Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors is a game in which 2 players each choose one of three options: either rock, paper or scissors.  Then the players simultaneously reveal their choices.  Rock beats scissors but loses to paper (rock smashes scissors); Paper beats rock and loses to scissors (paper covers rock); Scissors beats paper but loses to rock (scissors cut paper).  This cyclical payoff scheme (Rock > Scissors, Scissors > Paper, Paper > Rock) can be represented by […]

Revision and Hypothesis Introduction

Say we have some theory that we represent with a formula of logic.  In part it looks like this: [1] …(∃z) … Pz … This says that at some point in the theory there is some object z that has property P. After much hard work, we discover that the object z with property P can be described as the combination of two more fundamental objects w and v with properties R and S: [2] […]

Monty Redux

In the Monty Hall Problem a contestant is given a choice between one of three doors, with a fabulous prize behind only one door. After the initial door is selected the host, Monty Hall, opens one of the other doors that does not reveal a prize. Then the contestant is given the option to switch his or her choice to the remaining door, or stick with the original selection. The question is whether it is […]

Argument Structure

Basic argument structure goes like this: Premise 1 Premise 2 ———————– Conclusion Knowing how to argue is great, except when someone you disagree with is proving things you don’t like.  In that case you have to know how to break your opponent’s argument or provide an argument that they cannot break. First thing that most people do to break an argument is to attack premises (assuming no fallacies are present).  To avoid accepting your opponent’s […]

Truth is… and other short thoughts

Truth is whatever you are willing to wager your sanity on.  This works because sanity is relative to people, so if you are willing to wager your sanity on something, so should other people. Deontology has a problem because no one can definitively tell you what it is to follow a rule.  So deontologists can’t fault others for appealing to unexplained concepts without undermining their own argument. Whereas the meanings of particular words may be […]

The Deal with ‘Deal or No Deal’

I just saw the hit game show ‘Deal or No Deal‘.  It wasn’t the first time, but this episode had a contestant with folksiness to rival Palin, so I was entertained and kept watching. But is there any gamesmanship to the ‘Deal or No Deal’ gameshow?  The short answer is: No. The show begins with the contestant choosing a briefcase that contains a number that represents a real monetary amount.  The case is chosen from […]

What are Quantifiers?

What are quantifiers?  Quantifiers have been thought of things that ‘range over’ a set of objects.  For example, if I say There are people with blue eyes this statement can be represented as (with the domain restricted to people): ∃x(Bx). This statement says that there is at least one person with property B, blue eyes. So the ‘Ex’ is doing the work of looking at the people in the domain (all people) and picking out […]

Where Does Probability Come From? (and randomness to boot)

I just returned from a cruise to Alaska. It is a wonderful, beautiful place. I zip-lined in a rain forest canopy, hiked above a glacier, kayaked coastal Canada and was pulled by sled-dogs. Anywho, as on many cruises, there was a casino, which is an excellent excuse for me to discuss probability. What is probability and where does it come from? Definitions are easy enough to find. Google returns: a measure of how likely it […]

Relativity as Informational Interdependence

Ever have the experience of sitting in traffic and believe that you are moving in reverse, only to realize a second later that you were fooled by the vehicle next to you moving forward? You were sitting still, but because you saw something moving away, you mistakenly thought you started to move in the opposite direction. Two different senses may be at work here: your sight and your balance. Lets assume that your balance did […]

Monty Hall Update

I wrote out an example playing of the Monty Hall Problem in Independence Friendly Logic as a game of incomplete information and appended it to my post here. I also left an extended comment on Dependence Logic vs. Independence Friendly Logic about some of the tribulations encountered as a non-academic trying to get my grubby little hands on obscure logic papers.