Say one day you give the order that no one should turn off the
lights in the room.

    A while later you come back and the lights are off and you
want to know who did it.

    No one owns up but Susan says Joe was the last one in the room
so he must have done it.  So now we are certain that Joe did it.

    Joe denies he did it though.

    Then Joe goes and dusts the light switch for finger prints
and finds that Tom's prints are on it and so it certain that Tom
did it.

    But Tom denies he did it.

    Then Tom goes to the video camera in the room that recorded the area
and the tape shows that Bill did it and wiped his prints clean and put
Toms prints there from an earlier lift, so now we are certain Bill did it.

    But Bill denies it too.

    Then Bill goes to the next room where John was sitting during
all this, and he says he saw Mary go to the VCR closet and replace
the tape that was running there with another one, so the video tape
may be a phoney through computer graphics etc and the real one is gone.

    Question:  Are we certain who did it yet?

    If we find the *REAL* video tape will we be certain who did it?

    No, because maybe God or some alien beings wrote false data on the
tape while it was recording to implicate an innocent party.

    "Oh but's thats *RIDICULOUS*, the data on the real video tape
is good enough for me!"

    What does "good enough for me" mean?

    It means "Good enough for me to place my bets and be comfortable
with the consequences right or wrong."

    Does it mean you are certain?

    No.

    Why?

    BECAUSE CERTAINTY IS IMPOSSIBLE in this situation.

    There can ALWAYS be an unknown third part messing with the
data thus falsifying it.

    The Proof calls this the Third Party law and formalizes it with
the statement,

    Learning with Certainty about Cause by Looking at Effects of that
Cause is impossible.

    One can argue "Yeah but this third party is the exceptional
claim, why should we consider it?"

    Well for practical purposes you probably shouldn't worry about it too
much, but for philosophical purposes, claiming certainty for an
uncertainty is a high crime worthy of a few years in hell when your time
comes, so we need to use more stringent standards.

    "Good enough for me" != Certainty

    Certainly.

    Homer



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Homer Wilson Smith   Clean Air, Clear Water,  Art Matrix - Lightlink
(607) 277-0959       A Green Earth and Peace. Internet Access, Ithaca NY
homer@lightlink.com  Is that too much to ask? http://www.lightlink.com