Mathematical Platonism: A Comedy

Mathematical Platonism holds that mathematical forms – equations, geometric forms, measurable relationships – are somehow embedded into the fabric of the universe, and are ‘discovered’ rather than invented by human minds.

From my perspective, humans respond to challenges of experience. However, within a given condition of experience, the range of possible responses is limited. In differing cultures, where similar conditions of experience apply, the resulting responses can also be expected to be similar. The precise responses and their precise consequences generate new conditions to be responded to – but again only within a range. So while the developments we find in differing cultures can oft end up being very different, they can also end up being very similar, and the trajectories of these developments can be traced backward, revealing their histories. These histories produce the truths we find in these cultures, and the facts that have been agreed upon within them. As these facts and the truths concerning them prove reliable, they are sustained until they don’t, at which point each culture will generate new responses that prove more reliable.

Since, again, the range of these responses within any given set of conditions is actually limited by the history of their development, we can expect differing cultures with similar sets of conditions to recognize a similar set of facts and truths in each other when they at last make contact. That’s when history really gets interesting, as the cultures attempt to come into concordance, or instead come into conflict – but, interestingly, in either case, partly what follows is that the two cultures begin borrowing from each other facts, truths, and possible responses to given challenges. ‘Universal’ truths, are simply those that all cultures have found equally reliable over time.

This is true about mathematical forms as well, the most resilient truths we develop in response to our experiences.  I don’t mean that maths are reducible to the empirical; our experiences include reading, social interatction, professional demands, etc., many of which will require continued development of previous inventions.  However, there’s no doubt that a great deal of practical mathematics have proven considerably reliable over the years.  Whereas, on the contrary, I find useless Platonic assertions that two-dimensional triangles or the formula ‘A = Π * r * r’   simply float around in space, waiting to be discovered.

So, in considering this issue, I came up with a little dialogue, concerning two friends trying to find – that is, discover – the mathematical rules for chess (since the Platonic position is that these rules, as they involve measurable trajectories, effectively comprise a mathematical form, and hence were discovered rather than invented).

Bob: Tom, I need some help here; I’m trying to find something, but it will require two participants.
Tom: Sure, what are we looking for.
B.: Well, it’s a kind of game. It has pieces named after court positions in a medieval castle.
T.: How do you know this?
B.: I reasoned it through, using the dialectic process as demonstrated in Plato’s dialogues. I asked myself, what is the good to be found in playing a game? And it occurred to me, that the good was best realized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, the game would need to be a miniaturization of Medieval courts and the contests held in them.
T.: Okay, fine, then let’s start with research into the history of the Middle Ages –
B.: No, no, history has nothing to do with this. That would mean that humans brought forth such a game through trial and error. We’re looking for the game as it existed prior to any human involvement.
T.: Well, why would there be anything like a game unless humans were involved in it?
B.: Because its a form; as a form, it is pure and inviolate by human interest.
T.: Then what’s the point in finding this game? Aren’t we interested in playing it?
B.: No, I want to find the form! Playing the game is irrelevant.
T.: I don’t see it, but where do you want to start.
B.: In the Middle Ages, they thought the world was flat; we’ll start with a flat surface.
T.: Fine, how about this skillet.
B.: But it must be such that pieces can move across it in an orderly fashion.
T.: All right, let’s try a highway; but not the 490 at rush hour….
B. But these orderly moves must follow a perpendicular or diagonal pattern; or they can jump part way forward and then to the side.
T.: You’re just making this up as you go along.
B.: No! The eternally true game must have pieces moving in a perpendicular, a diagonal, or a jump forward and laterally.
T.: Why not a circle?
B.: Circles are dangerous; they almost look like vaginas. We’re looking for the morally perfect game to play.
T.: Then maybe it’s some sort of building with an elevator that goes both up and sideways.
B.: No, it’s flat, I tell you… aha! a board is flat!
T.: So is a pancake.
B.: But a rectangular board allows perpendicular moves, straight linear moves, diagonal moves, and even jumping moves –
T.: It also allows circular moves.
B.: Shut your dirty mouth! At least now we know what we’re looking for. Come on, help me find it. (begins rummaging through a trash can.) Here it is, I’ve discovered it!
T.: What, that old box marked “chess?”
B.: It’s inside. It’s always inside, if you look for it.
T.: My kid brother threw that out yesterday. He invented a new game called ‘shmess’ which he says is far more interesting. Pieces can move in circles in that one!.
B,: (Pause.) I don’t want to play this game anymore. Can you help me discover the Higgs Boson?
T.: Is that anywhere near the bathroom? I gotta go….

