Re: virus: accurate statements vs The Absolute Truth (was KMO quotes Plato)
Sun, 3 Nov 1996 19:44:18 -0600 (CST)

On Sun, 3 Nov 1996, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 05:21 PM 01/11/96 MST, Jason McVean wrote:
> >Again, if you say that Absolute Truth is simply a proposition,
> >then obviously it is not the same thing as what it describes. I'm
> Only propositions have truth values, so the Absolute Truth has
> to be a proposition, right?

I understand Jason's viewpoint here. One of the traits I have assigned
to "Absolute Truth" [if it exists....] is that it does NOT have a truth
value. Rather, it dictates a number of truth-values unconditionally.

> Is the Book of Absolute Truth (bound in genuine Corinthian leather)
> written in mathematical statements? If so, it can only talk about
> formal systems, not objective reality. If it is written in another
> language, what is it? It couldn't be written in any human language,
> since our words are not absolute in any sense. It must be the same
> book for all possible alien civilizations (by definition) so it
> must be written in the Absolute Language, right?

Such a metaphorical item would plausibly attempt automatic translation
into the reader's language.

> >But the utility of the map has nothing to do with its veracity.
> I can't think of any definitions of "utility" or "veracity" that
> would make this statement true.

I think "utility" is ill-defined, and needs to be specified before
looking at Jason's claim. [This is a generic problem with
subjectively-instantiated terms. What it does is not closely related to
its exact implementation.]

Try a remarkably [sic] shallow definition of "utility": "maximize short-term
happiness". I have not seen anyone actually use that phraseology, but
many people I have seen (biased sample) functionally act as if that IS
their definition of "utility".

A high-veracity map describing bad news in a caustically honest fashion
may be worse than useless, under the above instance of utility,

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