Martin Moderator
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Posts by Martin

    Assuming that the Wikipedia section on Chryssipus' syllogistic correctly describes what he wrote, he certainly knew how to apply logic but he did not have a deep understanding of logic.

    His "indemonstrables" are very well demonstrable because they are well known theorems of logic, which can be proven e.g. by truth tables. There is no point in using them as axioms because they are proven theorems and therefore readily available for further proofs.

    His syllogistic seems to be a regression to times before Aristotle. It is not wrong but a detour in the history of philosophy and for the dust bin.

    Intensity of pleasure is usually limited in time by control loops in our body (e.g. lack of ability to get aroused after an orgasm, getting used to the particular pleasure, exhaustion, overstimulation) or by the nature of the activity.

    In general, I attempt to feel the easy to get pleasure of low intensity for most of the time and intense pleasure only occasionally. If intense pleasure comes as as a surprise without having expected it and without the typically painful preparation for it, I of course try to enjoy the experience as much as possible.

    As pleasure depends heavily on the individual, here are some practical examples:

    One of the greatest pleasures I have experienced so far is flying along ziplines high up through spectacular scenery. A flight along one zipline usually takes much less than a minute, so the intense pleasure is naturally limited to a very short time. (I wish there were 10 km long ziplines). In terms of pain, zipline flying requires long travel to go to the respective place, it is expensive, the effort might be in vain because the operator might block me from the ziplines because of high blood pressure or bad weather, and pain in the form of anxiety of height might kill the pleasure. The risk of injury and death seems to be so low that it does not show up in my hedonic calculus but for others that might be relevant.

    The listed pains (in particular the waste of time for travel and the risks of travel) make me pursue the desire for zipline flights only rarely. However, the expectation of the intense pleasure makes me plan for more zipline flights in the future. So far, I have 2 new places on my bucket list, may add more as I find them near where I travel anyway and might go again to places where I have been already if other reasons for travel get me near them.

    I took the opportunity of floating in a vertical wind canal when business travel brought me in walking distance to one. It was a pleasure but not as great as I expected, apparently because it requires skill and experience. I expect the pleasure to increase greatly after gaining the skill and experience. In case there is a wind tunnel near a place where I happen to stay for an extended period and cost of access is moderate, I would probably do this often because of the expectation of great pleasure although the duration of the pleasure is always short by the nature of the activity.

    I never did skydiving with a parachute from a plane. I am not sure whether I would pursue an easy opportunity for skydiving. The reported pleasure of free fall is attractive but the pain in terms of fear of flight on a plane and possibly intense fear of heights is a deterrent.

    I would probably not pursue an opportunity for a zero gravity flight or a space flight because the result of the hedonic calculus is negative for me.

    Another one of the greatest pleasures I have experienced so far is falling asleep together with my wife (ex-wife since recently, sigh) while hugging each other. It is limited in time in 2 different ways:

    If I actually fall asleep within minutes, the onset of deep sleep terminates the conscious and memorable experience of the pleasure.

    If I stay fully awake for several minutes with no indication of falling asleep soon, boredom kicks in, and the increasing desire to do something converts the experience from pleasure to pain.

    Another great pleasure was indulging in chocolate mousse. Many years ago, a chain restaurant provided it in a big bowl as part of its buffet. It was the main motivation for me to eat at that restaurant. By going repeatedly to the bowl and filling a small plate with a moderate amount, I ended up with a meal with more than 50% chocolate mousse by volume, and as it was a buffet meal, the whole meal meant gross overeating way beyond feeling no more hungry and stopping just short of discomfort. At that time, I ignored the risk of accelerated onset of diabetes from excessive intake of sugar.

    Then, the restaurant changed to provide the chocolate mousse only in small cups. I felt too embarrassed to take many of these cups, so I ended up eating much less chocolate mousse, at most 3 cups.

    Eventually, I wanted to reduce the risk of diabetes by excluding most foods with substantial amounts of sugar. I gradually reduced the number of cups to just one and got accustomed to the shortened duration of the intense pleasure of eating chocolate mousse and to appreciate the less intense pleasure of eating other food. I changed my habit further from choosing the cup which was filled with the most amount of mousse to the one which had the least.