Bob wants a “Truth” and Tom wants to play a game. Why is there any game unless humans wish to play it?

A mathematical form comes into use in one culture, and then years later again in a completely other culture;  assuming the form true, did it become true twice through invention?  Yes.  This is one of the unfortunate truths about truth: it can be invented multiple times.  That is precisely what history tells us.

So, Bob wants to validate certain ideas from history, while rejecting the history of those ideas. You can’t have it both ways. Either there is a history of ideas, in which humans participated to the extent of invention, or history is irrelevant, and you lose even “discovery.” The Higgs Boson, on the other hand, gets ‘discovered,’ because there is an hypothesis based on theory which is itself based on previous observations and validated theory, experimentation, observation, etc. In other words, a history of adapting thought to experience.  (No one doubts that there is a certain particle that seems to function in a certain way. But there is no Higgs Boson without a history of research in our effort to conceptualize a universe in which such is possible, and to bump into it, so to speak, using our invented instrumentation, and to name it, all to our own purposes.)

Plato was wrong, largely because he had no sense of history. Beyond the poetry of his dialogues (which has undoubted force), what was most interesting in his philosophy had to be corrected and systematized by Aristotle, who understood history; the practical value of education; the differences between cultures; and the weight of differing opinions. Perhaps we should call philosophy “Footnotes to Aristotle.”

But I will leave it to the readers here whether they are willing to grapple with a history of human invention in response to the challenges of experiences, however difficult that may seem; or whether they prefer chasing immaterial objects for which we can find no evidence beyond the ideas we ourselves produce.

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Trump (almost) in the news

Because Donald Trump had such a terrible time in the news this week, certain stories concerning him were relegated to the back pages.  Only here, where truthiness is next to godlessness, will you find the Trump news that really mattered this week:

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TRUMP ADMITS IT: “I SUCK HORSE DONG.”

FN: Somewhere on a ranch in Kentucky, 8/2/16, 5pm EST: Attending an orgy sponsored by Sexy Evangelical Ministries, Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, admitted that he had a fetish for fellating equestrian male organs of generation. “They’re huge! My mouth is huge! We made the deal!” he proclaimed, explaining why he would not be directly participating in the orgy, as his services were needed in the barn. He sent his wife Melania as representative instead – at a $3,000 per partner fee.

UPDATE 5am: Orgy organizers report that, as the orgy at last wound down, Melania’s performance had raised $9,000 for the Trump campaign, while an exhausted candidate was last seen running over a hill attempting to escape an estimated 50 stallions wanting more.

This has been a Fakes News report: fair, unbiased, and free of fact.

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TRUMP ADOPTED, MAY HAVE MURDERED REAL MOM

FN: Butthole, Pennsylvania, 8/3/16, 2pm: At a press conference earlier today, an emotional Donald J. Trump, Republican candidate for President, announced that he had recently discovered that he had been adopted. He also confessed that this discovery was made by New Jersey police investigating his alleged murder of his birth mother, Illyanka Stinkoff, an illegal immigrant from Russia, who was employed as Trump’s maid when, it is said, he flew into a rage at her remarking his small hands. Witnesses say he then stabbed her multiple times with a pen-knife, the only knife small enough for him to grasp properly. It is further alleged that Chris Christy, governor of Virginia at the time, helped secret the body to an as yet undisclosed dumpster.

