Re: virus: Fuzzy Logic qua Magic Wand
Sat, 26 Oct 1996 18:02:52 -0500 (CDT)

On Sat, 26 Oct 1996, KMO prime wrote:

> On Thu, 24 Oct 1996 17:40:31 -0500 David Leeper <> writes:
> >> If you trace the genetic lineage of birds back far enough you will
> >> eventually reach an organism that is definitely not a bird.
> >> Somewhere between the animal that is definetly a bird and the one
> >> that is definitely not a bird there will be a critter which isn't
> >> quite a bird but which is obviously something bird-like.
> >>
> >> At one end of the continueum are things which are obviously not
> >inteligent,
> >> and at the other end are obvious cases of inteligence, but in the
> >middle
> >> there are systems which are hard to call. Where we draw the line
> >will
> >> depend on our interests (and prejdices).
> >
> >The subjective influence of such "line drawing" can be reduced with
> >Fuzzy Logic. We can say
> >with 0.5 percent certainty that such-and-such a critter is a bird.
> You can SAY it, but that doesn't make the category "bird" any less
> arbitrary. It doesn't make "bird" a natural kind, i.e. a category that
> exists independent of the interests of the taxonomist. You can say with
> 100% certainty that such and such a critter is a bird. Reduction with
> Fuzzy Logic doesn't make the category "bird" any more substantial than
> the category "weirdo."
> You can't wave a magic wand and clear away some subjective haze which
> distorts our ability to determine which interest-independent category
> into which a thing should fit. There are no such categories to be
> obscured.
> Take care. -KMO

I believe [one of my professors researched this extensively, and I have
tested simple examples while studying CIS] that there is only one
proposed fuzzy logic that avoids deriving contradictions. This
version is really Intuitionistic logic, which should make one blink twice
anyway--it is anything but intuitive. Any logic which makes Buddhist
texts intelligible is suspect, to me.

All of the others, as far as I know, allow easy derivation of outright
false conclusions from outright true statements. "Be careful when
considering whether to ride the Japanese train system." Of course, this
is also a feature of typical human reasoning; I happen to think this
feature is, in principle, discardable.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd