Reminder: CADE-15 WS 'Problem Solving...' 
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 Reminder: CADE-15 WS 'Problem Solving...'

Quote:

> I know I'm being picky, but the library wasn't infinite: it curved
> back on itself.  

In the first two sentences of the story, Borges says:

  "The universe (which others call the Library) is composed
   of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal
   galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very
   low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see,
   interminably, the upper and lower floors."

Although lately

  "Men usually infer from this mirror that the Library is not
   infinite (if it were, why this illusory duplication?);"

As Borges says right afterwards, I would also say

  "I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and
   promise the infinite"

In the last paragraph Borges says that both you and me may be right
(or maybe, that both of us are wrong!):

  "Those who judge it to be limited postulate that in remote
   places the corridors and stairways and hexagons can conceivably
   come to an end -- which is absurd. Those who imagine it to be
   without limit forget that the possible number of books does
   have such a limit. I venture to suggest this solution to the
   ancient problem: The Library is unlimited and cyclical."

I found the tale in this link (so, people could do better by
reading it instead of listening our discussion):

  http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~pwillen1/lit/index3.htm

click on  "The Library of Babel"
Unfortunately some footnotes are missing (one of them mentions the
alternative existence of an infinite book)

Regards,

--
 Pedro R. D'Argenio
  http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~dargenio/



Sun, 12 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Reminder: CADE-15 WS 'Problem Solving...'


: On Sat, 16 May 1998 12:18:19 -0400, in sci.logic, "Michael A.

: >I'm a Prolog programmer, a computational linguist who knows Hebrew and
: >Greek, and a Christian (last is not least here!), and I see no reason to
: >think the Bible code is anything but coincidence.  The way the Hebrew
: >language works, almost any string of random letters will spell something,
: >especially if it's allowed to be the transliterated name of a foreigner
: >whose name has no fixed Hebrew spelling.

: I think too many readers of Scripture try to "decipher" it, or
: "unmask" it, or in some way to "decode" it. I suppose this is
: harmless, provided one entertains such an undertaking as a "game."
: Otherwise, some goofy, if not outlandish and preposterous, predictions
: and discoveries are claimed.

I don't mean to make noise while jumping in the discussion - but:
While I am first and foremost a scientist, and skeptical of the existance
of such code, the claim of the existance of bible code was not based on
picking random letters into strings (which is possible in any text,
in any language), but (to the best of my understanding) on statistical
analysis of the occurance of such strings in close proximity to each other
in the original Hebrew text of Genesis but not (at least not with the same
significance) in random texts generated from garbling the original Herbrew
text, nor in slightly modified, but linguistically coherent forms of
the original text.

In other words, they were not analysing the occurance of such strings
in the text, but the statistical significance of such occurance with respect
to their appearance in other texts.  This is not as easily dismissable.

This was published in one of the mathematical/statistical scientific
journals, which means it passed at least some form of review.

Again, while I'm not a believer, I do think we need to look closely at
what is exactly being claimed, and the methods used.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Research Assistant, Applied Philosopher  USC Information Sciences Institute
     "Death is an engineering problem." -- Bart Kosko, "Fuzzy Thinking"
     "But life is not an engineering task." -- Gal A. Kaminka



Sat, 18 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Reminder: CADE-15 WS 'Problem Solving...'

Quote:

>I don't mean to make noise while jumping in the discussion - but:
>While I am first and foremost a scientist, and skeptical of the existance
>of such code, the claim of the existance of bible code was not based on
>picking random letters into strings (which is possible in any text,
>in any language), but (to the best of my understanding) on statistical
>analysis of the occurance of such strings in close proximity to each other
>in the original Hebrew text of Genesis but not (at least not with the same
>significance) in random texts generated from garbling the original Herbrew
>text, nor in slightly modified, but linguistically coherent forms of
>the original text.
>In other words, they were not analysing the occurance of such strings
>in the text, but the statistical significance of such occurance with respect
>to their appearance in other texts.  This is not as easily dismissable.

Absolutely.
However, the methodology used has since been found to contain flaws and
an identical (roughly equally flawed) experiment has succesfuly found
codes in War and Peace and in Moby{*filter*}.

Quote:
>This was published in one of the mathematical/statistical scientific
>journals, which means it passed at least some form of review.

THe flaw was to do with the selection of rabbis and the possible renderings
of their names - this is something that could only have been spotted by
someone duplicating the full details of the experiment with a background
in Judaic studies and fluency in Hebrew ... it isn't surprising
that the original review didn't uncover this.

For more details see
        http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~bdm/dilugim/torah.html

Quote:
>Again, while I'm not a believer, I do think we need to look closely at
>what is exactly being claimed, and the methods used.

I fully agree -- this has been done and flaws in the original experiment
found.

Cheers,

Michael



Sun, 19 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Reminder: CADE-15 WS 'Problem Solving...'


Quote:
>I don't mean to make noise while jumping in the discussion - but:
>While I am first and foremost a scientist, and skeptical of the existance
>of such code, the claim of the existance of bible code was not based on
>picking random letters into strings (which is possible in any text,
>in any language), but (to the best of my understanding) on statistical
>analysis of the occurance of such strings in close proximity to each other
>in the original Hebrew text of Genesis but not (at least not with the same
>significance) in random texts generated from garbling the original Herbrew
>text, nor in slightly modified, but linguistically coherent forms of
>the original text.

>In other words, they were not analysing the occurance of such strings
>in the text, but the statistical significance of such occurance with respect
>to their appearance in other texts.  This is not as easily dismissable.

By exactly the same token that it is not "easily dismissable," it is
also not "easily validated."

The only way of validating the analysis is via comparison with some sort
of "control" text.  I expect that a preferable method would probably be
to "garble" the original Hebrew text so as to have a "control" with
similar distributions of letters and combinations of letters to those
found in the "true" text.

Quote:
>This was published in one of the mathematical/statistical scientific
>journals, which means it passed at least some form of review.

Apparently none of the individuals on the following web page were
consulted...

<http://math.caltech.edu/code/petition.html>

Quote:
>Again, while I'm not a believer, I do think we need to look closely at
>what is exactly being claimed, and the methods used.

The books say nothing about any evaluations of statistical significance,
merely claiming:

"How could this have happened by chance?  The probabilities are
astronomical!"

Which says absolutely nothing about any real probabilities.

--
Win32 sucks so hard it could pull matter out of a Black Hole. -- Pohl Longsine



Sun, 19 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Reminder: CADE-15 WS 'Problem Solving...'

I may be jumping in this discussion too late, and I don't
think that the subject is relevant to this group anyway
(I followed it in comp.lang.prolog) but here are some links
to Skeptical Inquirer articles debunking bible codes:

Follow-up: Bible-Code Developments (March/April issue):
 http://www.csicop.org/si/9711/bible-code.html

Hidden Messages and the Bible Code (November/December issue):
 http://www.csicop.org/si/9803/bible-code.html

Skeptical Inquirer site: http://www.csicop.org/si/

CSICOP site: http://www.csicop.org/
--

Altera Ltd.                      http://www.altera.gr/dsouflis

*** If Hungarian is so great, dwhy vdo aits nproponents
*** dnot vuse nit ain atheir nemail?



Tue, 21 Nov 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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