Trump was boastful of his adoption by the elder Trumps. “I mean, how could you blame them? One look at me, even as a baby, y’know, you can tell how smart, how articulated, how strong I’ve become.” As to his birth mother, he expressed disappointment: “Look, she was a loser. She couldn’t make money so she sold me. Am I for sale? For sure! But my price is well above rubies – I know, I own a jewelry store in Canarsie! Alright it went bankrupt – but not because of the rubies!” Without denying guilt in his mother’s murder, Trump further noted: “Most of us get an urge to commit the mom-death thing, we all know that. I mean especially if she’s Mexican or Muslim, who’s to blame for that? The Mom of course! Didn’t she have a choice to abort? Coat-hangers are everywhere!” Trump also reminded the handful of reporters he’d allowed in the room that his supporters knew he was the “best friend” of a lot of women everywhere, and would not care much whether he had murdered one or not. “They want America great again and only me can do that!”

Later, at the Butthole White Supremacist Club for a photo-op, Trump announced he would sue the Police Department of Atlantic City for even suggesting that he may have committed the crime, adding, “Look, I’m not adopted, I never said I was. I don’t know who this maid was, I never met her.” He then went on with a brief speech declaring that, unlike many “liberal demagogues like Mitt Romney,” he had no prejudice against White Supremacists and would fight discriminatory practices against them, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

This has been a Fakes News report: fair, unbiased, and free of fact.

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TRUMP EATS DOG FECES AT KENNEL CONVENTION

FN: Shittus, New Jersey, 8/4/16, 3pm: Attending the convention of the American Puppy Mill Kennel Owners, Donald J. Trump, Republican candidate for President, told supporters that he was inspired by the plight of encaged canines to offer a new line of snack sausage, made from “recycled dog food.” After they eat it, it comes out no worse for wear.” He bent behind a defecating Great Dane , scooped the source material for his new product and took a bite. “Hey, can’t tell the difference between this and a taco, anyway!” He then pointed out that since dogs poop freely, expenses for production of the new snack would be relatively low. “Except of course for my start-up fee and royalties. But don’t worry, sales will be so huge, this wouldn’t be missed.” Concerning rumors that Trump was in negotiations with Vladimir Putin over possible Russian manufacture of the new snack, Trump shouted, “Now that’s a vicious charge, as I have never even spoken with Putin, and I told Vlad that myself! Besides, if any peoples know how to eat dog doo its Russians. It’s healthier than caviar!”

This has been a Fakes News report: fair, unbiased, and free of fact.

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TRUMP WHIPS REPUBLICANS INTO LINE

FN: Bleeding Sore, Wyoming, 8/5/16, Darkest Hour of the Night: At a major gathering of Republican Party leaders, Donald J. Trump, candidate for the presidency, assured his followers that the Party was never more united than in supporting his campaign. “Even that puny little four-eyed mole Paul Ryan likes me. And Mitch McConnell? That sad fat bag of dung? He’s behind me 110%! I know, because I threatened to support him in his next run for office, and he buckled like the lilly-livered pig he is! Republicans all love me! Even those who say, ‘nah, I’ll never back Trump,’ they’re just lying so they can get re-elected, I understand that – I understand everything! When the people sweep me into office, there’ll be hell to pay for all involved! But you’ll still be able to buy my book, written by that corrupt ghost-writer I’m suing, at 50% mark-up. Autographed copies, signed by the professional Trump-impersonator I’ve hired at minimum wage, will cost an additional thousand bucks.” He then produced a whip and began flailing the hides off the Republican leaders, admonishing them: “Say it loud! We love Trump, we love Trump!” Soon the depurate wailing of the Party elite could be heard through the night: “Oh please god, stop! We love -ow, agony! – We love Trump, We yieeeeee, nooo! – We love Trump!” But as dawn approached, the wretched squealing slowly faded into groans as the dying gave up their last gasp of air…. Trump is scheduled to address the Society for Suicidal Masochists later today.

