landspeedrecord at gmail.com
Sun Dec 19 02:25:22 EST 2010
To me, 'wobble' is not the same as 'wobbly'. Beyond the fact that the
former is a verb and the latter is an adjective, of course. The former is
an event and the latter is a property of an object for the propensity of an
event to occur given that object and a specific context - it is a
conditional emergent property. One could ask the same questions about other
conditional emergent properties, we just don't usually have specific words
for them. Any object that undergoes the emergent behavior can be described
using the verb, form while only objects with the propensity to exhibit the
behavior can have the adjectival property. For instance, I could say that
'Sally failed the test', but there is no adjective for having the propensity
to fail tests, being 'fail-y' as in 'Sally is sooooo fail-y'. Perhaps I am
being a dumbass and overlooking an obvious adjective though, but I don't
Here is a fun list, with nothing that even comes close to "fail-y":
short <http://thesaurus.com/browse/short>, abortive, addle, aground, all up
with, atfault, bankrupt, befooled, bootless, borne
, broken down, capsized, cast away,crossed, dashed, dead beat,
, deficient <http://thesaurus.com/browse/deficient>,destroyed<http://thesaurus.com/browse/destroyed>
, disconcerted <http://thesaurus.com/browse/disconcerted>, dished, done for,
doneup, downtrodden, failing <http://thesaurus.com/browse/failing>, flambe,
foiled,foundered, fruitless <http://thesaurus.com/browse/fruitless>,
frustrated <http://thesaurus.com/browse/frustrated>, grounded,hobbling,
hoist on with one's own petard, in asorry plight,
, ineffectual <http://thesaurus.com/browse/ineffectual>, inefficacious,
, knocked on the head,lame <http://thesaurus.com/browse/lame>, left in the
lurch, lost <http://thesaurus.com/browse/lost>, minus, nonsuited,
oligophrenic, out of depth, out of one'sreckoning, overborne,
, perfunctory <http://thesaurus.com/browse/perfunctory>,played out,
, ruined root and branch,sacrificed, shipwrecked, short of,
, struckdown, stultified, successless, swamped, thrownaway, thrown off one's
balance, thrown on one'sback, thrown on one's beam ends, tripping,
unattained, unavailing, uncompleted,
, unhinged, unhorsed,
, victimized, wide of the mark,wrecked.
What is interesting and surprising to me is, given our society's love of
neologisms, that more words like 'wobbly' are not coined on a regular basis
- especially in light of the fact that so much of our socially mediated
reality includes so many emergent properties.
I should add that objects with a propensity to do something don't have to be
the source of that propensity. People with their heads in guillotines have
a propensity for having their heads chopped off but they are not the causal
source of the beheading. Likewise a table need not be wobbly to wobble (as
when the floor is uneven). If only 'beheading-y' was a word, I could make a
joke about the French now.
One of my current fascinations is wondering if there is a logic to why some
concepts are recursive (meta) and others are not (the ontology of
recursion?) and this is a good example... is it possible to have a
conditionally emergent conditional emergent property? Off-hand I am
guessing no although I can't give any logical reason why this should be so.
Lastly, "A mental property is a property that depends on the there being
minds" - What do you mean by that? Or rather, are you speaking of qualia or
are you raising the "mind-invoking" vs. "mind-involving" distinction? Also,
do you really take "good" to be a property? For me things that are "good"
are merely things that I personally judge to be so, and as such the
"property" is not in them, but in my propensity to use the words to describe
various objects - not that I am saying I am an emotivist.
On Sat, Dec 18, 2010 at 7:01 AM, steve bayne <baynesrb at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I think it was the AI guy, Pat Hayes, who mentioned the problem of
> 'wobbles' in puter programming. It's an interesting idea. Here are a couple
> of half-baked thoughts.
> A table may wobble because the floor is uneven; thus the table may wobble
> without being a wobbly table. Nor do we care to say that being wobbly, the
> property, may receive a dispositional analysis: being so disposed that when
> bumped things on it fall off. Nor do we say "A wobbly chair jiggles but only
> at a point" (at one leg). Being wobbly may have a physical explanation
> without being a property connected in a lawlike way with other properties,
> physical or otherwise. But being wobbly does have a physical explanation;
> still there is no property of matter that corresponds or is identical to
> being wobbly. There is no anamolousness to 'wobbly'. Why not?
> A mental property is a property that depends on the there being minds; not
> all mental properties are psychological. Some mind dependent properties,
> such as evaluative properties, are not psychological. 'Good' is not a
> psychological property, even though it may be subjective.
> Note, also, that a table may wobble without being wobbly; a man can kill
> and in a sense not be a "killer." The contrast introduces evaluation, not a
> STeve Bayne
Pentabarf #5: A Discordian is Prohibited from Believing What he reads.
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