The Theory of the Month Club
Fuzzy theory started off with the idea of discrete sets
and incorporated an idea not far removed from non-orthogonality
of states in quantum mechanics. Even Bart Kosko realized this
in his books Fuzzy Thinking and Fuzzy Engineering. This idea
of "fuzzy subsethood" sneaks into the more classical set theory
the effect of "phases relations" without explicitly referring
to them as such. In a similar manner, quantum mechanics starts
off with the idea of discrete particles and tacks on to these
the abstraction of a wavefunction to give them what is in essence
a _virtual_ phase.
Of course Kosko, realizing this, is now doing work with neural nets,
stochastic resonance, and signal processing:
all but leaving behind scores of people still dredging the
fuzzy paradigm for all it's worth, which isn't necessarily a
bad thing in a pragmatic sense but in terms of theory it is a
waste of time:
Alot of fuzzy theorists are realizing that peddling software manuals
is both a lucrative business and that you can't base a living
on selling VisiCalc manuals for the rest of your life.
In theoretics, obsolesence is the order of the day, unless you
happen to be privy to _the_ Theory Of Everything (TOE). You might
say there's nothing bad about hawking the paradigm-of-the-month
to make a buck; after all, someone's using that paradigm to do
something useful for the short term. It is only a "wasted effort"
in the long term.
Even IBM learned those thousands and thousands of exquisitely
engineered IBM PCs, was an economical miscalculation of that
market's rate of increasing returns, and obsolesence.
The global trend turned away from quality and towards quantity
and now we are paving over our forests with waste paper and
derelict PC carcasses; the dinosaurs of the month. I suppose
one day they'll dig all those dinosaurs up and use the "oil"
We don't have to actually know what the TOE says in order to
say some things about it. We can say all the newsgroups will
start with something like:
etc. We can say also that alot of people will be rubbed the
wrong way by TOE because it tells them what the essential
and most economical basis of life is.
Here's what Kosko is pushing as the TOE for instance:
" But here Kosko announces that fuzzy logic is ready to do more.
Taxes, voting rights, abortion, warfare, genetic engineering,
deep physics, computer-generated art, the quest for transcendent
posthuman immortality--all of these and more, ..."
TOE, is supposed to be the ultimate, the universal the guiding principle
of this, that and the other thing, which is normally attributed to
some diety or dieties. But the long sought after TOE or grand unified
Theory of Everything is supposed to be 'scientifically' derived and not
a more speculative religion, yet it has the properties which we always
considered as being elements in the domain of religion and philosophy.
So which is it ? Science or Speculation ?
It's both of course ! It has to be, it's the theory of _everything_.
Sounds contradictory, but that's where fuzzy subsethood comes in and
quantum uncertainty, ...and alot of other useful paradigms; they're
really convergent on the same fundamental ideas that some enlightened
philosophers have known for millenia.
Of course it all gets paved over because what's the value of the truth,
if we're so readily rewarded for peddling lesser truths ? The value
of the truth only raises consumer consciousness to the point where they
are less likely to buy something with obvious obsolesense ? What effect
would TOE have on the economy ? Would it define such things as morality
and sanity ? Of course it would ! It's the theory of _everything_.
If you look askew at what is happening around us, you'll see alot of
people preparing for this great change. We don't have to know the TOE
in any exact sense in order to see that we are very nearly convergent
upon it. There is an explosion of analogies and metaphors, the sudden
interest of Hollywood in unveiled realities, and conspiracies involving
extraterestrials, even Forbes is publishing an ongoing preparation for
the new global economy being forged by the WTO etc.:
People are even finding a mental basis where all those metaphors in the
old myths "make sense". But this isn't happening to everyone. Alot of
people are clinging to that old blanket that they used for so long.
In a completely insane world the norm is the unexpected, and sanity clings
to any sense of predictability, even if the only the prediction left is
that the unexpectedness, is the only thing that can be predicted.
Thats where we are now with quantum theory and now we are learning more
about 'sanity'. That it is not to be based on predictability of the "normal"
modes of society but rather on a complete time-invariant density matrix ?
Are we constantly are struggling to remain "sane" against some kind
of Prigogine or Fuzzy entropic definition of sanity ? Do we have to peridocally
recharge our "sanity batteries" ?
Keywords: memetics, wetware, social programming, cognitive estrangement, mind hacking
If there is an outcome which is know a priori, the paths to that outcome
must agree _at the outcome_ though the intermediate values of the paths
need not agree before the outcome.
If there is an outcome which is not known a priori but instead some "goal"
or "predicted outcome" is substituted for an definite a priori known outcome,
then different paths are possible which obtain different results for different
goals. But each path achieves its goal legitimately and it was wrong
to state that one is "wrong" and the other was "right" when the goal itself was
not known a priori.