This has been a Fakes News report: fair, unbiased, and free of fact.

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TRUMP DECLARES VICTORY, SAYS “ELECTION NO LONGER NEEDED”

FN: Not Washington DC, Washington, 8/6/16, 1pm: Republican candidate for president, Donald J. Trump held a press conference in an office he had especially built for the occasion. “Look around you, gentlemen – and you girls too, if you’re not having PMS. The shape of the office – it’s huge, it’s white, but most importantly – it’s oval – that’s right, it’s my Oval Office! I am now the President of the United States. We all know the people love me – even the towel-heads, the darkies, the kikes, the spics, the chinks – they all love me – Everybody loves me, we all know that. So I think it’s fair to say that an election in November would be a waste of time. I am hereby declaring myself the winner! We don’t need all the legal rigmarole with the courts to get this deal done! All we need is for lyin’ Hillary to throw in the towel. So I’m going to make her a deal – a hundred million? maybe two hundred? And a hotel chain under her name – the Hillary Hiltons! We can get this done, we really can!” At this point, the conference was interrupted when the contractor hired to build the office, undocumented alien Juan Vortex, politely asked for his wages. Trump exploded in what can only be called a rage: “You raping, drug-peddling, murdering Muslim! Get outta here before I have Manafort punch you down.” Turning to the reporters in his audience, he went on, “See what I gotta deal with! The ingratitude! And after I had given him the privilege to work for me. People need to remember who’s boss around here.”

The Clinton campaign refused comment, although an anonymous insider admitted that Clinton remarked that she wouldn’t sleep in any hotel with her name on it.

This has been a Fakes News report: fair, unbiased, and free of fact.


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Things one can do with “Jesus-on-a-stick” (TM)

Christmas season approaches – that means it’s time once again to buy Jesus-on-a-stick (TM)!

This is available in the Deluxe model (actual wood), the All Purpose model (pressed board), and of course the Economy model (plastic) – although remember, if you choose the Economy model, do not burn it! Poisonous gas may be released.

Jesus-on-a-stick – Impress your friends and co-workers! A great gift for anyone at Christmas.

Christmas – the time of giving utterly useless baubles meant to indicate how much excess wealth you have to throw away – that’s right, rub the noses of your peers in how much you can waste, making them feel insignificant because they can’t give useless gifts as expensive as your own! (Only don’t try this with your boss, buy him something useful like a pen….)

This being Christmas, we also have – Baby-Jesus-in-a-bale-of-hay! Wow! Now, the Deluxe version will burn brightly all night! and into the flames you can toss a couple Hail Maries – both Mom and the whore who, you know, Jesus never slept with (ha ha!), Magdalene –

Jesus-on-a-stick will prove you are one with 42% of the population that believes the earth is only 6000 years old, and will immediately get you entry into the next Republican convention! A signed copy of a photograph of Ben Carson comes with the first 1000 copies sold (although admittedly these are signed by Jeb Bush…).

Be a real American! Not the Black, or Hispanic, or Asian, or Female, or Arab Americans (and gays are straight out!) who form the majority of a population that you, as a white man, still demand dominance over. After all – do any of them own a Jesus-on-a-stick – doubtful!

So, ok, what can you do with your Jesus-on-a-stick?

You unwrap it,; you stare at it in admiration, in awe, in something like disgust. Then you – set it on fire! because what good is having a martyr you can’t consign to the flames? If he burns – he’s a witch! A fair cop, I say! (What are miracles but black magic given the Almighty’s approval?)

But then also, let’s get creative –

Anal itch? – scratch it with the Jesus-on-a-stick! Goes up all the way!

Go ahead and have a taste – its the “Body and Blood,” remember – nutriciousdelicious; it satisfies!

Haven’t beaten your kid lately? Jesus-on-a-stick provides disciplinary satisfaction every time!

Attach it to your penis (you’re a white MAN, right?) and jerk it – masturbatory orgasms shoot ever further with Jesus-on-a-stick!