    After a while of strongly reduced sugar intake, I lost the craving for chocolate mousse and stopped eating it at that chain restaurant, to which I still go once a week when I stay near one.

    From my little bit of knowledge of psychology at amateur level, I expect that even sadists can apply Epicurus' philosophy because it provides both feelings and reason as input for making decisions on what action to take.

    Sadists who are not psychopaths may trust their feelings as guide because they have compassion, which stops them from excessively harming their masochistic partners. They need reason mainly to carry out sadistic techniques safely to prevent unintentional hazards.

    Sadists who are psychopaths need to rely much more on reason to prevent themselves from severely harming or killing people. A life-time prison sentence might not scare them at the level of feelings but reasoning about such consequences might stop them from excessive actions.

    That I sometimes say "aeh" was known to me but not that I did it that often during the presentation. It sounds terrible and must be annoying to listeners.

    Another blunder was that while explaining a truth table, I repeatedly said "column" instead of "row".

    I suggest to remove the following passages:

    7:58 - 11:02 (detour on quantum and fuzzy logic)

    25:26 - 25:38 (wrong statements about Slide 12)

    25:50 - 26:32 (my confusion about premise and conclusion)

    around 27:17 ("I mixed them up" because if 25:50 - 26:32 is removed, it does no more apply)

    28:53 - 28:58 (another reference to my confusion)

    Blunders during my presentation

    As mentioned and corrected in my additions and during the presentation, the truth table for OR on Slide 11 of the tutorial is wrong. While presenting, I wrongly mentioned that the examples on Slide 12 were wrong, too, but no, I merely got confused by the "ands" in the text. The examples for OR are correct.

    My second blunder was to wrongly identify q as a premise at the beginning of my explanation of Slide 13. I corrected it immediately but the confusion may have lead comments off track.

    The motivation for making the presentation was to show that a false premise in a syllogism does not necessarily mean that the conclusion is false, too. This mistake is easily made because often it is actually the case that the conclusion is false, too. That experience may misguide our intuition. Toward the end of my presentation, I made my third blunder by myself making that false inference to call a conclusion false upon finding a premise of an implication to be false but became aware of it only after the session. So, we need to make sure that my withdrawal of that statement accompanies the podcast.


    Do you have any specific references on those two categories (1) timeless sentences (2) future events?

    Currently, my references are only in German:

    Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker's German original "Aufbau der Physik" of "The Structure of Physics", English edition by Thomas Görnitz, Holger Lyre, Springer Science & Business Media, 2007, ISBN 1402052359, 9781402052354:

    In that book, the book "Quantum logic" from P. Mittelstaedt is referenced. I still have the notes from attending his lectures at University of Cologne about 35 years ago.

    Some articles in "Physik Journal".

    A variable in the tutorial (or proposition as I denote it more specific in my additions) is a place holder for a sentence, whereby that sentence needs to be meaningful to the extent that it can be true or false.

    Epicurus knew and even Aristotle was aware of that binary logic might be applicable in full only to timeless sentences and those which refer to past events but not to events in the future. If everybody gets a good enough understanding on Monday and there is time left, we can expand the discussion into the pitfalls of applying logic to future events and how quantum logic avoids those pitfalls. It will still take several months until I finish a book from which I hope to gain a deeper understanding and more confidence in applying quantum logic. I know enough to say something about it but a complete stand-alone presentation on quantum logic will have to wait until 2022.

    The ancient Greeks are of course excused because they did not yet have a sufficiently worked out theory of electromagnetism. They were the giants who started it, and on whose shoulders Maxwell and the likes stood when they worked it out. What I referred to was "(which has magnetic properties when rubbed or heated)", which appears to be an insertion of Richard McKirahan, who lives in our time and should have referred to electrostatics.

    I noticed with other PD's, too, that Saint-Andre's translation appears to be the most consistent with Epicurus' philosophy as a whole as we usually interpret it here with quite some consensus.

    The video is impressive, especially when the feathers, after falling with the same speed as the ball, bounce off the target to a considerable height, which they do not do to a visible height at atmospheric pressure. However, Brian Cox misrepresents the difference between Einstein's take on gravity and Newton's. Actually, Einstein concluded from his theory that we cannot distinguish the effect of gravity from that of an accelerated reference system locally from the movement of test masses, but not that there is no force.

    Martin started a new event: