jbocre: Bear goo

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Bear goo has become an iconic phrase in connection with xorlo. The background of it is that there is no consensus on whether or not lo cribe can refer to bear goo. Arguments for both sides have been brought forth, and it tends to come down to philosophy. It also turns out that the question of bear goo is a broader one than xorlo. Below is a casual conversation about bear goo, which was held at the end of July 2013 on the #lojban IRC channel on freenode.

Day 1

selpa'i Btw, I would like to point out that the reason I kept saying "bear goo aside" when we were talking about xorlo was because I knew you were strongly opposed to the idea and I didn't want the discussion to revolve around something I felt was not central to the current point under discussion, and not because I thought bear goo was unthinkable.
doi la latro'a :)
Ilmen just for refreshing my memories, what is the difference (now) between PA broda and lo PA broda?
selpa'i pa da poi ke'a broda vs zo'e noi broda gi'e zilkancu li PA lo broda
Ilmen .i je'e .ui ki'e la selpa'i
latro'a also, that zilkancu equation is a slight problem
since if you count off by units of the whole lo broda ball, you will always get 1
selpa'i Surely, in a ready-made universe, bear goo must seem terrifying.
latro'a that is, making that equation makes sense requires a little bit of circularity, in artificially defining zilkancu to be distributive in its 3rd argument
I still think bear goo is a dumb idea in the first place, but again, xorlo comes down to what zo'e is and what broda'ing means, not really what lo means
if people come to a consensus that bear goo meets the definition of cribe, then the fact that it doesn't meet the definition of "bear" is superfluous
the difference is that I completely reject that "anything to do with bears" i.e. zo'e ne lo ka cribe matches lo cribe
selpa'i I understand. You view the universe as a set of predefined individuals, simply put. Not everyone does that, but it's common in math and classical logic.
latro'a that's orthogonal to what I just said
it's also a bit deceptive; I wouldn't say it's true or false, however
selpa'i Not really. You want to define a priori all the things that cribe and give them a single type.
I think.
latro'a not at all
this is simpler than that: I just don't think bear goo cribes
there's no a priori universal classification of cribe here
I just never thought bear goo actually cribe'd, and that it was silly to say it did
selpa'i There is, but it might be subtle. You're saying the node that cribe is on ends at bear goo.
latro'a there are still valid questions about whether things do: does a bear corpse cribe? how long after death does it stay that way?
again, no
there's a gray area
bear goo is just way past it
selpa'i But it sounds like you want to define a priori how far cribe can go in either direction, and have that be absolute for every time and place.
latro'a nope
selpa'i Not?
latro'a I just don't think bear goo is ever there
the gray area moves
bear goo is just beyond the boundary, and by a long shot
so it's never caught
really, we agree on more than you think when I say that "I reject bear goo"
selpa'i And you cannot imagine any context where it moves far enough to encapsulate goo?
latro'a indeed
that's not a damn bear, that's all there is to it
once you've turned it into goo, it came from a bear but isn't one
selpa'i But then the limits of your cribe are more rigid than mine, and obviously this goes for all broda.
latro'a I think the difference is fairly marginal
and again, bear goo doesn't really have anything to do with it, it doesn't change anything, it just changes the predicate
selpa'i I could construe a context where cribe is enough/appropriate to identify/distinguish between different animals having been in some place, or maybe when following a trail.
latro'a xorlo didn't have anything to do with it
then you're still not talking about a bear's physical presence at this moment
(actually, I'm not even really sure what you were going for with that comment)
selpa'i Let's say you and I are out in the jungle and following a trail.
We come across some goo.
We're trying to find Bear.
But there are other animals there too
So cribe or not.
latro'a if you said xu ta cribe I would say ki'a
not even ua nai
(there's unfortunately not a thing between, where you say you understand the syntax but don't understand the basic semantic assumptions)
selpa'i Okay. Now let's go the other direction, towards the root node.
Say in said jungle, there live different animals: bears, birds, and tigers (or whatever).
They are rare, so we see them rarely if at all. You and I take different paths through the jungle and meet again at the end of the day.
You ask me "how many animals did you see?"
I say: "Two. But I didn't see Tiger."
Maybe I could add "I came across a big flock of birds this noon"
I'd assume you to ki'a or something again.
Obviously, you say, I saw more than two animals if there was a flock of birds
latro'a correct
selpa'i But then!
latro'a that one would be more like na'i, however, as it isn't just "wtf?", it's "that's not consistent"
selpa'i Okay, but I think it makes sense to say I saw only two animals; the bear and the bird.
latro'a I disagree
selpa'i I know!
latro'a you saw two danlu gunma, one of which is a singleton
selpa'i That's why I am saying you are tending towards a ready-made universe.
latro'a not really
it's dynamic
there's fluctuation from context and so forth
selpa'i It doesn't seem very dynamic.
latro'a but there's also some things that are just blatant, like a flock of birds not being an animal
selpa'i To you it surely seems that way. :)
latro'a but this is just a question of definitions to me, still: "made up of animals" and "is an animal" are completely different predicates, surely
selpa'i I don't see where your view is dynamic.
latro'a suppose you have a live bear
it goes about its life, throughout its life it's a bear
it dies
immediately after it dies, I still identify it as a bear
selpa'i Dynamic to me would at least imply that i can call a flock of birds a single bird.
