Posts tagged ‘refers to’

Me, a dichoTomizer

April 26th, 2007

dichoTomizer design

So, someone and I have started our own T-shirt shop contradicTshirts. The above design is one of our first genuine designs. I am planning to feature some rattus rattus’ blog T-shirts, of course.
Watch out! And meanwhile, happy dichotomizing.

Who is fooling who

April 16th, 2007

If someone tells you, about whatever you had in mind, that it might just be your body making a fool of you, deceiving you, enslaving your mind,
this is not obviously a lie but a lie nonetheless.

Real as a tiger could be

March 15th, 2007

We have already quoted Calvin & Hobbes here several times. In Wikipedia’s entry on Calvin & Hobbes it says:

Calvin sees Hobbes a different way (alive), while other characters see him as something else (a stuffed animal).
Wikipedia, 2007-03-15

In fact, there is a whole article on its own about Hobbes including a discussion of his reality, also quoting creator Bill Watterson:

When Hobbes is a stuffed toy in one panel and alive in the next, I’m juxtaposing the “grown-up” version of reality with Calvin’s version, and inviting the reader to decide which is truer.
— Bill Watterson, as cited in Wikipedia, 2007-03-15

I remember having discussed this issue with friends. Apparently, many (that is most if not all of my friends) see Hobbes as a stuffed animal. They think that Hobbes as a real tiger exists only in Calvin’s imaginations.
Whereas, I think that Hobbes is real as a tiger could be, and it is only other’s imagination where Hobbes is a stuffed animal.

Though, this is imaginary, of course.

Perception of order

February 7th, 2007

At several occasions, Heinz von Foerster presented a numerical sequence which, in a modesty, I shall call “Heinz von Foerster’s sequence”. Given the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 … up to 9 how would you complete the following ordered sequence:

8 — 5 — 4 — 9 — 1 — …

If you prefer to read about the riddle in detail have a look into Heinz von Foerster’s article “Perception of the future and the future of perception” published in Instructional Science 1 (1972) 2: p31-43.

Here is a variant of “Heinz von Foerster’s sequence”, again for numbers 0 to 9:

8 — 3 — 1 — 5 — 9 — …

A “funny game of constructivism”

January 20th, 2007

Andreas Zeuch referred to rattus rattus’ blog as a “funny game of constructivism”, though up until this very entry neither the word constructivism nor construct appeared anywhere in this blog (except for 2 obscure references of construction).

Curiously enough, this is some hint if you consider the fact that many people who by others are referred to as being constructivists never did so themselves. This applies to me as well as to this blog. I shall always happily refer to myself as a liar.

Then again, I do not know what Zeuch means by constructivism. In fact, I cannot know what goes on in Zeuch’s head at all, can I? Heck, I have no idea of what goes on in my own head. Does Zeuch? — Anyway, this not-knowing is part of (radical) constructivism according to Ernst von Glasersfeld who should know (1).

Even if I wanted to avoid using the label constructivism I would have a hard time letting you know. Though, if there is constructivism then it doesn’t matter anyhow. Or so, many think (as if it does matter if it doesn’t).

So, what is constructivism? — It’s a lie! Constructivism is the lie that makes understanding feasible. And because of this, I shall happily explain to you constructivism. Watch out!


1) Ernst von Glasersfeld: “We Can Never Know What Goes On In Somebody Else’s Head”: Ernst Von Glasersfeld On Truth And Viability, Language And Knowledge, And The Premises Of Constructivist Education; An interview conducted by B. Pörksen. Cybernetics and Systems 35 (2004) 4: 379-398.

The wind is blowin’

January 3rd, 2007

In his song Blowin’ in the Wind Bob Dylan answers a wonderful bunch of big questions with his famous lyrics

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

The whole life is a pretty windy season. But until today, the answer has not been blown off.

World Jump Day results

December 1st, 2006

We featured the World Jump Day website earlier. The site now presents the incredible results caused by joint efforts of millions of people who took part in the synchronous world-wide jumping in order to stop global warming. A truly trustworthy illustration of human powers.

Weathermen of knowledge

November 11th, 2006

I have just attended a mini-conference on truth and knowledge, organized by Manfred Füllsack. Well, you know, it doesn’t take a bunch of acknowledged experts to make you know what you do not know, but then it certainly helps in some way or other.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
— Bob Dylan

In fact, I am still pondering over what I have actually been listening to. When someone articulates the need to distinguish tacit and articulated knowledge is this distinction nevertheless articulated, or is it meant to provoke the question which particular tacit knowledge it takes to draw the distinction?

Or, have I simply missed the speakers blink their Epimenidic eyes?

When Herbert Hrachovec compared the truth of knowledge with the expiry date of food might it be that the truth of his comparison had already expired at the time it has reached the audience? Thomas Auinger said this is not an issue of relativism. Quoting him: “Hier gibt es kein Relativierungsproblem.” Besides me wondering about what he was relating to, he might have been right about it if we consider the fact that the word “Relativierungsproblem” pretty much only came into existence when he used it. Or, was Herbert Hrachovec right when Thomas Auinger’s truth expired?

Of course, it’s all a question of definitions, isn’t it? (I love it!)
We have covered disfinism earlier here: The pure disfinism (of no definitions) and the eclectic disfinism (of a great many definitions). I should further extend the concept of disfinism by implicit disfinism.

Implicit disfinism is the science (or art — if you want — unless you define it) of discussing theories which try to explain the nature and scope of specific notions by use of the notions themselves without ever defining them. The little conference serves as a particularly nice example where several theories of epistemology (that’s theories of theories of knowledge) have been debated including plenty of references to truth and knowledge, shamelessly avoiding their definitions.

Thanks, guys!