell your heart will become."
-Kreia
User avatar
Gorbadoc
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Varies

Postby OniBarubary » Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:19 pm

I actually used that argument on my 8th grade math teacher. True story. Of course, I didn't have the philosophy and mental capacity to back it up, that I do now. A man ahead of my times, it seems.
User avatar
OniBarubary
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:12 pm
Location: I don't actually post here

Postby Janus » Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:58 pm

Gorbadoc wrote:math defines its terms unambiguously.


There will always be ambiguity because everyone's understanding of the terms involved is different, if slightly. All definitions are circular if you look from far enough away: You define a term; then you have to define all the words in the definition; then you have to define those words, and so on. You can never fully disambiguate. Math gets much closer than, say, English, however.
User avatar
Janus
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:01 am
Location: Might as well.

Postby Mr Anthrax » Sun Dec 17, 2006 4:02 am

Boil it all down to a nice stock of jagon and you get the end result: the masses are stupid and use whatever means they can to prove they aren't.
User avatar
Mr Anthrax
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:55 pm
Location: Asleep in Perfection

Postby OniBarubary » Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:01 am

I think the argument that was used against me, by my beloved eight grade math teacher, is that it doesn't matter what you call them. 1+1=2. If you take away the assignment of 1 and 2, then this whatever it is, added with this whatever it is will ALWAYS equal the other whatever it is. The ambiguity is not present, because though they are not named, they still have the identity of whatever they are.

Note that this is not my argument, just one that I heard used. *shrugs* It's full of a couple holes, but it made enough sense to my eight grade mind to shut me up and pass that class.
User avatar
OniBarubary
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:12 pm
Location: I don't actually post here

Postby Gorbadoc » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:17 pm

I.e. 2 is what you get when you divide 2 ducks by ducks. Yeah, it isn't much of an explanation, but I think it's accurate.
Janus wrote:
Gorbadoc wrote:math defines its terms unambiguously.

Some nonapplicable crap and some utter nonsense.

No. While you can attempt to pull back your perspective, all your claim ammounts to is that a different context can exist. Yet when I refer to a triangle, it is understood that I mean a Euclidean triangle as defined (ultimately) in terms of the point-line-plane postulate. This postulate is what defines the context, and I think it's hammered enough to be generally accepted as unambiguous, at least by people who ever bothered to learn math.

Once we homogenize our understandings of postulates (and yes, that is a sticking point for the skeptic), there is no ambiguity in math. It's possible for you to misunderstand a definition, but that doesn't make the definition ambiguous. Likewise, your mathematical model of a real-world phenomenon might fail, but the model itself is still unambiguous even if it isn't accurate.
"Oh, you have promise. But wait until you have more years fall upon you, and you will see what a shell your heart will become."
-Kreia
User avatar
Gorbadoc
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Varies

Postby Cassiel » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:00 pm

Gorbadoc wrote:Once we homogenize our understandings of postulates (and yes, that is a sticking point for the skeptic), there is no ambiguity in math. It's possible for you to misunderstand a definition, but that doesn't make the definition ambiguous. Likewise, your mathematical model of a real-world phenomenon might fail, but the model itself is still unambiguous even if it isn't accurate.

Obviously the symbolic language of math is arbitrary, but there are plenty of people who would disagree about the possibility of a transcendental signified as well. As long as you're going by some paradigm of intentionality (Grice, Searle, whatever), understanding or misunderstanding math isn't really any different than understanding or misunderstanding language.
User avatar
Cassiel
 
Posts: 5084
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 2:12 pm

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:20 pm

"Intention" really is the key. For what different people intended to use a certain mathematical formula is as bound for ambiguity as for what any lingual statement was intended.

I like to think that language is natural culmination that seeks abstraction, and math is abstraction that seeks natural culmination.

The word is not a mere transmitter but an inner focal point for absolute culmination of experience; learning the word is searching for focus in yourself. At first, word emerges out of a plain body´s experience world, but the learned language itself adds to the "experience body" through which we percieve; perhaps you could say that each word, each focal point, becomes an added sense. The greater the part that language becomes of the body, the less dependent we are on what we culminate from actual senses. So language always is culmination, but it abstracts its sources.
Math strips all we know away by constructing from the beginning a world that feeds us on its own for culmination, but seeks more and more the substance of our senses´ reality in its statements and theories.

Language versus math is misleading, as their processes share the same principles but from different starting points, giving them different specialization without being inherently superiour or with less flaws. The particles of math are often too elemental, and the particles of language are sometimes not elemental enough. Both can be simply inconvenient for certain works. Math is an added tool, not a successor to language.
Language versus math is like Pascal versus Assembly, not wonky esoteric versus precise science.
Last edited by RageAgainstVoid on Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wut ohne Ziel. Wut ohne Folgen.
User avatar
RageAgainstVoid
More like Rage Against Roids/Rrhoids
 
Posts: 4400
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Ravenna

Postby Gorbadoc » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:31 am

Transcendental signified = something we can accept as DEFINITELY truth? I.e. its significance transcends susceptibility to skepticism?

I could easily be missing your point, Cass, but I don't think that's what I meant. There needn't be anything transcendental about math for it to be unambiguous. Maybe I'm misusing the word (how ironic), but by unambiguous, I mean that a mathematical idea identified in mathematical language cannot be mistaken for a different idea.