Since, at the beginning of our journey, went out to find three animals: bears, tigers, birds.
latro'a sorry, can I finish my example?
selpa'i Please.
latro'a was distracted for a sec
so the bear dies, and immediately after it dies, I identify it as a bear: it has bear teeth, bear claws, bear fur, bear shape, etc.
as it decays, it starts looking less like a bear
its fur falls out, its teeth and claws decay
eventually its skin is removed
much later, it is composted and incorporated into the soil
by the time it is in the soil, it is most definitely not a bear
but it is not determinate a priori when exactly it stopped being a bear
selpa'i But it's decided a priori that being in the soil is when it stops.
latro'a that is, there's a period when it was definitely a bear, extending throughout its life and through some of the aftermath of its death, and a period when it is definitely not a bear, long after its death, but there is a period where it is merely "bearish", and whether "bear" actually applies to it depends on other factors
I would say yes, but that has more to do with "bear" than anything else
selpa'i How exactly is bear goo different from a decayed, toothless, bald bear?
latro'a na'i; you haven't said how decayed it is, and even in the state of decay it's a gray, contextual area
selpa'i If a truck just ran over it, everyone who is present does know it's a bear.
latro'a you're asking me to make a universal statement about something that I was just saying wasn't universal
Visirus Was a bear
latro'a was a bear, correct
the transition needn't be gradual like the decay in the forest
selpa'i No, but you just said after its death it's still a bear?
latro'a it can be abrupt
it's still a bear because it's recognizable by its current features as such
selpa'i It's both dynamic and not dynamic at once it seems.
latro'a in different senses yes
Visirus It's a corpse, more logically
selpa'i Why are those features only of a visual nature?
latro'a not just visual
selpa'i A bear that got squashed and remains in the same place is recognizable by being in the same spot.
latro'a that's using external information
selpa'i Is this forbidden a priori?
latro'a that's a good question
I don't have a good answer, but my initial reaction is to say yes
Rnuomer since I started learning lojban I've been thinking everything in terms of verbs
latro'a put it this way, if you can't imagine walking up to the scene with no information whatsoever and saying ta [ca] cribe, it's not a bear
selpa'i The ready-made view is very strongly prevalent on IRC nowadays, that's why I imagine it's hard to see the other view.
latro'a I still don't like this "ready-made" description
Rnuomer so I'd think "Is the thing bear-ing?"
latro'a it's inaccurate
Rnuomer if so, it's a bear
latro'a I don't know what a better term is, but only part of the system is static
much of it is dynamic
because as I said, there's no definite transition point where it stopped being a bear
on the other hand, there is a region that is definitely bear and a region that is definitely non-bear
but the middle is gray, fluid, and indeterminate
selpa'i There are some absolute classifications you are applying on the universe and then use them once and for all, even if some things are dynamic, you have just shown that some things are not, for example the limits of cribe seem rather clear, and a flock of birds is never a bird.
latro'a the limits of cribe aren't
but yes, a flock of birds is never a bird
selpa'i How can you say that if lo cipni is Bird? Then you must forbid that interpretation, which is a very ready-madeist (sorry) thing to do.
latro'a hrm, I need to play with this issue
that last point is a good one
my internal resolution comes from my previous interpretation, which is more self-consistent than my current, somewhat wishy-washy one
which is to say that lo za'u cipni cu cipni is a distributive statement
but this is incompatible with the sruri lo dinju gi'e krixa perspective
(which I still don't actually like, but for more practical than philosophical reasons)
when I say "internal resolution", I mean the answer that manifests before I've had to compare perspectives etc.
Rnuomer I don't suppose my idea makes any sense =:x
latro'a it's between the two, Rnuomer
I prefer to think of selbri as noun-verbs, and consider the best brivla to have place structures that are neither truly nounish nor truly verbish
Rnuomer I think a selbri is more a verb tho
latro'a note that in lojban, the issue you're talking about wouldn't happen, selpa'i
you would've said mi viska lo cipni
not "I saw a bird"
and I wouldn't have concluded it was singular
where we perhaps run into trouble is mi viska lo pa cipni
if a flock of birds cipni, then lo pa cipni is ambiguous as to whether it is actually a flock or not
Rnuomer seeing as sumti are definitely nouns
latro'a despite seemingly being explicitly singular
sorta; in english nouns are themselves content-words
in lojban the only sumti that are content-words are KOhA
cf. "dog" vs. "gerku"
selpa'i Had a phone call.
