Posts tagged ‘truth’

Simplify simplification

May 18th, 2007

A few days ago, I was skimming through thousands of pictures looking for eyes, preferably eyes of a strong tree out of a dream come true, but that’s another story. Siona von Dijk In my breaks, I did some day-to-day work like hopping over, actually scurrying over, to Dave Pollard (who we had already referred to) reading his daily blog on why we have not yet saved the world. So much for the history. Recently, Dave was asking for advice in seven words or less. His list, whether I like it or not, made me add our blogs starting credo Stop making sense to the list of comments and further advice. But only when I checked back I found the one advice (to love, to remember, to be and trust)


Added by Siona van Dijk. Or in my mother’s words: Schnaufn nid vagessn (Austrian dialect for “Don’t forget to breathe”). Thus, in a daring attempt to get the feel of an eyes’ glimpse of the air she is breathing, I scurried over to Siona’s profile where she writes

I trust uncertainty, don’t care for irony, and believe that paradox is a profound measure of truth.
Siona van Dijk

Paradoxes only! Can you see the tree? On the path from trust to truth and back, the very grounds for liars to let trees flourish (trees with leaves of words) what more could we ask for? — Coffee! Of course, yes, but that’s again another story (though the same as above). — Simplification? — This is going to be complicated.

However, in the list of Siona’s bookmarks I found a link leading us to a list of Ten Commandments for a Simpler Way of Life (maybe we should make a list of lists, Juliet, please) where one can find (further) advices such as

II. You shall laugh on a daily basis.
VII. You shall turn off your technology.
VIII. You shall be spontaneous.
X. You shall learn what is ‘enough’.
Ririan, 2007-04-05

An interesting list of commandments as only no liars could ever compile. A liar, though, cannot resist to add: For to lead a simple life You shall simplify simplification!

Sure, we “believe that all this could very well be wrong” (Siona van Dijk).

Having found the eyes, I’ll now go and look for roots.

But before I gonna move on, one more advice from yours truly rattus rattus: Answer for yourself what advice means to you.

Bath in truth

April 2nd, 2007

Once upon a time, I asked a woman, who visited me, whether she would like to take a bath. Promptly, she asked me whether I offer my bathtub to all women. I said yes.

She, then, backed away from me and unmistakably signaled me that this answer was wrong. But, it wasn’t. Though, since then, and because I am such an honest liar I have to offer my bathtub to every woman.

Excuse me, but if you are a woman (preferably 21 or older) may I offer you to take a bath at my place?

All is truth

February 15th, 2007

O me, man of slack faith so long!
Standing aloof—denying portions so long;
Only aware to-day of compact, all-diffused truth;
Discovering to-day there is no lie, or form of lie, and can be none, but grows as inevitably upon itself as the truth does upon itself,
Or as any law of the earth, or any natural production of the earth does

(This is curious, and may not be realized immediately—But it must be realized;
I feel in myself that I represent falsehoods equally with the rest,
And that the universe does.)

Where has fail’d a perfect return, indifferent of lies or the truth?
Is it upon the ground, or in water or fire? or in the spirit of man? or in the meat and blood?
Meditating among liars, and retreating sternly into myself, I see that there are really no liars or lies after all,
And that nothing fails its perfect return—And that what are called lies are perfect returns,
And that each thing exactly represents itself, and what has preceded it,
And that the truth includes all, and is compact, just as much as space is compact,
And that there is no flaw or vacuum in the amount of the truth—but that all is truth without exception;
And henceforth I will go celebrate anything I see or am,
And sing and laugh, and deny nothing.

Walt Whitman, All is Truth. First published in ‘Leaves of Grass’ 1855.

“So damn flexible”

January 10th, 2007

Here is a do-it-yourself reply to Cairo Otaibi‘s comment on Uncovered Truth:

[Credits to sigenori for the original animation; thanks to M.A. for the needed adaptations.]

Uncovered truth

December 10th, 2006

Detective Ratta uncovering the truth about truth

[Detective Ratta uncovering the truth that truth can cover up a lot.]

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!

Trapped in a feedback loop

March 3rd, 2006
a pair of scissors

See what science is named after.

Some say science is about truth. It is not about lies. What could science of science be? The truth about no lies? Says who? And do we know that it is the truth? Isn’t science also about questioning and analysis? Hence, what do we know about analysis of analysis?

Science “refers to a system of acquiring knowledge (…) aimed at finding out the truth” (Wikipedia, 2006-03-03). So we assume that knowledge is not truth. Probably that’s why to know is derived from “view”, as are “vision”, “witness” and the German “Wissen”. What do we know about knowledge?

No, not me. I am a liar.
I am trapped in a feedback loop. Please, don’t cut it!

Proving a true statement

February 16th, 2006

Have you ever tried to prove something indirectly? I am pretty sure you are doing it all day long. According to Wikipedia, see Wikipedia: Indirect Proof, it is as simple as the following:

If you have no water, you can’t make coffee.

This seems to be undoubtedly true to me, at least since adolescence. And it is because water is one of the essential ingredients for coffee.
Let us apply the nice rules of Indirect Proving to another statement that is true.

First the statement itself:
This statement is true.

Now, we assume that it is wrong (meaning “we have no water”). Then we will see if this leads to a contradiction (or something as unbearable as “being unable to make more coffee”).

If the statement is wrong, that is
“This statement is true” is wrong.
it follows that This statement is wrong. Because of this, saying the statement is wrong, it follows that The statement is true. But this contradicts our assumption.

Witty readers probably see that the proof did not precisely lead to a contradiction but to a paradox. Let me suggest that for a moment, we adopt this paradoxical situation here as being as futile as a contradiction.

Well, here is another example of an often heard, and certainly true statement right for you to try out what we have just learned:

I am saying the truth.

. . .