Re: Deep thoughts, Superficial sentences

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 23:33:46 +0100 (BST)

John Hughes (not NAT) writes:

> Our understanding of Glorantha (which ultimately can't be separated from
> Glorantha, itself except as an act of faith - can it?)

Absolutely true. (Even with all the [snipped] elaboration on the point. <g>)

> This is
> subtle but ever-present, and is reflected in the ever-changing/ever-the-same
> nature of discussion on the Digest. Differences that are ultimately personal
> preferences/ personal visions gain currency, are adopted, become "official"
> or are swept aside.

Yer no' kiddin'.

> While we like to imagine Glorantha as a realm that can be logically (though
> not necessarily scientifically) understood, its underlying assumptions are
> as much those of literary genre and mythic resonance as positivistic
> deduction. And to borrow an analogy from chaos theory, a sacrificial smoke
> in Sartar may have as much effect as a butterfly beating its wings in the
> Amazon. (Hold on, chaos theory can't work in Glorantha... can it? :))

I presume a Grey Sage discovering/inventing the phenonemon would call it 'Disorder Theory'. Or do you mean the actual processes would be incompatibility with the Codness of Gloranthan 'physics'? (Something about which I'd be something of an agnostic.)

> Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem demonstrated that there are always some
> things within a given system that cannot be proven - within a given world,
> we cannot prove nor disprove anything without going outside
> the system - which in most cases is impossible.

Oh, where to start with this one. ;-)

'Cannot prove some things', not 'cannot prove nor disprove anything'. (The theorem says nothing about disproof, other than in the sense of proofs of converse propositions.) Going outside the system is in fact almost always perfectly easy: the "Gödelisation" only works by formalising the system up front, and then screwing around with it. Reformalising the system will remove the 'problem' (though you can then regödelise, and get a different one, obviously).

Apologies to any Real Mathematicians(TM) in the audience for whom that summary was painfully sweeping.

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