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Current Law Students / Abductive Reasoning
« on: October 15, 2008, 06:56:28 PM »


Abduction means determining α. It is using the postcondition and the rule to assume that the precondition could explain the postcondition (β ∧ R1 ⇒ α).


- Abduction allows inferring a as an explanation of b. Because of this, abduction allows the precondition a of "a entails b" to be inferred from the consequence b. Deduction and abduction thus differ in the direction in which a rule like "a entails b" is used for inference. As such abduction is formally equivalent to the logical fallacy affirming the consequent.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "after this, therefore because (on account) of this", is a logical fallacy (of the questionable cause variety) which states, "Since that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one." It is often shortened to simply post hoc and is also sometimes referred to as false cause, coincidental correlation or correlation not causation. It is subtly different from the fallacy cum hoc ergo propter hoc, in which the chronological ordering of a correlation is insignificant. Post hoc is a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence appears to be integral to causality. The fallacy lies in coming to a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors that might rule out the connection. Most familiarly, many superstitious beliefs and magical thinking arise from this fallacy.


The form of the post hoc fallacy can be expressed as follows:

A occurred, then B occurred.
Therefore, A caused B.
When B is undesirable, this pattern is often extended in reverse: Avoiding A will prevent B.

Cause & Effect: Logical Reasoning

Abductive Reasoning as a Way of Worldmaking

The author deals with the operational core of logic, i.e. its diverse procedures of inference, in order to show that logically false inferences may in fact be right because -- in contrast to logical rationality -- they actually enlarge our knowledge of the world. This does not only mean that logically true inferences say nothing about the world, but also that all our inferences are invented hypotheses the adequacy of which cannot be proved within logic but only pragmatically.

In conclusion the author demonstrates, through the relationship between rule-following and rationality, that it is most irrational to want to exclude the irrational: it may, at times, be most rational to think and infer irrationally. Focussing on the operational aspects of knowing as inferring does away with the hiatus between logic and life, cognition and the world (reality) -- or whatever other dualism one wants to invoke: knowing means inferring, inferring means rule-governed interpreting, interpreting is a constructive, synthetic act, and a construction that proves adequate (viable) in the world of experience, in life, in the praxis of living, is, to the constructivist mind, knowledge.

It is the practice of living which provides the orienting standards for constructivist thinking and its judgments of viability. The question of trüth is replaced by the question of viability, and viability depends on the (right) kind of experiential fit.

"The Gods have certainty, whereas to us as men conjecture [only is possible]..."
- Alcmaion von Kroton

Here it is an interesting book related to the subject:

Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation

Explanation of why things happen is one of humans' most important cognitive operations. Abductive inference that generates explanatory hypotheses is an inherently risky form of reasoning because of the possibility of alternative explanations. Inferring that Paul has influenza because it explains his fever, aches, and cough is risky because other diseases such as meningitis can cause the same symptoms. People should only accept an explanatory hypothesis if it is better than its competitors, a form of inference that philosophers call inference to the best explanation. A cognitive model could perform this kind of inference by taking into account 3 criteria for the best explanation: consilience, which is a measure of how much a hypothesis explains; simplicity, which is a measure of how few additional assumptions a hypothesis needs to carry out an explanation; and analogy, which favors hypotheses whose explanations are analogous to accepted ones.

Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess match against a world champion.

In AI (artificial intelligence), the term "abduction" is often used to describe inference to the best explanation as well as the generation of hypotheses. In actual systems, these two processes can be continuous, for example in the PEIRCE tool for abductive inference described by Josephson and Josephson (primarily an engineering tool rather than a cognitive model). In ordinary life and in many areas of science the relation between what is explained and what does the explaining is usually looser than deduction. An alternative conception of this relation is provided by understanding an explanation as the application of a causal schema, which is a pattern that describes the relation between causes and effects.

Current Law Students / Re: poor lawyers
« on: October 15, 2008, 06:38:23 PM »

A common saying is that "money is the root of evil." My people-experience has proven otherwise. Money can't cripple confidence, can't snuff creativity, and can't kill love near as efficiently or quickly as reticence can. If such a money v. reticence race were run, I would place every spare nickel on that "dark horse" and be confident of winning. What's not said destroys more people than money does, I've found.

