Math Inquiry Irrelevant... ?!

Ian Goddard (igoddard@erols.com)
Fri, 01 May 1998 13:44:01 -0400

At 12:01 AM 5/1/98 -0700, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>> The binary numeric notation used by computers uses two numbers,
>> 0 and 1, and is known as Base 2 (B2) (our traditional numeric
>> system is Base 10 (B10)). So what's the 1 digit of a Base 1
>> system, 0 or 1? The case for it being 0 and the case for
>> 1 both seem to be equally logical. Which case is true?
>
>That's not a math puzzle, it's masturbation. Give me a useful
>definition of what "base 1" means, and I'll give you whatever
>answer springs from that definition. Choose a different way
>to define it, and maybe you'll get a different answer. How
>could either possibly be relevant to anyone or anything?

IAN: Perhaps your right and the structure of
number systems is not important and thus not
worth any analytical inquiry. It baffles
me that several (perhaps most?) of the people
on the ExI list believe science is not about
truth, and defining the structure of number
systems is as useful as masturbation.!?

I recall Lee Daniel Crocker said last March:

>Don't tell me that holism is /true/. I don't give
>a damn. Tell me how I can /profit/ from it.

IAN: You can profit from coercion, theft, and
fraud, does that make CTF preferable to truth?
Is X good, useful, and scientific only where
it puts money in your pocket? It seems so.
Maybe your right, maybe truth and inquiry
should just be steamrolled by greed for
that which is more profitable. :(

I believe that profits can be a consequence
of inquiry into the nature/truth of things;
but truth inquiry comes first. Animals go
out into nature looking for the useful;
do they perform science? No. Science
is the "nonuseful" asking of "Why
is the sky blue, why is..."

In the process of asking those questions
and finding their answers, lo and behold,
we discover new and useful things. The
useful is a side effect of science.

The spark of human intelligence is the
ability to look beyond the utilitarian,
to ponder the meaning, structure, and
causation of the natural world, even
if the answers don't increase profits.
This is what seperates man from maggots.

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