OT Re: Math-embarrassment results in CS [was: Should non-security 2.7 bugs be fixed?]

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Wed Jul 22 19:17:30 CEST 2015


One way to look at this is to see that arithmetic is _behaviour_.
Like all behaviours, it is subject to reification:
see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification

and especially as it is done in the German language, reification has
this nasty habit of turning behaviours (i.e. things that are most like
a verb) into nouns, or things that require nouns.  Even the word
_behaviour_ is suspect, as it is a noun. 

This noun-making can be contagious .... if we thought of the world, not
as a thing, but happening-now (and see how hard it is to not have
a noun like 'process' there) would we come to the question of 'Who
made it?'  For there would be no 'it' there to point at.

It is not too surprising that the mathematicians have run into the
limits of reification.  There is only so much 'pretend this is a
thing' you can do under relentless questioning before the 'thing-ness'
just goes away ...

Laura


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