Hahaha - you're so funny, Savvy! I know what ya mean ;)

many, I guess the question appears to be: what do you do when what's "not said" when being said turns out to destroy way, way more people than money does? ;)

Current Law Students / Re: The Da Vinci crock
« on: October 15, 2008, 06:11:45 PM »

Back to the subject :)

Copyright issues have traditionally been not given the importance they deserve. That's have been the case even in the US, let alone in less developed countries. When I was in school in Russia I remember many professiors who'd translate books from English to Russian and publish it as if they had written it themselves, under their own name. We as students would not mind it had the books been translated correctly.. but these "professors" did not even know English good enough!

Not every book that comes out in the US is a candidate for a foreign deal. For those that are however, the overseas market, while not likely to make the publisher or the author rich beyond their wildest imaginations, is definitely worth exploring. And of course by "foreign" I mean a deal made by an owner in the United States with a publisher in another nation. There are essentially 2 and perhaps 3 forms of foreign deals. The first is the right that the owner of foreign rights has to license the translation of the English version of the book into a foreign language. The second is the right to license the reprint of the book in the English language and sell the same in a local territory. There is also an export deal in which the American publisher sells the very same book that is distributed in the U.S. to a foreign publisher at a discount.  The foreign publisher merely is distributing the U.S. book in that territory.

The question as to who owns the right to make these deals is the subject of the agreement between author and publisher. Since copyright initially resides in the creator of the work-usually the author unless it is a work for hire situation-how much of that bundle of rights called copyright the author gives away is what that agreement is all about. Part of the negotiation will involve foreign rights of the sorts mentioned above. However, there are often other parties who may have rights that may prevent the making of a foreign deal including but not limited to artists, illustrators, editors and even, in some instances, distributors and other parties. Therefore, the publisher must carefully review all of its agreements (or the lack of such agreements) to make sure it can actually make a foreign deal.

The normal kind of deal for a book that originally was published in the US generally involves a royalty and hopefully an advance against that royalty. The size of the advance varies depending upon the size of the market and the success or lack of it that the book enjoyed in the U.S.  among other factors. For example, reprint rights to a large territory, such as the UK or Germany, might bring a larger advance than a similar deal for Portugal. The same for translations. And since all books are not interchangeable, the rule of thumb for determining the size of the advance is based upon the "WYCG" approach. "WYCG" is the technical legal term for "Whatever You Can Get." If the buyer feels the book is going to do particularly well in the territory, that buyer may be willing to pay a larger advance for the rights. In all negotiations, the end result depends upon the relative bargaining position of the parties. The advance will be applied against a royalty rate that varies and which is likely to be based upon the retail price or cover price in the market. However, there may be other royalty provisions for foreign book clubs, flat fee licenses made by the foreign licensee and so on. The actual royalties in turn may be subject to other calculations that may reduce the effective royalty from the stated rate and these factors should be the subject of negotiation as well.

In the export deal, the American publisher sells the book directly to the foreign publisher at a discount from the cover or retail price, not unlike a sale to an American distributor. Here, however, the American publisher may seek payment in full in advance before shipping. How the books will be shipped may be another issue. In both the translation and reprint deals, shipping is generally not an issue. Diskettes or electronic transfer may suffice to get the book to the foreign publisher. The owner of the foreign rights may elect to sell separate territorial rights to separate licensees or make an overall deal for several territories with one licensee. In the latter event, the advance that is paid can be separately allocated by territory and provide that there shall be no "cross-collateralization" between or among territories. This means that if the book does well in one territory and recoups the advance paid for that territory, the excess royalties due the American licensor may not be used to recoup any other unrecouped advance from another territory. Obviously, having different licensees in different countries can be an accounting headache for the small publisher but it may be otherwise worthwhile not to put all one's literary eggs into the basket of a single licensee, at least until the relationship has proven itself.

Additionally, it should be made clear that the license to the foreign publisher does not include the right to export from the territory into other territories. This is a subtle but important point since a local publisher may feel that because they own rights for the territory such rights include the right to sell to exporters *in* the territory even though the ultimate sales may take place *outside* the territory. By including the "rest of the world is an open market" clause (which many "form" agreements provide), the American publisher may be cutting itself off from other sales. Example: if you sell exclusive Portuguese language rights to a licensee for Portugal and your agreement prevents "open market" sales, you can perhaps make an exclusive Portuguese rights deal for Brazil. But if your contract allows for open market sales by the licensee, it means that sales in that open market, which is, in this example, a Portuguese language version sold in other Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil or Macao, as a practical matter may cut off your ability to make an additional deal. "As a practical matter" because although such "open market sales" are usually on a non-exclusive basis, that original licensee is already in print with the book in these open market countries and your ability to make a competing deal is unlikely. Not only do you then lose the additional advance, but you often also receive a lower royalty on these open market sales since there is a sub-licensee involved. Now imagine if the deal were for Spanish language rights in Spain. If you do not restrict the open market language in the deal with the Spanish licensee, you could be losing the practical ability to make other Spanish language deals in all of the countries of the world where Spanish is spoken.

We have a growing phenomenon in the financial world today called "common markets." For example, there are 25 member states within the European Union (EU). Such a union represents a single market for social, agricultural and fiscal policies as well as the development of a single monetary currency. The EU allows for the free movement of products across what would otherwise be international boundaries. There are several sub-unions as well: The Benelux nations (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) started in 1948. There is also the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprised of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Sweden. We also now have the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and many other trading relationships throughout the world. All of these are attempts to form an economic trading block to benefit member states in their economic relations with non-member states. The EU for example, requires that when a deal is made in one territory, the licensee shall have the right to sell the book in all member states as well.  So the concept of "territory" must be clearly defined in your agreement. And this becomes even more important with English language reprint deals.  If you do not restrict the territory and you, as a publisher following the "standard" form you used without professional advice include this "open market" language, you could be losing substantial monies since now you have a competing book being sold, even if on a non-exclusive basis, everywhere in the world.

Current Law Students / Re: Trauma-based Mind Control
« on: October 15, 2008, 05:57:43 PM »

I would not dismiss as complete b u l l * & ^ % the behaviorist theory with its Pavlovian principles and the like ... I remember it very well indeed when a friend of mine was talking one day to a woman about some pills she'd be getting from her ... stuff prescribed to her before by an idiotic doctor ... she became dependent on them having to find sources herself later on ... well, I remember the scene very well when she was asking her for the pills, promising the latter to do everything for her, become her slave ... now this woman turned out was a lesbian and yes ... my very good friend, a straight woman all the way, was willing to become her slave just to get the pills ... that's the "power" of addiction ... what do I mean? People become "conditioned" to do the most unbelievable things in order to get something they desperately need, be it drugs, gamble money, whatever ... I'm sure many of you may find alternative explanations for the behavior of my friend, but I'm pretty sure mine is the most logical explanation of all!

May it not be that she was lured to this specific lesbian woman you mention as a source for the pills because she somehow was intrigued by the idea of having woman-to-woman sex? (She could have found a straight woman or a man to give her the pills, for instance) On the other hand, it's conceivable that it was securing the addicting pills that led her to strings-attached sex, just like you say. In other words, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Current Law Students / Re: The Beatles', "I Am The Walrus"
« on: October 15, 2008, 05:28:01 PM »

A subliminal message is communicated below the conscious level of perception. By nature, you will not be aware of receiving one. Backmasking, an audio technique in which sounds are recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forwards, produces messages that sound like gibberish to the conscious mind. Gary Greenwald, a fundamentalist Christian preacher, claims that these messages can be heard subliminally, and can induce listeners towards, in the case of rock music, sex and drug use. However, this is not generally accepted as fact.

The manual for the popular sound program SoX pokes fun at subliminal messages. The description of the "reverse" option says "Included for finding satanic subliminals."