Rnuomer and sumti with LE + selbri are "something that [selbri]s"
latro'a my notion of noun-verb is a bit vague; the point is that it has to do with both a state of being and a state of action
nounish selbri are about states of being; verbish selbri are about states of action; noun-verbish selbri build in both, describing what something is via what it does and vice versa
selpa'i <latro'a> note that in lojban, the issue you're talking about wouldn't happen, selpa'i -- I think it would. Consider mi viska [lo] ci danlu.
latro'a can we jump down a little?
because I think we already hit the heart of the issue
can lo pa cipni be a flock?
Rnuomer what is the difference between lo and loi then?
latro'a loi is explicitly non-distributive
lo is explicitly not explicit about distributivity
(nor about whether distributivity even makes sense, if there are no quantifiers present)
xalbo I don't feel comfortable with lo pa cipni being a flock. I'm ok with saying of a flock that it cipni. I have not yet reconciled this...
selpa'i Yes, lo pa cipni can be a flock, or conversely a flock can be a cipni pa mei
In my view.
latro'a that's philosophically robust but pragmatically awful, pe'i
Rnuomer well
is the flock birding together as one unit?
or do they each individually bird, as a mass?
a mass of birding things?
(shush me if I'm being dumb though =:x)
latro'a selpa'i's view is that the answer is "both", I think
selpa'i The fact that you consider it pragmatically awful when it is the cognitive/natural language approach is surprising.
latro'a my reason that it is pragmatically awful is that there is literally no way to make it explicit that you're talking about "one bird" in this framework
xalbo I think each of them birds separately, and so we have more than one thing that birds.
latro'a that's how I would think of it as well
lo za'u cipni cu cipni and lo pa cipni cu cipni are different types of statements to me
Rnuomer I think the issue is we haven't defined what birding is
latro'a that's what I was saying above with cribe: this is more about what the predicate means than what lo means
selpa'i One of the main issues is that this is about whether or not it can be defined.
latro'a true
there's also a question of local definition vs. global definition, if you claim that any definition at all works
Rnuomer I'd use like a checklist sort of thing
latro'a I don't claim global definition
but I do claim local definition
selpa'i In a ready-made universe, it would be. In the couterpart model, it would be considered impossible, because of an inifinity of nodes.
Rnuomer does it have feathers? check; does it chirp? check; etc.
oversimplifying but the idea is that
latro'a the issue is when it fails some attributes but clearly satisfies others
Rnuomer then I'd think there's a difference between typical & nessessary traits of a bird
latro'a similar to what I was describing, yeah
the problem is that you then have a rabbit hole
Rnuomer =:3
xalbo I tend toward prototype logic. I have in my head an image of the prototype "Bird", and things either fall into the empirical cluster in thingspace that triggers that concept, or they don't.
Things at the edges get iffy, and then I back up and start having to talk about what they actually are.
Rnuomer perhaps we can pick an easier example
latro'a we've written down three metaphors for the same thing
selpa'i I can introduce some other points, like "We all have the same Furby". (but let's hear out Rnuomer)
Rnuomer e.g. flying
I mean "what does it take to qualify as "flying""
we can clearly say that someone standing on the ground is in fact not flying
relative to the ground, anyway
xalbo .ie
Rnuomer so one of the conditions of "flying" would be uhh
not... standing on the ground?
selpa'i I child that's being held up into the air might exclaim "look mommy i'm flying!"
Rnuomer would he be, though?
latro'a (my view: lo verba cu lifri lo ka vofli kei gi'e nai vofli
but that's somewhat orthogonal to the general topic)
xalbo Yes, but I think that child would not be speaking truly. That same child might then say "Look, I'm a kitten" while scampering on all fours.
Rnuomer if the only thing in the checklist is "not on ground" then we'd call that flying
selpa'i And it will say "Look, I'm taller than you" while standing on a stage.
Rnuomer however, there are probably more things to test for for "flying"
latro'a interestingly
that one actually works in lojban
and not nearly as well in english
mi galtu je nai clani zmadu do
Rnuomer so you'd need enough items on the list to define what "flying" is
latro'a the problem with such a list is that the list elements have lists
xalbo I'd say that x flies iff x is in an atmosphere in a gravity well, and supported by the atmosphere and not by any solid object.
latro'a eventually something is primitive
xalbo Interestingly, vofli2 makes balloons not qualify, though my mental model of "flying" fits them.
Rnuomer can something fly through space, tho?
xalbo Under that model, no.
latro'a we internalize it as such, but the physics are actually completely unrelated
xalbo (Which means it doesn't match my use of the word "fly" either. Damn.)
Rnuomer also
I have a teddy bear on my bed, can we say that it is bear-ing?
xalbo I contend that it neither bears, nor cribe.
