Thursday, August 29, 2013

Non-standard logics and grammar

Extentions to standard logic attempt to outline structure (organization, order) that we believe we see in the world.
From grammar we identify:  entities, things, objects, places
                                           actions, processes, sequences, state
                                           attributes, features, properties
                                           descriptions, qualifications
From spatial logic we have:  left-right
From temporal logic:           earlier-later than
From fuzzy logic:                 approximation


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grammar as (a non-standard) logic

Richard Trench said that "grammar is the logic of speech.." (On the study of words, 1858).  Grammar is sometimes defined as: rules of (correct) sentence composition.  A grade school definition of a sentence is: one complete thought.  Logic is sometimes defined as: rules of (correct) thought (see Boole's book, The Laws of Thought, for instance).

A simple grammar can be cast as an extension of PROLOG using rules like:
s(S,R):- np(S,VP),vp(VP,R).

Similarly, a simple temporal logic might be cast as:

A simple spatial logic might be cast as:

A fuzzy logic might be cast as:


Repetition, propaganda

Asa H values more highly those patterns that it has seen more often (see 10 Feb. and 19 Feb. 2011 blogs).  Humans appear to behave similarly.  This allows propagandists to make their case by simply buying a news outlet and repeating their lies over and over again.  In time the lies are believed.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Asa H 2.0 I/O

When I published examples of Asa H 2.0 light (blogs of 10 and 19 Feb. 2011 and 14 May 2012) I should have shown some alternate ways of doing I/O like:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Not all ontological entities are created equal

Knowledge is of an approximate character.  Our formalisms abstract and simplify.  Each formalism is an idealization, often times approximating in its own different ways, each formalism offering somewhat different coverage of the domain of interest. Having multiple overlaping theories of a knowledge domain is then better than having just one theory. (see my blog of 17 Aug. 2012 and , philosopher, changing what science is, also, the laws of nature are not unique)

Our various theories and the entities they contain are not all equally good approximations to the domain of interest.  Some entities in our ontology will be more approximate than others.  "Particles" or "objects", for example, may be not as sound a concept as "quantum fields." (see Not Particles, Not Quite Fields, by Tracy Lupher and The fate of  'particles' in quantum field theories with interactions, by Doreen Fraser)

As Asa H evolves categories it also estimates utilities for them. (see my blogs of 10 and 19 Feb. 2011)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sometimes it's better to be mistaken

Kathleen Vohs and Jonathan Schooler and Roy Baumeister have presented evidence that it's best for humans to believe in free will even if there is no such thing.  There can be times when it's better to be wrong than to be right.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Our lost freedom

America's lost freedom:   Freedom from Want

You don't even hear it spoken of any more.
(see, The Story of American Freedom by Eric Foner, Norton and Co., 1998)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Externalizing thought

Many of us believe that a certain amount of our thinking actually takes place outside of our bodies (see, for example, Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind, Oxford U. Press, 2010).  If thought is composed of the processes outlined in my Sept. 29, 2010 blog (or at my website,, under cognitive scientist, theory of thought and mind) then the most obvious example might be externalization of memory, beginning with writing and diagraming.  With the advent of the internet as a memory bank some substantial organization of these memories is also being done for us as well as some automatic indexing.  Web search algorithms also supplement our own internal memory search procedures.  Our use of calculators (and computers) externalizes what was once internalized mathematics.  Use of "creativity machines" (see my paper in the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, vol. 102, page 32, 1999) would be a further example as would image manipulation software,  various automatic deduction systems/ automatic theorem provers, forecasting software,  etc.  It would seem that externalized thought is becoming more common.

Scientific alternatives to Buddhist thought

We are told that Siddhartha was trying to understand the pain and suffering found in life.  Evolution developed pain in order to provide  reinforcement signals for learning (so you'll learn not to touch a hot stove again, for instance).  So Buddhists are right that human existence requires pain.  Learning systems are all imperfect so some pain will prove pointless (as will some pleasure).

Attachment may not be a bad thing.  We should exhibit attachment (in moderation) to things that we find useful (clothes, shelter, food, etc.) Ignorance IS bad.  Much of the 8 fold path is rational: we do want to have right effort, right action, right thought, etc.