Following the 1950s subliminal message panic, many businesses have sprung up purporting to offer helpful subliminal audio tapes that supposedly improve the health of the listener. However, there is no evidence for the therapeutic effectiveness of such tapes. Subliminal messages have also been known to appear in music. In the 1990s, two young men died from self-inflicted gunshots and their families were convinced it was because of a British rock band, Judas Priest. The families claimed subliminal messages told listeners to "do it" in the song "Better by You, Better Than Me". The case was taken to court and the families sought more than US$6 million in damages. The judge, Jerry Carr Whitehead, ruled that the subliminal messages did exist in the song, but stated that the families did not produce any scientific evidence that the song persuaded the young men to kill themselves. In turn, he ruled it probably would not have been perceived without the "power of suggestion" or the young men would not have done it unless they really intended to.

Subliminal messages can affect a human's emotional state and/or behaviors. They are most effective when perceived unconsciously. The most extensive study of therapeutic effects from audiotapes was conducted to see if the self-esteem audiotapes would raise self-esteem. 237 volunteers were provided with tapes of 3 manufacturers and completed post tests after one month of use. The study showed clearly that subliminal audiotapes made to boost self-esteem did not produce effects associated with subliminal content within one month's use. The effectiveness of any subliminal message has been called into question time after time and has led many to one conclusion, namely: that the technique does not work, as Anthony R. Pratkanis, one of the researchers in the field puts it: "It appears that, despite the claims in books and newspapers and on the backs of subliminal self help tapes, subliminal-influence tactics have not been demonstrated to be effective. Of course, as with anything scientific, it may be that someday, somehow, someone will develop a subliminal technique that may work, just as someday a chemist may find a way to transmute lead to gold. I am personally not purchasing lead futures on this hope however."

Try telling that to the underground scientific community!

Current Law Students / Re: Living Life From A Third Person Perspective
« on: October 15, 2008, 05:14:55 PM »

[...] The so-called "bicameral mind" may be scientifically controversial, but if humans 2,000 or 3,000 years ago did have less communication between the hemispheres, it is possible that their sense of self -- a single, fully intact sense of self -- was comparatively weak and they heard voices coming from within. [...]

Consciousness In The Cosmos: Perspective of Mind: Julian Jaynes

Back in 1976 when he was a professor of psychology at Princeton, Julian Jaynes published a very controversial theory about the emergence of the human mind. Indeed, even today his theory of the "bicameral mind" remains a controversy. Rather than just harkening to behavioral psychology or brain biology, Jaynes presents his theory from the perspective of psycho-cultural history. Going back to the the earliest writings and studying particularly the many early civilizations of the Near East, Jaynes came to the conclusion that most of the people in these archaic cultures were *not* subjectively conscious as we understand it today. Jaynes provides extensive illustrations -- ranging from Sumer, Ur, Babylon, Egyptian, Early Mycenean, Hebrew, and even Mayan and Asian cultures -- that support his theory of the bicameral mind. But he mainly focuses on Mycenean (Greek) material.

Jaynes bluntly declares "There is in general no consciousness in the ILIAD." Analyzing Homer's great epic, Jaynes came to the conclusion that the characters of the Trojan siege did not have conscious minds, no introspection, as we know it in the modern human. Whether Achilles or Agamemnon, there was no sense of subjectivity. Rather they were men whom the gods pushed about like robots. The gods sang epics through their lips. Jayne declares that these Iliadic heroes heard "voices," real speech and directions from the gods -- as clearly as those diagnosed epileptic or schizophrenic today. Jaynes stresses that the Iliadic man did not possess subjectivity as we do -- rather "he had no awareness of his awareness of the world, no internal mind-space to introspect upon." This mentality of the Myceneans, Jaynes calls the bicameral mind. Now what was this bicameral mind? Jaynes briefly discusses brain biology -- in that there are three speech areas, for most located in the left hemisphere. They are: (1) the supplemental motor cortex; (2) Broca's area; and (3) Wernicke's area. Jaynes focuses on Wernicke's area, which is chiefly the posterior part of the left temporal lobe. It is Wernicke's area that is crucial for human speech.