Rnuomer we could call it "le cribe" though
latro'a I just had a slight weird math-epiphany
le is unrelated to whether it actually bears
Rnuomer le blanu cribe
latro'a the epiphany was a neat metaphor
selpa'i I would postulate that the majority of branches indeed lack terminal nodes.
xalbo Does a bear cribe in the woods?
latro'a for this linguistic discussion along with a concept from probability
anyone care to hear it? I can give an intuitive description of the math
it'll take about a paragraph
xalbo Will it fit in the margin? Do tell.
latro'a you can imagine, without having to go through all the math, a process of diffusion in a force field
that is, a particle moves around randomly in space, but depending on its position in space it may be pushed more in one direction or another
you can now imagine labeling two distinguished regions A and B; A definitely has some property and B definitely doesn't
(the physical example is a chemical system, where A is definitely reactants and B is definitely products)
this diffusion system induces a function called a committor, which is the probability of getting to B before going back to A, from each point x
the committor is a "reaction coordinate", in the sense that as it increases, the system is "more B-ish", and as it decreases, the system is more "A-ish"
going back to the force field for a second, in physical examples the force field is the gradient of some energy, that is, the system tries to decrease in energy for the most part
now that we have an energy, we can talk about temperature; specifically, in these systems the committor depends strongly on the temperature
when temperature is low, the energy is the dominant contributor, the system stays away from high energy areas, and the committor abruptly goes from near 0 to near 1 as you pass over an energy barrier
when temperature is high, the energy is a less important contributor, the system goes pretty much everywhere, and the system gradually transitions from near 0 to near 1
xalbo temperature, in this case, is the amount of randomness in the motion of the particles?
latro'a right
xalbo je'e do'u continue
latro'a the application here is to consider A as "~P", B as "P", and T as a fuzziness parameter: P is more or less fuzzy depending on the size of T
Visirus I like this metaphor
latro'a if T is very low, P is essentially sharp; there's a very small "gray area" where P "is debatable", and otherwise everything's crisp
Visirus Very much
latro'a and the reverse when T is high
Visirus It's an inverse proportional relationship
It's like saying, vagueness vs precise meaning.
latro'a you can stretch the metaphor a tad further, and imagine the diffusion as your mind going about its process of figuring out whether to assign a given input x to A or to b
for "low T" or an input near A or B, it's a quick process which almost always has the same outcome
for "high T" or input near the dividing surface, it can be a gradual process, and you sometimes conclude A, sometimes B
Visirus Why only A and B?
There can be other options
latro'a it could be n-ary
Visirus Yup
lojban therefore represents a sort of most probably logical instead of perfectly logical
latro'a but unless the predicates depend on one another you could probably call that diffusion in several separate binary systems at once
and yes, perfect logic requires perfect definitions
Rnuomer so in the syntax, there's no real difference between "lo ractu" and "lo gleki ractu?"
latro'a there's a tanru-parse in the second one
at top level there's not, at mid-level you can distinguish
Visirus But otherwise, no. It could be the T is high enough to mean either.
Rnuomer but the truth value conditions are the same?
Visirus Why not?
Rnuomer the seltau doesn't matter, right?
or do I understand wrong =:x
Visirus The seltau is telling you the area of T that it is more probable to be
lo mlatu includes lo cladu mlatu then
Additionally, imagine the T of a gismu being centered on it and the seltau narrowing the field. Then it's hierarchical.
Therefore you can say lo cribe goo and lo goo cribe and they don't mean the same thing.
Since lo goo cribe is an entirely different T than lo cribe goo, you can't refer to bear goo as just lo cribe. It's a different logical subsection

Day 2

Visirus Expanding the field analogy a little bit, imagine something, say some goo on the ground.
Now, this goo is primarily a type of goo
or something or other having to do with goo
It is possible that it's from a bear
But, the goo itself is primarily a different fuzziness region, T, than bear
"bear goo" would then therefore lie outside the T of bear
And cannot be termed lo cribe
It's like electrons with different orbitals.
latro'a I'm not sure why you're using the letter T btw
T in the analogy was temperature, not a region of description space
Visirus That's what this is.
Probabilistic space.
Such as, an electron is most likely at point A but can be contained anywhere within region T
And is, and is not, simultaneously at all such points.
lo mlatu may or may not be lo cladu mlatu
latro'a I know, I'm talking about the symbol T
it's taken already
Visirus Fine, call it Pspace
latro'a that's also taken, lol
albeit by computer scientists
but really, T is an important aspect of this, because it has to do with how sharply you care to delineate regions of the description space
Visirus Not at all
latro'a "hot" discussion is metaphorical, fluid, open, informal; "cold" discussion is rigid, crisp, logical
Visirus It's just incredibly unlikely that lo mlatu is lo gerku so it's negligible to the point of practically being 0
latro'a I think we're talking about different things...
Visirus Yes.
I'm talking about a probabilistic model.
latro'a I know, but the model naturally includes a temperature
the volatility, informality, whatever you want to call it is intrinsic
sometimes we want to have crisp, clean definitions; other times we don't
Visirus This is more akin to a quantum field theory I think.
latro'a that would also have a temperature once you go to the thermodynamic limit
I'm saying that there's not a fixed probability measure
when you're joking around among friends, terms blur and mix more freely than when you're in a courtroom
Visirus So, you see, you can define mlatu as being fully defined at whatever A is in English.
latro'a that's contradictory
Visirus Wait
latro'a English is subject to this same probabilistic interpretation, if not more
Visirus It can exist anywhere within the field of lo mlatu
latro'a you can't grab a natlang to use as a base
Visirus Ok
the A point of it
the end node
It doesn't matter the language
In lojban, lo mlatu includes all lo seltau mlatu
latro'a (as an aside, quantum is not purely probabilistic; if that were the case, transitions between observable states would be impossible)
but yes; broda is a less crisp region of description space than brode broda
Visirus Well, quantum tunneling is what electrons do to jump energy levels.
latro'a that's not a particle effect
it's a wave effect
which is why it's not pure probabliity
Visirus It's probabilistic is the point.
latro'a (also, not every quantum transition is a tunneling process)
(tunneling is a rather specific type of process where a nonclassical transition occurs)
Visirus You're pointing out irrelevancies.
latro'a s/nonclassical/classically forbidden
sorry, my remark was just an aside that you replied to :)
Visirus Ok
mlatu is defined at whatever point A may be
latro'a I would interpret a given selbri as itself being a potential
in this model
Visirus If something has a high probability of lying within the lo brode mlatu space, it's a lo mlatu
latro'a it's not "defined at a point", instead it's a potential on the whole space
Visirus But mlatu itself is defined at a point.
latro'a perhaps, perhaps not
depends on if you claim that there is a crisp region at all
with mlatu in particular there probably is, but with other selbri this may not be so obvious
Visirus Under this, if something is observably primarily something and you call it that, then you can't take out the tertau
lo goo cribe
latro'a sure; seltau tighten the potential
Visirus Yes
latro'a but a different tertau gives you a different potential altogether
with different structure
Visirus YES
My solution to the bear goo problem.
latro'a it's not entirely a solution, because you have to get people to agree that the goo is or isn't a bear
Visirus It can be a bear type of goo
latro'a it can also be a goo bear
Visirus but if you look at goo and call it a bear, you'd better have a damned good reason
latro'a which is the whole problem
but xorlo basically suggests that the reasons don't have to be as good as you might exepct
Visirus Without explanation, you cannot change the potential
latro'a *expect
given context
well, it changes itself
that's the difficult part
Visirus Because one would expect something to lie within a certain potential
latro'a T goes up and down with context, and terms even shift in their meaning, which changes the potential
Visirus If you change it all willy nilly like, they'll be, obviously, confused.
latro'a sure
on the other hand, if you define lo broda as zo'e ne lo* ka broda, where "lo*" is a magic thing that makes a ka like we normally use it, then it's not confusing
Visirus So, one must always use the most obvious potential based on as little outside context, unless it's already given that both parties know such context.
latro'a since bear goo does in fact have something to do with being a bear, even if it isn't itself actually a bear
eh, that doesn't exactly fix it, though, because we don't talk about the potential directly
Visirus You'd have to think about it.
latro'a consider selpa'i's example from yesterday
Visirus If I know it's bear goo but you don't, it's almost intentionally confusing to call it lo cribe
latro'a if a flock of birds cipni, and you see one flock of birds, then you saw lo pa cipni, even if the flock had 10 birds in it
and yes, of course there's deceptiveness, that didn't need a probabilistic interpretation to be concluded :)
Visirus The probabilistic interpretation makes so much sense though imo
latro'a it helps, yes
but really the end point here is "be communicative"
which doesn't need any formalism whatsoever
Visirus A computer could use the probabilistic engine to determine better translations for ideas natlang <-> lojban
latro'a if one person thinks cribe means "living bears" and the other thinks it means "anything having to do with bears"
then they're not being communicative
Visirus The person thinking living bears is wrong then
because that's a seltau
latro'a not...exactly
I'm using english as metalanguage here
so don't gloss cribe as "bear"
you can restructure the description space so that cribe is "living bears" and cribe morsi is "bear corpses"
Visirus a dead bear has a potential of being called lo cribe and lo xadni.
latro'a that depends on the structure of the description space being used by the person
Visirus The potentials are so close though, because of the nature of the vagueness of the thing, that it's a choice.
latro'a you draw that conclusion from natlang interpretation more than anything else mio
there's no particular reason why bear corpses must be bears
Visirus The potential for the thing you're naming
latro'a is the one that you have in your mind
Visirus It has potential to be other things
latro'a not theirs
that's the whole problem
one person's potential may rise sharply when you pass over into the "dead" region
the other's may not
Visirus Yes, consider all, or as many as possible, and determine the most likely based on as little context as possible. Only immediate observables.
latro'a if you can
the problem is that this formalism doesn't help you perform that "figuring it out" process
Visirus A computer could use it to better translate things
latro'a maybe; they have to have information about attributes that make things more bearish or less bearish
Visirus Using a sort of tag cloud format
latro'a which ultimately comes down more to something like Rnuomer's checklist, much different from xalbo's "prototype" model
Visirus Go on...
