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Mark Brickner wrote (please post entire note to lojban list)!:
>> As long as the statement "this is a heap" must have either a
>> completely true or completely false answer, the transition from heap to
>> not-heap is meaninglessly arbitrary.
Peter Schuerman wrote:
>Not arbitrary, but subjective. And *yes*, heap is a manifold subjective
But Peter still fails to set an independent, nonsubjective criteria for
distinguishing hills from mountains or heaps from nonheaps. Peter seems to
be using the same approach Ed Meese used to define pornography, "I know it
when I see it." Surely language, even natlangs, can accomplish more than
>> These and the engineering successes of fuzzy logic suggest that
>> including it in lojban is useful.
>I'm not convinced. Perhaps fuzzy logic is of some use when you don't want
>to make a definite decision, but you still want to call it a definite
Peter does not know what fuzzy logic is. Fuzzy logic *can* be used to make
definite decisions. The inputs can be fuzzy, the output can be definite. I
have a fuzzy logic rice cooker, which does indeed decide when the rice is
done. Turns off at an exact point in time. Makes very tasty rice, very
>Or perhaps it is helpful when your information is contradictory
Rather true. Often we have contradictory information. Fuzzy logic can help.
>and you don't have the ability or desire to root out the logical problem,
>yet you want to pretend that you have some sort of definite conclusion.
Again with the implications of laziness or stupidity! Again with the
accusations of pretension! :-) There is an excellent (somewhat evangelical,
but nonetheless excellent) book by Bart Kosko called "Fuzzy Thinking" which
Peter may find interesting. There are several journals and at least 15
books which are more technical descriptions of fuzzy logic. Peter is being
critical of sloppy thinking, a position I heartily endorse. Unfortunately,
Peter seems to be confusing sloppy thinking with fuzzy logic. This is quite
Steven M. Belknap, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Medicine
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria