Thursday, February 12, 2004

I picked up a Fuzzy Logic package at Falcon books (3 book deal) and have been enjoying them, though they are a bit 'enigmatic'. It was amusing to read - in Fuzzy Sets - that the author was bemused by the publisher's blurb on Cybernetic Conspiracy. He apparently had no idea it had anything to do with Leary's 4 Higher Circuits of the Brain! In fact, he admits he doesn't know what they are on about!

If you don't at all know what I am talking about (Fuzzy, not Leary!) - I found this in an FAQ:

"Fuzzy sets and logic must be viewed as a formal mathematical theory for the representation of uncertainty. Uncertainty is crucial for the management of real systems: if you had to park your car PRECISELY in one place, it would not be possible. Instead, you work within, say, 10 cm tolerances. The presence of uncertainty is the price you pay for handling a complex system.

Nevertheless, fuzzy logic is a mathematical formalism, and a membership grade is a precise number. What's crucial to realize is that fuzzy logic is a logic OF fuzziness, not a logic which is ITSELF fuzzy. But that's OK: just as the laws of probability are not random, so the laws of fuzziness are not vague."

And if you are wondering why I care, well, I have always had a problem with Aristotelean logic, and Either/Or thinking; Black/White; Good/Evil, etc - I always felt that it was an old-fashioned approach (even though my teachers would say "how can you challenge stuff we have used for 2000 years?" - and I would point out that Niels Bohr used the Taoist Yin-Yang symbol as a family crest, and famously mumbled when asked for precise answers about the weird world of quantum). Also I am fascinated by complex systems - so the emergence of this particular approach appealed to me, even if I don't entirely understand the technical side.

I like theMaybe Logic of Quantum more excluded middle! We want our grey areas! Bring back ambiguity and paradox!


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