Monday, January 17, 2022

From Bad Soup to Fuzzy Logic

 As someone who has always found the “Law of the Excluded Middle” a bit nonsensical, some years ago I tried to find someone who could say a little about “fuzzy logic,” (as opposed to Aristotelian logic) only to be surprised by how few folks (mathematicians, at least) cared to address it (perhaps it falls more into the realm of philosophy, logic, or even computer science). Anyway, happy to see Jim Propp touching upon it (well, scratching the surface) in his latest piece here:

The one sentence in the piece though that somewhat made me cringe is an almost offhand, parenthetical remark where Jim says "Well, you don’t always have to be careful, but when things are fuzzy, you’re aware that they’re fuzzy and you value the removal of the fuzz" (bold added). Actually, I think the problem that arises so often is that people DO NOT consciously or fully recognize "the fuzz" which is what allows them to speak so dichotomously (and strongly, but wrongly) about matters that are not so cut-and-dry as presented.  Even if at some level there is 'awareness' of the fuzz, if it is not fully acknowledged, then it may tend to be ignored, swept under the mental carpet like so many dust bunnies (instead of genuinely removed). And while 'fuzziness' is a particular problem in the social/behavioral sciences it can also creep stealthily into math, engineering, and their outgrowths.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Teens Learning Taxes

 Frankly, I’ve always been surprised (i.e., disappointed) at how little really practical and needed life experience is taught in our high school years (taxes, mortgages, job hunting/applications, budgeting, banking, childrearing, civics/laws, traveling, health, etc.).  We are left instead to largely learn about such matters by happenstance on our own.

But hey, here’s a start:

Friday, January 7, 2022

Aussie Math

 They say 'don't judge a book by its cover,' but I don't know, this one looks interesting and made me chuckle: