Archive for the ‘logic’ Category

board games

October 28, 2007

go board
I must say I love board games. After all it is the nice way to spend an afternoon with your monopoly-playing friends. But interesting thing is….why are board games good for? I read that there is more than a century long study on psychologic aspects of such games going on…impressive. So what do they say.

In nice article Wanna Play in Psychology Today by Jay Tietel he mentions

It is impossible to calculate how much people benefit from games:

o Games are primers on turntaking, the basis of all relationships.

o They can solve major crises in industry and teach people not to pilfer pencils from the company storeroom; in fact, companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on them for that.

o They can be training grounds for legendary generals and make the difference between winning and losing wars.

o Finally, and most important, games can reopen doors into the world of pretending and childhood, reminding us of unadulterated fun, sparking creativity.

So, what is your favourite game? I always liked chess, since my early childhood when I first saw on the photo that my uncle plays that unusual game. I asked my father to explain the rules to me, and he also bought a chess set very soon for me, and one illustrated book, so I was delighted to ponder about pawns and other figures as medieval armies in my imagination. At school I played sea battle on piece of paper with my friends, shoot invisible submarines with invisible torpedoes – it was fun. Later on I learned Go, and that game took my breath away with its infinite variety of possible moves. It is like painting your character and inner world with black and white stones on wooden table.

But I liked also to play Monopoly game, recently I played it with my little cousin, but he was constantly trying to steal monopoly money (he thought I do not see it). At first I acted as if I do not notice, but then I said stop – it is very important to play by the rules. Such is the life and everyday situations also, you have to know inner rules to get the joy in your victory and in your defeat. And very important thing that board games and sports are teaching us is fair-play.

Card games are also very nice. I like the idea of bluffing in Poker, but I never played it seriously – though I like to hear stories about card players very much and to watch such movies, as the one with Matt Damon.

But the game I would like to learn to play is Diplomacy. Several reasons for that. First, I want to learn more about history in Napoleonic wars, and WWI and WWII (game starts in 1901, so it is best for learning about WWI). And learning history without paying attention to diplomatic intricacies is incomplete. So, somehow I want to feel the history of Europe – not just to learn dates mechanically. I have a feeling that would be very challenging and interesting thing to do.

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don’t go message

February 6, 2007

Coco

Coco knows when Barbara will go to vacation, so he hides in her bag (thinking that she will not see and carry him too) :)

I adore shopping!

January 29, 2007

Who says that I object shopping? In fact I like shopping, I only don’t like it in periods when I don’t have money. In fact even then I like it, but I like it infinitely more when I can buy something too. Well, when I see Britney with her friends on MTV going to shopping, I just close my eyes and think that I went also to buy new running shoes (actually I bought silver-black Reebok leather ones few weeks ago, the wisest thing to do is to get running shoes when it is winter discount!)

It is just that shops in Belgrade don’t have always what I want…

So I can only dream how beautiful would it be that I enter in shop one day and say

-Good day, my beloved friends!-
-Good day, mister Dejan, what do you wish to buy today?-
-I just want to greet you with a smile, and to buy few things by the way-
-You are always very welcome, just say!-
-Oh well, I need 300 gr of happiness, half a kilo of pure joy, hmmm, what is that there on discount? aha, inner peace, well, that’s good – give me 2 kilos of that…How about selfless love, hmm, okay, give one litre of that. Do I need to mix it with water, or I can drink it like that?
-No, you can drink it like that. But if you want to mix it with water we have concentrated one too!-
-Okay, give me that concentrated one, and what is that over there…forgiveness, give me that too, and two bars of bliss and delight. What, box of pleasures, no, I don’t need it, I have already bought pure joy, and if it won’t be enough I will drop by this evening to buy half a kilo more. And please wrap it all up well, I don’t want to lose anything of it-
-No problem, here I will wrap it in special paper of humility that can contain it all-
-Thank you, how much money do I owe you for that?-
-Come on, why do you ask, we know that you are close friend of the shop owner. So everything is free for you!-
-Ok, thanks very much. I just thought it would be polite to ask :) Good-bye dear friends!
-Good-bye mr. Dejan, and please come again!-

But perhaps this is not mere dream. Perhaps the name of this shop is created Universe. And what is the way to become very good friend with the Owner? Nice topic to think about…

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

Albert Einstein

One thing is sure, if such shop exists you do not say ‘Give me’ no, it is not proper. Proper word is ‘Take me’ (make me Your friend, never to part)

Enjoy your shopping!

logic and intuition

January 22, 2007

How do we know that we are right? Yes, I’ve heard about syllogisms, enjoyed to make examples of false syllogisms which sound nice, but I really did not even presume that logical thinking is so complex before I found out that there are, no more no less, than 42 informal logical fallacies. A formal fallacy is contrasted with an informal fallacy, which has a valid logical form, but is false due to one or more of its premises being false. Oh great!

You know what this means, it means that there are 42 ways that you can reach wrong conclusions even if think logically right. What powerful weapon in hands of people who like to deliberately deceive another people. And you know lie is a lie, but half-truth can be more dangerous than a lie – I am refering to verbal communication, when someone deliberately launches half-truths as for example in politics (I was not speaking of cognitive domain where we cannot perceive complete truth because our minds are imperfect, so it is also half-truth, but we can call it constructivism in learning theory; we are making constructs which help us to seek for truth, it is different than when someone make false constructs to influence other people according to some selfish manner or aim)

Presume that you are professor or a teacher – someone who can give grades to students or pupils? What would be your criteria for giving grades? I believe that human brain is natural neural network (isn’t it obvious from medical anatomy) so the best thing is to regard intellect as not analogous to computer memory (be it hard disc, CD, DVD, or RAM) but analogous to ANN’s (artificial neural networks) which never contain information, but just some kind of changing weight function for every neuron, so to put it more simple – you have input, you have many neurons unaware of each other, and you have output. So knowledge is just like an echo to an impulse – we do not have to “store” knowledge in brain, rather we have to train our neurons to respond correctly to external stimuli. In another words – teachers should value more the correct way of thinking and especially ability to organize knowledge than mere capacity to “store” knowledge like a parrot. Human race has Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica for storing purposes.

Yes, I know…artificial neural networks were invented because scientists were inspired by the natural neural network – brain. It is funny that I am using now vice versa analogy – but what can I do? I cannot find better analogy – it seems that we created something, and then that something helped us to understand more about ourselves. And what if there is someone in us who created our mind and senses and heart and body to understand oneself more fully? Funny idea, huh, but we know so little about ourselves. To put this metaphorically – it is our intellect that creates prose, but who is he who creates poetry?

Question is – do we need knowledge of logic to get to know ourselves better? Is logic our friend which will intorduce us to ourselves? Will it bring a human closer to himself/herself? Will it make us feel we are at home? What do you think about that? In my case, sometimes it is friend, sometimes it is obstacle. When I feel joy in aesthetics – for example when I watch beautiful sunrise, I need no logic to feel beauty and become closer to myself. No, I need not even thoughts.

In this post I was speaking about intellectual knowledge. But how limited it is compared to intuitive knowledge. I feel peace when I read about Ockham razor. And it seems to me – house of Truth is Simplicity.

And what about those 42 ways thanks to which you could be deceived? Don’t worry – your own sincerity is your greatest protection.