Attach it to the back of your car – better than any bumper-sticker announcing you are just as intelligent as anyone hoping to be ‘beamed up by the Lord!’

Or just let it sing in the wind and attract the winged insects – swat them as they lick the blood of christ! No better fly paper anywhere!

Threaten your neighbor with Jesus-on-a-stick! See how fast he returns your borrowed lawn-mower, or that cup of sugar he tagged in order to cheat Lent last Easter. (Oh, yeah, those dam’ diabetics will do anything to get their sugar hit -!)

Jesus-on-a-stick keeps all Christians as dishonest as their nonsense religion wants them to be! So go ahead – use Jesus-on-a-stick in every way imaginable! Even stab your faithless wife through the heart with it! The Old Testament demands she should die, remember – and who are you to question the righteousness of the Lord?

Dead people make great christians! Always remember to plant a Jesus-on-a-stick in the dirt above a loved one! It may actually convince someone that your late beloved believed in something once. Just don’t forget to pay the burial costs (with tax), or we will have to report you.

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Jesus-on-a-stick – Registered TradeMark and copyright Church o’ Rome productions, Trenton, New Jersey.

Everything or nothing blog (Conspiracy Theory 1)

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We blog because we must, because if we don’t, we don’t.  Why not?  Be honest!  Be joyful! Be real!  Whatever that means.  OR be nothing at all.  So, accordingly, I have decided, for the nonce, to not pretend being a somewhat skeptical inquirer into the nature of things, and instead accept my absolute certainty concerning everything.*  Really, it is patently absurd to presume not to know practically everything there is to know, when the fate of the entire planet, and the many human species inhabiting it, depend upon my keen insights into the basic ground of absolute being. So pay attention people, and heed the TRUTH. This theory (which is mine, which is a theory that I have) is not just a Theory of Everything, this is the FACT OF EVERYTHING.

Being: Being is all that is being and there isn’t anything that is not being, except those things that aren’t. Now you know.

And this Being is made up, not of sub-atomic particles or energy fields, but strings – shoe strings from another universe – the fourth from the left as you enter the 9th dimension. Everything that is has been worn on the foot of an nth-dimensional alien who suffers from mycotic toe-nails. It is the fungi spores in these second-hand shoe-laces that finally gave rise to life on favorable planets in our own universe. Yes, now we know the truth about life – it is fungus. This intelligent fungus called human must therefore be under an illusion, imagining itself some form of mammal with consciousness.

Indeed, what is consciousness? Tiny little fleas with flashlights have burrowed deep into our fungus-gray-matter and are shining flashlights on our neurons. They have hypnotized us to respond to stimuli in a pseudo-mammalian way – salivating every time we see a fast-food commercial, and getting randy about the letter “L” – Limburger, lightning, luminosity, lexicon, laundromat – feel the tingling in your groin? that’s not lollypops, that’s the letter “L” – yes, Sesame Street reveals the secret code – brought to you by the letter “L” – WAKE UP, FUNGI!

So now I must solve all the problems our presumed humanity faces – but isn’t it obvious? WE MUST EAT EACH OTHER!

Edible others are the only Other we need to know, as our epistemologically savvy taste-buds warrant!

POWER TO THE ‘SHROOMS! We must organize ourselves into giant lunch-baskets and dive in! Eat hearty and party! do be a glutton – it’s what you always wanted, admit it – that nice succulent buttock you’ve been eying – that’s not lust you’re feeling, it’s hunger – so get started – take a bite!

Eventually, there will only be two people left in the whole world – and one will eat the other – then there will be peace.