I'd appreciate some explanation on this transcendental signified and paradigm of intentionality. The latter has me thinking of positive imaging, but, then, I tend to hate things whose real-world implications I can't discern. I know that's not what you meant, but your last sentence has me confused about what you did mean. Taking "language" to include the interpretation of the phenomena described therein, yes, there is a commonality between the application of English, scientific discourse, or mathematical analysis. On the other hand, for me to accept your last sentence, I would have to defy personal experience and common sense. Understanding math is different at least neurologically. I'll have to scrutinize the Why when my brain's a bit less fuzzy.
"Oh, you have promise. But wait until you have more years fall upon you, and you will see what a shell your heart will become."
-Kreia
User avatar
Gorbadoc
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Varies

Postby Gorbadoc » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:46 am

I think you've got it, RAV; math is built on human abstraction of real-world experience, including linguistic experience (and indeed math builds its own linguistic experience), so of course it would be dumb to pretend that math transcends human experience. A glance at the history of mathematics further reconnects math to the real-world system being modeled; for example, Isaac Newton invented calculus because he found it was a pain in the ass to model physics with existing math. I think that's what you're saying, and it's certainly what I say.

RAV wrote:Language versus math is misleading, as their processes share the same principles but from different starting points, giving them different specialization without being inherently superiour or with less flaws. The particles of math are often too elemental, and the particles of language are sometimes not elemental enough. Both can be simply inconvenient for certain works. Math is an added tool, not a successor to language.
Language versus math is like Pascal versus Assembly, not wonky esoteric versus precise science.

I find this paragraph strange, as it speaks in generalities without characterizing actual phenomena. Math and language are both semiotic and so not distinct concepts, as I think you're saying. Also, math simplifies even if it requires abstracting, and it presents unambiguous definitions even if this removes character.

Common language (everyday thought) is more touchy-feely. Toaster ¿good/notgood? depends on ¿does it create toast which I enjoy? Unless I'm trying to engineer the toaster, I don't care about modeling the evaporation of water from the bread's surface. Because we're empathetic creatures, we like our common language to transmit feelings because we can nourish our own emotions in that fashion. Of course, the deduced implications of a statement or action can reveal intent and thereby transmit just as much feeling as looking at a young lady with googly-eyes across a candle lit table. If I say "Take the last train to Clarkesville, and I'll meet you at the station," nearly every element of the statement is mathematical, yet in the Monkees song it substantiates the claim "I must see you again," which in turn transmits the touchy-feely "You are emotionally valuable to me."

Again, RAV, I think these are the phenomena you're hinting at, but I still find your manner of speech foreign.
"Oh, you have promise. But wait until you have more years fall upon you, and you will see what a shell your heart will become."
-Kreia
User avatar
Gorbadoc
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Varies

Postby Mr Anthrax » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:13 am

And with the mathematics in tow, you've added nothing. Subtract yourself from existence. Multiply our joy by doing so.
User avatar
Mr Anthrax
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:55 pm
Location: Asleep in Perfection

Postby Cassiel » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:10 am

It's like you're writing the book for me.
User avatar
Cassiel
 
Posts: 5084
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 2:12 pm

Postby Gorbadoc » Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:18 am

Okay, now what's a "paradigm of intentionality"? It looks like fancipants fluff words and smells like noobish philosophy, but I'd expect neither from you. Besides, if I know modern analytic philosophers, the names you dropped should be more than capable of observing and characterizing a phenomenon. So is its explanation an imprecation against the noobish philosophy I smell? Gah. Define your term, please.
"Oh, you have promise. But wait until you have more years fall upon you, and you will see what a shell your heart will become."
-Kreia
User avatar
Gorbadoc
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Varies

Postby Kevin-Sorbo » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:04 pm

comprehension as the following pertains; understanding a thing in all conceivable aspects, in an attempt to understand the thing in its entirity.

math and language are means of comprehending, they are by no means mutually exclusive. comprehension of the individual, but also relatively standardized for relaying said comprehension a priori to the individual. however, niether are an end except in their own utilization. the end attained by them is better conception and utilization of the means itself.

they are useful, but only in the utilization within the realm of conception. having either is like having sieves and perception as grains of sand. the finer your meshing, and the more sieves you set up (in the most practical order) the better you will be at compartmentalizing sand being applied to them.

language is the more beautiful thing to me in the sense that it allows for more abstraction. the potential for what can be is wonderful, perhaps it is foolish for me to think so, but i have enough confidence in my own mental processing to be able to tame what the possibility could be, and distinguish my beleifs for myself. you know, that thing anyone who has the ability to is going to do.
Image
User avatar
Kevin-Sorbo
 
Posts: 1001
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:06 am
Location: Take The Knight!

Re: The Great Gatsby

Postby TheRaven7 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:12 pm

http://greatgatsbygame.com/
Spoiler:
Math seeks to define from scratch, model from observation, and predict from the model. It's less vulnerable to the dual-meanings produced by linguistic evolution, as math defines its terms unambiguously. Math is still subject to misinterpretation, especially as its instruction often expects students to take abstraction on faith or intuition; I can observe that 1 duck + 1 duck = 2 ducks, but in the sentence 1+1=2, what the hell is a 2?


My mom almost failed 7th grade algebra because she couldn't understand negative numbers; you can't have less than zero ducks. Halfway through she apparently woke up one day and finally understood it. She ended up taking Calculus I and II as electives in College as her way of conquering math.

According to some of my professors, this is actually pretty common. Kids who think of maths in terms of tangibles reach higher math and then get stuck on abstracts like negative or complex numbers. There's folklore that says it took a while for pre-math society to develop zero because the prevailing idea was that nothingness didn't need or couldn't have a representation.
User avatar
TheRaven7
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:49 am
Location: welcome to inanity

Previous

Return to The Bloody Stump

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron