On Jul 31, 1:19 pm, "Stephen P. King" <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:

> Hi Craig,
>      Umm, what would be the point of coming up with yet another
> representation system for quantities? We already established that a
> description is not its referent even though for every referent there is
> at least one description and for every description there is at least one
> referent. Zero, 0, null, the empty set is an absence of sorts; a
> placeholder. So in that sense it is a referent and just as space is 'the
> place where referents could be but are not', so too is 0.

Right. I like that. My point in the alt numeracy idea is to bring out
the true a-signifying potential of quantity - to take generic
mechanism to it's reductio ad absurdum and reveal the implicit
sentimentality of arithmetic which is hidden in base-10 rhyming.

If it looked like this instead:

Every name in every phonebook in India
Every word in every language
various random squiggles, etc

then we could truly expunge all remnants of beauty or symmetry in
arithmetic and reveal itself in pure abstraction and marvel at how
utterly devoid of usefulness that makes it. That way we could recover
our orientation to the genuine by admitting that what we get out of
arithmetic is a happy feeling of satisfaction - dopamine, oxytocin,
serotonin, and endorphins. Our 1p experience of a human brain in
communion with the 1p sense of those categories of molecules are the
primitives of arithmetic.


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