RE: [msal-politics] Re: CDR: [psychohistory] What can a Society Do?

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 23:24:24 MDT

> But a social system isn't (just) a 'system of rules'. It also has beliefs
> and various cause-effect and dependency issues related to environment and
> biology that cause Godel's to be inapplicable. The fact that it consists
> of anything(!) more than a system of rules is enough to invalidate
> Godel's. Godel's simply isn't applicable to a broad enough set of
> examples. Though Godel's may keep you from proving it).

Pardon my ignorance, but I would like to know, in a clear, consise language, about the above examples that can constitute "more than a set ot rules".

Think of it: Does the laws of science really exist in the real world, or do they exist only in our heads? Put it in another manner: Do you really see this eco-system diagram when we make a stroll in the woods? Do you see mathematical equations spouting out of your car engines?

Notes: More details explaining this and more on Godel's Theorem in another (now half-completed) non-political posting.

> The reality is
> that the concept of 'social system' is entirely too broad for the conept
> of 'self-consistent language' to be applied. Where did the requirement for
> 'consistency' in a social setting come from in the first place? And what
> does 'consistency' actually mean in that context?

Godel's Theorem applies to all systems, including illogical (as in inconsistent) ones, except itself (so it has incompleteness too). If you insist, I hope you can show me some examples.

> A naive interpretation
> might be that they always make decisions the same way or perhaps the same
> selection. Either will fail because it won't respond to changes in the
> environment. Clearly in conflict with the premise of being 'consistent'.

Yes, for a same set of situation with perfect information, a rational person will always choose the best choice (if it exists). (Now, I know we don't get perfect information easily, but I shall handle this seperate issue in another post, or in the paper itself, not here.) However, I don't quite understand how always choosing the best choice has anything to do with inconsistency?

You may call a simplified assumption naive, but then, a lot of other people start with "naive" assumptions that eventually make full-blown theories. Einstein, for example, had this assumption that light travels at a constant speed no matter at what speed you observe it, and this definitely seems "naive" also because it has goes against "common sense".

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