Blame me if you want...

I'm just trying to see whether the exposition can be made with a good  
deal less number-spinning

Truth is, most people - given the choice - would probably prefer to  
avoid language pretty much all together -
for the dangers you so aptly characterise

Language is a bag of utter corruption and manipulation, anyway. I  
apologise for forcing the issue

Given that some of us do better at understanding words than numbers,  
yes, we may be stuck with a few semantic issues.

Personally, I just want to understand. If I get a bit fractal, it's  
because of those rotten semantics which need constant attention. I  
agree that any kind of definition of what 'life' would only be a work  
in progress

I find the concept of real truth a bit dodgy, actually

always only trying to 'see' what the other 'sees'

Hence the questions - not attacking questions; requests for more  
information to fill out perception

The result is something that is less arcane and more day to day. Why  
should all beautiful knowledge live in an ivory tower? I want to know  
how this whole thing actually impacts on my life.

Actually, my preference would be to avoid words and numbers and do it  
via music. But, I guess that's back to numbers.



On 14/12/2008, at 1:30 PM, A. Wolf wrote:

> One of the reasons I rarely post to this list is that many people here
> seem trapped in an eternal series of meaningless essentialistic
> debates.  Nothing objective or conclusive ever comes from
> essentialistic arguments where people bicker over what some word or
> concept "really means".
> Science used to suffer from this.  About 120 years ago, biologists
> used to argue about the meaning of "life".  Were viruses alive?  Were
> sperm alive?  What they could or could not consider "alive" was really
> important to the old-school biologists, and there was endless debate
> between them.  (People on both sides of the abortion issue still make
> these kinds of empty arguments.)
> But today, biologists don't care what "life" means.  They accept an
> arbitrary definition for "life" because they're scientists, and as
> scientists they realize that the definitions we use do not define
> reality.  Definitions of words and concepts are merely tools for
> describing things to one another in a consistent manner.  Real truth
> stems from examining the relationships between observable phenomena,
> by using operational definitions rather than essentialistic ones.
> Anything less than this is semantics.
> Anna
> >

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