(urth) barrington interview

Lee severiansola at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 7 15:25:03 PDT 2014

>Marc Aramini: "Marc used a math problem"??????????????????????????????

>Rick Norwood: First, let me apologize for getting Marc and Lee mixed up.  When I read an amalgam 

>of many posts, I sometimes get confused about who is doing what, with what, and to whom.

Same here. It's the reason I try to assign names to quotes in my posts.

>Aliens who use a different number base is a red herring.  The math is the same, independently of 

>the language in which it is written.

Not a red herring; and don't think I didn't notice how you cleverly focused on the alien's 12 fingers

and ignored "his" silicon brain. :- )


I've had this debate before and I know it can be disturbing to the purely science/mathematically

minded. But math isn't really "universal". It  a system of calculation created by the human mind 

which is part of a primate brain evolved from more primitive mammalian ancestors.

Our brains may organize the search patterns of bees or the spiral shape of a conch shell or the

galaxy into a mathematical pattern. But I am confident in stating that bees and mollusks and stars

are not doing math. We are, as we seek to organize the universe into patterns our brains can 


>And I really do think there are right and wrong interpretations of literature.  As somebody said

> (Marc?  Lee?), the ghost of Hamlet’s father is not an alien.  That interpretation would be just plain 


Not me. I am on the other side of the fence on this debate. I can find at least a couple ways of 

understanding "ghost of Hamlet's father is an alien" to be a true statement.

1. The author, William Shakespeare, was from England. Hamlet's father was Danish.

2. We live in a material world. Ghosts, by definition, are from another sort of world who happen

to be visiting this one.

Of course I am not trying to be right about Hamlet's father, per se. I am only saying that anytime you 

make a statement of absolute or universal rightness or wrongness, you are unconsciously operating 

within a system of assumptions shared by the people you are talking to. Those assumptions can and

sometimes should be questioned, especially when "universality" is the claim.

It reminds me of a quote I heard from somebody in Mississippi back in 2012. He said that he knew

Barack Obama couldn't be re-elected because everybody he knew was voting against him. 		 	   		  

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