latro'a which for a computer would be more neural network: when presented with a bear-candidate, what fires? how does this compare to something that we definitely call a bear?
for example, to me a living bear is more bearish than a bear corpse
Visirus Yes
latro'a even a fresh one
I'd still call a fresh bear corpse a bear
but my potential has gone up by that point
then as it decays it goes up further, and sometime before the point where I can't even tell it was a bear, the potential is so high that it's not worth thinking about
Visirus Then you can't call it a bear
latro'a by that point, sure
I'm describing my potential, though; others' potentials are different
Visirus The area in between is the fuzzy
latro'a I think selpa'i's potential rises less sharply as the bear dies
based on our discussion
in general I think selpa'i is "hotter" than I am, in this formalism
Visirus If the world were the movie Equilibrium, this would be no issue.
latro'a na slabu
Visirus You can't remove all the uncertainty, but you can diminish most of it. Definitions need to be specific, or people may speak with the knowledge that no matter what, they'll never be able to completely remove the fuzziness from the meaning.
.i mi xagji
selpa'i To me it's very difficult to priorly define a personal scale of potential, as everything is highly sensitive to context; the psychology isn't static throughout time. Making up a scale here and now is to some extent futile (or requires a lot of imagination and foresight) as the universe "collapes" time and again and needs to be re-differentiated each time.
latro'a one nice thing about this model to me is that the actual potential changes much more slowly than T
at least for me
Visirus Remove context
selpa'i Impossible.
latro'a I may fluctuate in how much I care about the boundaries between concepts
selpa'i And undesirable at least for me.
latro'a but the boundaries themselves (in the sense of the potential, not sharply delineated regions) move slowly
for example
the fact that a bear corpse is less bearish than a living bear
is an invariant for me
the idea that a bear corpse is a bear
is not
the probability is always lower, but it could be a difference of 1 vs. 0.9 or 1 vs. 0.5
the tricky thing about all this is that there is SOME effective nonexistence of context
nonrelevance I guess
if there weren't we would never be able to communicate
selpa'i Or we grow up learning our language in a context.
Which might be the same thing effectively.
latro'a not....exactly
context isn't relevant if it's constant
selpa'i That's basically what I said (meant).
latro'a I'm saying that there are some basic assumptions that are so absurdly hard to break that it doesn't matter, or at least so it seems
if there weren't, we wouldn't be able to depend on those assumptions to communicate
a blunt example: "assumption" does not mean "fish", ever
Ilmen lo se sruma / lo finpe
latro'a perhaps one sensible assumption is that the potential is finite on a bounded region, where the bounds are invariant
that is, there are some things that might in a bizarre context be bears, but aren't ruled out a priori
and some things that are usually bears, and some things that are always bears
and then everything else is never ever a bear-
on a more practical note
selpa'i Could your model be called a dynamic-range-but-definitely-always-some-endpoint Ready-Madeist view?
Since your dead bear scale is flexible-ish, but always has some endpoint.
And this would fit with your idea of there being things that can never ever cribe
latro'a especially with something that's not even done
"perhaps one sensible assumption"
I didn't postulate anything >.>
selpa'i No, sorry, I didn't even refer to your last idea
latro'a then there's absolutely nothing to get the static endpoints from
because prior to that I'd only said that there are "practical static endpoints", which means it's not in the model at all
just a consequence
so, no, don't call it that
on a more practical note
selpa'i I vaguely remember you saying that at some point, a cribe stops cribe'ing absolutely (though not in those words).
latro'a eh, I try to avoid fatci and its english counterparts
selpa'i Even if you didn't settle on anything.
I'm just trying to comment on those points
latro'a I'm not sure whether that postulate should be built into the model, or if you should instead have an unbounded potential that just tails off for most predicates
so don't quote me on it being built in
because it's not
been trying to change the subject for 5 minutes
I'd like to try and work out the lo du'u mi viska pa loi za'u cipni cu nibli lo du'u mi viska pa lo cipni thing
"I see a flock of cipni; a flock of cipni cipni's; therefore I see one cipni (namely, the flock)"
provided loi za'u cipni cu cipni, everything else passes through
I should have said "one flock", however, not "a flock"
selpa'i Interesting, you seem to be taking this whole thing from a whole 'nother angle.
This is an entirely different dimension of the "I see one bird" thing.
In my example, it was about slicing up the universe in such a way that a flock of birds (all of a single species probably) are seen and described as a single bird, because in that particular universe the distinction between those individual flock members doesn't exist.
There literally is only one bird there.
This is what happens in a non-ready-made universe. The universe always starts out as a big clump, and can be sliced up in infinitely many ways, and then stuff happens post-differentiation.
In a ready-made view, the universe gets sliced up once and never collapes again.
In non-RM, it always goes back to a clump.
latro'a I know
but even in this view
you can have it that single birds cipni and flocks of birds cipni
then take a bunch of single birds, put them in a group
say that the group cipni
see the group
and now say that you saw only one thing that cipni
selpa'i lo pa tadni cu sruri lo dinju
latro'a indeed
selpa'i It's a good point.