Pursuing the bicameral mind, Jaynes focuses on the corpus callosum, the major inter-connector between the brain's hemispheres. In human brains the corpus callosum can be likened to a small bridge, a band of transverse fibers, only slightly more than one-eighth of an inch in diameter. This bridge "collects from most of the temporal lobe cortex but particularly the middle gyrus of the temporal lobe in Wernicke's area." And it was this bridge that served as the means by which the "gods" who dwelled in one hemisphere of the human brain were able to give "directions" to the other hemisphere. It is like thinking of the "two hemispheres of the brain almost as two individuals." Hence the bicameral mind! Archaic humans were ordered and moved by the gods through both auditory hallucinations and visual hallucinations. The gods mainly "talked" to them -- but sometimes "appeared," such as Athene appeared to Achilles. And "when visual hallucinations occur with voices, they are merely shining light or cloudy fog, as Thetis came to Achilles or Yahwey to Moses." Jaynes believes in the mentality of the early Mycenean that volition, planning and initiative were literally organized with no consciousness whatsoever. Rather such volition was "told" to the individual -- "sometimes with the visual aura of a familiar friend or authority figure or 'god,' or sometimes as a voice alone."

Now Jaynes thinks the great agricultural civilizations that spread over much of the Near East by 5000 b.c.e. reflected the bicameral mind. These civilizations were rigid theocracies! They were reminiscent of the Queen Bee and the bee-hive. These bicameral societies reflected "hierarchies of officials, soldiers, or works, inventory of goods, statements of goods owed to the ruler, and particular to gods." Jaynes contests that such theocracies were the only means for a bicameral civilization to survive. Circumventing chaos, these rigid hierarchies allowed for "lesser men hallucinating the voices of authorities over them, and those authorities hallucinating yet higher ones, and so" to kings and gods. According to Julian Jaynes, "the idols of a bicameral world are the carefully tended centers of social control, with auditory hallucinations instead of pheromones." In these ancient bicameral societies the idol or the statue was literally the god, so says Jaynes. The god/goddess had its own house. It was usually the center of a temple complex. The size varied according to the importance of the god and, of course, the wealth of the city. In these theocracies the owner of the land was the divine idol -- and the people were the tenants. The steward-king served the god by administrating the god's estates. According to cuneiform texts, the gods also enjoyed eating, drinking, music and dancing. They required beds for sleeping and connubial visits from other gods. They (the statues) were washed and dressed, driven around on special occasions. Ceremony and ritual evolved around these idols.

The collapse of the bicameral mind came slowly, it was a slow erosive breakdown. But Jaynes spotted the first serious indications of collapse by the time of Egypt's Middle Kingdom, around 1700 b.c.e. Authority had started to crumble -- and due to this Egypt had to re-unify itself, hence the Middle Kingdom. Jaynes considers that this slow collapse was caused by natural disasters, such as the Santorini volcanic explosion that devastated many Greek islands. Migration of different peoples into new areas disrupted the bicameral societies already in place. Conquest over peoples by others resulted in further collapse. And writing gradually eroded the "auditory authority of the bicameral mind." Jaynes felt a real tipoff of this bicameral breakdown could be discerned in the Babylonian lines: "My god has forsaken me and disappeared, My goddess has failed me and keeps at a distance... [To Marduk]

It was with this, according to Jaynes, that one could detect for the first time the mighty themes of the world religions: "Why have the gods left us? Like friends who depart from us, they must be offended. Our misfortunes are our punishments for our offenses. We go down on our knees, begging to be forgiven. And then find redemption in some return of the word of a god." For Jaynes this ruin, this bitter bicameral breakdown led to the growth of subjective consciousness in Greece. Moving from the ILIAD, Jaynes declares that Homer's ODYSSEY is unlike its predecessor. Here we have wily Odysseus, the hero of many devices, a man of a "new mentality." The ODYSSEY was about a man who was learning how to get along in a "ruined and god-weakened world." With the Golden Age of Greece, in the starstruck sixth century b.c.e., with Solon, with Thales, Anaximander, and Pythagoras, Jaynes claims we are now with human minds with whom we can feel mentally at home!

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