SOLIPSISM = ONTOLOGY! PHYLOGENY = ONTOGENY! BOTANY = HYPNOTISM! 100 SHACKLES = A DOLLAR! **

There’s the manifesto. The logic of it is quite plain – it is digitally encoded – dit-dit-dit-dat-dit-dat – you can listen to it on the magic radio your mother bought for you that horrible Christmas when Doctor Who regenerated into Peter Capaldi and started swearing foul-mouthed at the Impossible Girl. (You remember that because I told you it would happen!) But enactment of this great project will require stamina. We must begin training now! Send me all your money and I will write the book explaining how. ***
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* This is also me at last revealing myself as the fount of all wisdom – and then some. Upon my receipt of all your cash, You will become my faithful follower – you will laud every word I say – when the book is published, be sure to pour thousands of words of praise onto Amazon reviews and blog comments everywhere. Chastise all who disagree! You were born free – but now I have released you from that terror and you must support me at every turn. give up the will to live – prepare to be eaten!

** See: http://www.utterly_imaginary_monetary_systems.dead-link.com/

*** If you have no money, body parts will do. I’m hungry.

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COMMENT:

ejwinner says: Sir: Follow you? I’d rather drink the Bob Jones kool-aid. What is this monstrous fantasy you think you “know?” It flies in the face of everything science has taught us in the past 400 years.

Let’s analyze the ‘logic’ of it: ‘IF dit-dit-dit-dat-dit-dat, THEN we are all really fungi.’ Does this make any sense at all?

I’ve read saner ‘manifestos’ written by lizard-alien conspiracy theorists.

I think you are just trying to develop an esoteric excuse for your recent penchant for cannibalism. Look, you’re addicted. Give it up. Just get into rehab; there’s no shame following a twelve step program. “Just for today, I will not eat my little sister.” Oops, I forgot, you already et her. And they say you have no taste for family values….

Frankly, I suspect you are engaged in a giant scam, and I will have no part of it.

– REPLY:

Hi ejwinner,

you slimy bucket of shit! Insanity is what comes out of your mouth after you drink piss while eating live worms! The drivel you puke up as commentary here reminds me of your mother’s farts – while I was boffing her! If you had any sense of decency you would dunk your head into a pool of toxic waste and keep it their until you drown, you pedanditic piece of fried fungus-doo!

Cheers!

– – REPLY REPLY:

ejwinner says: Sir, have no sense of decency? I have tried to engage you in civilized debate, simply reminding you that sucking on blood is a major source of infection of the brain, and offering you suggestions about seeking help for such urges. You needn’t be contentious, this is simply a matter of polite conversation between equal intellects.

– – – REPLY REPLY REPLY:

Hi ejwinner:

You couldn’t be equal with my butt-hairs! You can take your fucking pretentious offers of help and shove them up your ass – one by one, each wrapped in sand-paper! I don’t need help, I need money – oh, and virgins – the consumable kind – baked in a pie, like the 21 blackbirds, only with mushroom gravy!

Cheers!

– – – – REPLY REPLY REPLY REPLY:

ejwinner says: Sir; it is quite clear that intelligent conversation is not to be had on your blog. I will leave you to your frankly disturbed fantasies, and seek enlightenment elsewhere. I only hope you get the help you need, or get arrested, whichever would be in the best interests of the community.

– – – – – REPLY REPLY REPLY REPLY REPLY:

Hi ejwinner:

Good riddance, get outa here, we don’t need mudfucking syphilitic dipshit bastards like you in MY community of disciples, followers, sycophants, and lichen! I can use help, alright – a helping of virgin’s menstrual blood – with salt and garlic powder, yum yum!

Cheers!

– REPLY:

AnonymousUserWithAmusingPseudonym says: Ejwinner, so when you say, “It flies in the face of everything science has taught us in the past 400 years,” I take it you mean that you hate science? Please explain where I am wrong; but Africans were brought here as slaves 400 years ago, so clearly the time-line indicates a bias. Have you evidence otherwise? Please link to sources.

OP, I couldn’t agree with you more. My check is in the mail. If it bounces, please accept my left leg.

Thanks for graciously reading my insignificant comment on your most excellent blog!

– – REPLY REPLY:

Hi AnonymousUserWithAmusingPseudonym:

BFF – OMG! WTF? BTW, OHOH, LMAO!

Cheers!