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Deckard
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:41 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;162729 wrote:
Well, the number 2 continues to fascinate me. Especially when we consider the bit. I feel that the bit is almost the center of the information age. Yes or no. On or off. 1 or 0. Add them up.

Also the Continuum Hypothesis relies on the number two. Because any member of a set either is or is not a member of a subset within that set. Are you in or out? Are you with us or against us? Can we break it down more than that? Fuzzy logic is an increase of complexity. A spectrum implies a multitude of states. 2 is the minimum plurality. A dimension has two directional possibilities. Left or Right. Up or Down. True or False. Also we all have two parents.


I don't remember where I read this but some information theorist made a distinction between information and command. Information implies something new whereas a command especially if followed without question does not constitute information. So 2 - this is Yes, that is No and This is In that is Out can be seen as commands rather than information. If the Yes/no is an answer to a question i.e. if it is something that is revealed then it qualifies as information. The bit is the simplest answer Yes or No but if it is not an answer, if it does not come from outside of the system then it can only be a command. So the bit is "almost the center of the information age" but I want to say not quite.

2 is a question - the seeking of information but is not information in and of itself. I suppose 3 is the answer. 3 is information.

:bigsmile:
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 01:01 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;162767 wrote:
I don't remember where I read this but some information theorist made a distinction between information and command. Information implies something new whereas a command especially if followed without question does not constitute information. So 2 - this is Yes, that is No and This is In that is Out can be seen as commands rather than information. If the Yes/no is an answer to a question i.e. if it is something that is revealed then it qualifies as information. The bit is the simplest answer Yes or No but if it is not an answer, if it does not come from outside of the system then it can only be a command. So the bit is "almost the center of the information age" but I want to say not quite.

2 is a question - the seeking of information but is not information in and of itself. I suppose 3 is the answer. 3 is information.

:bigsmile:


Well, I'll grant there has to be someone or something for whom the information has meaning. I like the noise/information contrast. I still see a command as a form of information. And in some cases ("freeze!") a matter of life and death, as cops have shot those who literally did not understand this sort of command.

I'm not about to worship the 2, of course, but given my newfound love of numbers, this one seems important, more important than most numbers.

It's the simplest possible base of positional notation. It is the exact discrete "moment" where unity changes to plurality. It's also the only even prime. It also appears again and again in physics, as an exponent.

2 is a question. I'll grant you that. But it is also an answer. "Do you take this man to be your...." "I do."

Then there are those games where someone asks twenty yes or no questions, and must from binary answers (bits), figure out the celebrity being talked of, etc. Then there's that kid's game Guess Who.

Two genders, or at least two gender poles. Negative and positive electrical charge. Two directions in time. The symmetry of the human body. Birth and death. (I guess your 3 reappears if we look at reproduction...but maybe that's included with death, as many insects die after mating...)

I won't snub 3 though. 3 dimensions. Rock Scissors Paper. The Trinity. Or 3 could include an element that is the Union of the other 2.


I should stress that I'm thinking of all the human textual culture that is being represented by bits even as I look at this screen. The logic gates that make this computer process are binary
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 02:51 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;153751 wrote:
If we have one dimension (like length, height, width, magnitude), we always also have 2 directional possibilities within this dimension.

We have 6 directions in three dimensional space, for instance. Our number line (excluding just now the complex plane) is one-dimensional, and therefore bi-directional. Numbers are bigger or smaller, negative or positive.

Also, and perhaps just as interesting, we have the notion of power sets.
There are 2 to the power of set-members power sets.
Every member of a set can either be or not be a member of a subset. And this is the source of the 2.

The word doubt comes from the word for 2. Philosophy is full of dualisms. Thought itself, considered as distinction, is the imposition of dualism. Is this why our concepts of Being and Totality are so paradoxical, because thought as distinction implies an "other"? Must all attempts at monism incorporate negation or simply founder? How does duality tied into negative theology, negative ontology? N of Cusa presented God as the union of opposites. He tries the smash the 2 into a 1.

Here's a strange quote.
TLP

It might be too poetic for some, but can we imagine a dimension as a matrix (always dual/bifurcated) on which singular/"male" number exists? And can they exist apart? Of course we can combine dimensions, and end up with 3-dimensional coordinate systems, but the essence remains. Is this why Mary and Jesus are so often painted together? Even numbers have been called feminine numbers.

Don't mistake this symbolic dot-connecting for mysticism. I suspect that logic has often been mistaken for mysticism, and that the beauty of truth has been held against it, just as metaphor is often turned into superstition.


I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the post, but I was curious about your encounters with Derrida, if you have come in contact with him.

He is quite certain that opposites do not exist in themselves, but all things exist somewhere in between both. To him, nothing is ever absolute, and language is an attempt to try to make these many abstractions concrete. It is essentially an impossible task that can never be completed, hence the frustration so many people get when they discover they can't have complete reign over reality.

He describes all aspects of a thing as having traces of the two polar opposites within it. This seems very similar to many Eastern religions.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:50 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;162835 wrote:
I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the post, but I was curious about your encounters with Derrida, if you have come in contact with him.

He is quite certain that opposites do not exist in themselves, but all things exist somewhere in between both. To him, nothing is ever absolute, and language is an attempt to try to make these many abstractions concrete. It is essentially an impossible task that can never be completed, hence the frustration so many people get when they discover they can't have complete reign over reality.

He describes all aspects of a thing as having traces of the two polar opposites within it. This seems very similar to many Eastern religions.


I have been exposed to some Derrida. Especially Spurs, but also Margins, especially the White Mythology. And of course I have been strongly influenced by Rorty, who writes on Derrida. I do think that our word-language is indeed a blur, and spectrum between poles. I feel a strong attraction to mathematics because in parts of mathematics, perfect clarity is attained.

I'm also quite a fan of poetry, which was in fact my first immersion in the "culture" world. Eliot, Yeats, Keats, Auden, Milton, Shakes are some of my favorites. Rorty interpreted Derrida as saying that "phonemes matter," and I think they do. But another part of me likes to escape from the box of melted crayons and play in a sphere where exactness is the rule. (I'm not denying the fascinating tension between the discrete and the continuous in mathematics. But even here the tension can be dealt with more precisely...for instance, the concept of limits.

I suppose that concept of the bit has an aesthetic value for me, in the same way that a monochrome Yves Klein has an aesthetic value. I also love Parmenides, Euclidean geometry, computer programming. I love the style of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. I love the style of The Sun Also Rises. I admit without hesitation the complexity and blurriness of human communication, but part of me wants to wrestle against it.
 
 

 
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