As explained in the paragraph Understanding , the major way to communicate, is by using text. The question of course is what means clear.
In order to write clear text certain aspects are important:
- All the words used in each sentence should already previously be defined.
- Each sentence should only define one new concept.
Example 1. Consider the following four sentences:
2 + 2 = 4. That is logical. That is easy. That is common sense.
If that is logical, easy or common sense depends very much about the opinion of the person who wrote that.
- You will only understand the first sentence if you know that:
- 2 = 1+1
- 4 = 1+1+1+1.
- + is the same as count.
- = means the same.
- The first sentence can now be rewritten as:
- "1+1" + "1+1" = 1+1+1+1
- The total number of ones, on both sides of the = sign, is the same.
- This means that the first sentence is true.
By preference all those words like: logical, easy, intuitive and common sense should be either properly defined, or not be used.
What is logical for you, is may be not logical for me. etc.
Example 2. Consider the following sentence:
When you follow the road over the dike, you will see 19 windmills.
- In order to understand this sentence you must understand the words: road, dike, nineteen and windmill.
- This sentence makes a clear prediction, namely that there are 19 windmills.
- To decide if the sentence is true you have to do an observation. That means you have to walk along the dike and to count.
In actual fact in the Netherlands there is a place where you can see 19 windmills. It is called Kinderdijk.
Example 3. Consider the following sentence:
Accordingly to dr. R van Hulst, when divers spend 28 days at a depth of 40 meters, under pressure, their hear and beard will grow half as fast.
A very interesting fact, which demonstrates that processes are time dependent.
Example 4. Consider the following sentence:
There are many problems with this sentence.
The equation x*x + y*y = r*r is proof that a circle round is.
- You cannot "prove" the physical reality. You cannot prove that an apple falls from a tree. You can only describe the physical reality.
- In strict mathematical sense, accordingly to precise rules, you can prove something.
- If you agree with the following definition that a theory is a prediction of a physical process and a law is an actual description of a real physical process than the following sentence becomes true:
The proof of a theory is to perform an experiment which is described by its predicted behaviour. Thereafter the Theory becomes a Law.
- The above equation describes a circle. Circles are round.
- A circle is not a physical object. A torus or doughnut is.
Example 5. Consider the following two sentences:
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the total amount of disorder in the universe (which is measured by a quantity called entropy), always increases with time. This suggests that the universe can have been going only for a finite time.
- How does one measure order or disorder in the universe ?
Example 6. Consider the following sentence:
Select one which is closest to be true.
The physical Reality (The Universe) is:
- Controlled by the laws of physics.
- None of the above.
- Before you want to select (or discuss) something, you must first clearly define what each selection criteria means.
- For each of the selections you could answer both Yes and No, however whatever you answer does that really makes a difference ?
- A thermostat is used to control a room. In that sense humans have a limited control over the physical reality.
The physical reality is described by physical laws. Some physical phenomena already exist for a long time and are stable. That means that the laws that describe those phenomena are also stable. However that does not mean that those laws control the physical reality.
Example 7. Consider the following sentences:
Bohm's hidden variable interpretation reproduces all of the statistical predictions of quantum mechanics today, provided that we make the approximation that the mental wave functions of the particles and fields acts directly on them, but, in contrast, the particles and fields do not directly act back on their wave functions. In other words, the mind-like wave functions of inanimate organizations of matter are unmoved movers that move matter, but are not moved by matter. When go beyond this approximation we find our conscious selves.
Example 8. Consider the following sentence:
The amount of Entropy in a blackhole is a function of the Radius of a blackhole.
The problem with this rather simple sentence is that when you listen carefully to the person, who tells you this, he (or she? ) will be pleased. However when you tell him that you do not understand and ask him to explain all the words than he could be upset.
Last modified: 15 May 1999
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