It's a somewhat related, but really quite distinct phenomenon, not really hinging on any ready-made talk.
latro'a it definitely doesn't require any ready-made hypotheses
selpa'i Right.
latro'a all it requires is that in a given context you accept that a group made up of brodas is a broda
selpa'i With loi things seem a bit unsettled, but you can do this with just lo.
latro'a with loi it depends a bit more on the predicate, arguably
selpa'i loi having the problem of possibly adding properties (or removing) from the single broda
latro'a but I would be inclined to agree with it for cipni and such
at least, naively
this "gotcha" makes me hesitant, but if I hadn't considered it, I would have no issue with loi cipni cu cipni
selpa'i lo ci cipni cu cipni .i pa lo cipni cu go'i
why not pa cipni cu go'i
latro'a uhh
avoid go'i, please
because attempting to answer your question confused me
you replaced the only sumti that was filled
so it wasn't clear whether go'i was actually just cipni or "the previous sentence's cipni"
in idiomatic lojban it'd be the former if all the sumti were replaced
at any rate, pa da cipni definitely doesn't happen
but you could group the universe such that pa da cu cipni gi'e gunma
that's the problem with masses, the speaker is free to build and dismantle them
also, these outer quantifiers play differently with "cognitive" predicates vs. "noncognitive" predicates
for example, if I see a flock of 10 birds, pa cipni cu zvati is false, but mi viska pa cipni can be true
if I see the flock but can't pick out individual birds
(maybe make it 1000 birds)
selpa'i You can look at the flock, see individual birds, and still claim that pa cipni cu zvati (because extra birds don't add a count to how many different birds you perceive), that's the example I explained earlier.
It's most simple to imagine (I think) if you let all the flock be eagles, then an eagle more or less doesn't change that there is just one bird, namely the eagle.
latro'a that's deceptive at best
you observe pa cipni cu zvati, but you're wrong, because the components are also birds
a problem is that in fact a very large number of cipni are present
supposing there's 10 birds in a flock present, then you have the 10 singletons, the 45 pairs, the 120 triples, etc.
so many hundreds of cipni are "present"
because every subgroup exists, even if not every subgroup matters
in fact an even larger number of subgroups exist when you start allowing for bird goo; for example, a whole bird+another bird's liver is perhaps a cipni too
selpa'i See, this is why I keep thinking that you are RM-ist. And this is not in any way meant in a bad way, it's simply a different perspective. Either you can't perceive the universe non-RM, or you just find it horrible. Which is it?
Because I am trying to explain that they don't, in a way, exist.
ksf rm?
and latro'a is completely right from a set-theoretical POV btw.
selpa'i Of course.
ksf ...assuming that birds are distinguishable, though.
selpa'i Math is usually ready-made.
latro'a I can understand it, but I don't see the problem in regrouping in a non-RM setting
1) there are 10 birds, as we understand it in english
selpa'i Can you imagine there being a universe where number doesn't exist?
latro'a 2) groups of birds are birds
groups of birds are cipni
conclusion: >1000 cipni exist
and while I can imagine it, it's sufficiently impractical that I don't really care to bother
xorlo isn't worth sacrificing outer quantifiers as a concept for
nothing is, really
we need them to be communicative
there's a point when I stop caring about the philosophy of all this because it's so far down the rabbit hole that it doesn't mean anything anymore
I feel the same about most of the attempts that have been made at formalizing subjunctivity
anything that involves outer quantifiers not meaning what they should mean is so far down the rabbit hole that it's gone to china and back 1000 times already
going back to my example
supposing there are 10 birds the way we mean it in english
selpa'i What they should mean? They still do what they do, namely they quantify over something. They don't tell you what the domain of discourse is, or about cardinality, but why should they?
latro'a why are there only 10 cipni, if we acknowledge that groups of birds are birds
the problem is that you can't change the domain of discourse
so we have to have a sane one
selpa'i I can't change it?
latro'a there's no explicit way to set it, no
not in lojban
selpa'i So?
There is always one.
latro'a that means you need a sane one
selpa'i Isn't "sane" extremely subjective?
latro'a yes, hence the whole probability discussion
ksf as soon as you equate singletons and sets you get every imaginable kind of decidability problem.
latro'a but one in which "there are 10 birds" means "there are 10 possible regroupings of birds" is not sane
ksf "sane" isn't subjective when what you're saying triggers the halting problem.
latro'a and I don't see why, even in a non-RM setting, the speaker shouldn't be allowed to freely regroup things
ksf what's the problem with using cmima, anyway?
latro'a if you can regroup things and also can express that there are 10 birds on a branch in the sense that english means, then you're going to have to have that a flock of birds isn't a bird
sets are awkward as hell for a lot of reasons
they don't actually do anything other than cmima
and se mei
they encode other things
but that's indirect
ksf says: If you want to speak about permutations of sets of birds, speak about permutations of sets of birds, not birds.
selpa'i On IRC, as noted, RM is the prevalent mode.
latro'a the issue is that we've acknowledged that lo za'u broda cu broda and that lo za'u broda cu [do something that they can only do as a group]
and that this is at the same level of predication
(I've proposed having distinct CU for different levels of predication more than once)
(I've never liked masses-as-sumti)
(it's orthogonal to the real issue, which is how the plural entity behaves)
selpa'i (if a mass has other properties, than it is good to have it as a sumti)
latro'a that's one way to look at it
but there's a different one
namely that it has different properties in different senses of "have property"
ksf ...you don't have to equate sets and single birds for that to work. you just have to have a cardinality function that's defined over the intersection of 'Set a' and 'a'
latro'a a plural group of students has a collective property of surrounding the building and an individual property of screaming
the big gap that this opens is that it may not always make sense to assume that a mass is openable
but then you just respond to an individual statement with na'i and all is well
ksf if you want to do some mathematical woo-hoo to get formulas to look nicer you can define "cipni" to be "set of birds with cardinality 1".
latro'a you're not going to be able to do this with sets
you can go ahead and give up on that
tsani Hm.
I've read all the backscroll and I have an idea.
ksf thinks his definition is mathematically sane and not actually different from what latro'a wants
tsani It seems like we can preserve the formal definitions of the gadri proposal, even if we throw "loi broda cu broda" being true out the window.
latro'a ksf: not really; there are fundamental obstacles to actually building this sort of thing up from set theory
in particular the old "what are the members of pi?" question
set theory is terrible
it's an awkward foundation that is really only nice because it shows that you don't have to assume that much to get off the ground
ksf oh, I was talking about sets as a data type. I'm into type theory, myself.
latro'a and then godel showed that you don't even get off the ground anyway
tsani If we consider the definition of the inner quantifier, lo PA broda = zo'e noi ke'a broda zi'e noi zilkancu li PA lo broda, it turns out that inner quantifiers just need to "quantify" over instances of lo broda
Then, we say that lo broda can just produce any type.
latro'a we actually talked about that yesterday
and noted that it's disastrous
tsani The Gadri Proposal therefore implies selpa'i's earlier statements.
latro'a for the exact reasons we were talking about
selpa'i tsani: What do you mean by type?
ksf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionistic_type_theory
tsani In a way you'd phrase it, 'lo doesn't have a type'.
latro'a ksf: yes yes, I know what you're going for, but that doesn't work either
selpa'i If you're saying that lo can stand in for lo'i, then I'd disagree.
latro'a language is more complicated than a robust formalism
tsani selpa'i: that doesn't really matter right now.
selpa'i Okay, "no type" doesn't sound like "producing any type"
I'm really only trying to understand you.
latro'a you're speaking from different formalisms
as in, your protest to "can produce any type" is relative to an untyped formalism
tsani You reject types throughout Lojban, don't you, selpa'i, so I'm surprised that you're not just agreeing.
selpa'i Let me explain.
I can make it quite concrete: I don't consider lo ro ninmu in do melrai lo ro ninmu to "stand in" for lo'i ro ninmu.
Instead, my definition of traji doesn't use a set.
latro'a (btw, ksf, I don't want to be rude, but I'd appreciate if you stopped with the set theory/type theory discussion; it's been beaten to death by this community already, and it's long since accepted that it's not adequate)
tsani Yeah, that much I know.
We've all basically thrown lo'i out the window.
ksf well, at least type theory has a chance of describing predicate logic sanely, but I understand.
latro'a predicate logic isn't adequate, either
ksf and there goes the myth :)
latro'a that's part of the point of this discussion
(that's also long since accepted, afaict)
(so yeah, not adding anything here)
tsani If lo broda is explicitly not explicit about distributivity (in other words, it can produce individuals or collectives) then the zilkancu equation of the gadri proposal lets lo pa cipni be a flock of birds without saying that a flock of birds is a bird.
(That's the main difference that I'm pointing out.)
latro'a I still question whether that's what was actually intended
selpa'i tsani: Depends on what you mean by types again. I don't reject the idea that a du'u cannot dacti, so clearly I agree with types, so what exactly do you mean? If you mean that I find rigid-typing a bit inconvenient (i.e. sumti places being super limited in what they can take), then yes, I do.
latro'a in the zilkancu equation
tsani I agree that it may have been unintentional on xorxes's part, but to be honest, and being somewhat acquainted with his ideas by proxy of selpa'i, then I'm inclined to think that this awkward consequence was intentional.
latro'a also
an obvious terrifying corollary
lo ci cipni can be 3 arbitrarily nested bird groups
tsani yup
latro'a it could even just be three different ways of breaking up all of the birds into groups
ksf what about ditching distributivity in favour of polymorphism?
tsani Also, that being said, lo broda can produce things (in one context) that do not broda (in another context).
latro'a that's "explicitly not explicit about distributivity"
already done

To be continued?...