Re: virus: Re:PCR Three Axioms

Brett Lane Robertson (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 19:51:15 -0500

So, you're saying that jokes are axioms, since to get the jokes you
tentatively assume the point or final statement of the joke to be
Aren't axioms a subjective phenomenon in which the subject decides what
is self-evident? You don't have to take anything as an axiom since you can
try to falsify anything. The statement that statements are either
falsifiable or axiomatic or tautological may not have gotten refuted yet,
but that does not mean it can't be.
What can you deduce from your axiom that statements are falsifiable,
axiomatic or tautological?

--David R.

Deconstructing humor is not funny. In a way, your statement that "jokes are
axioms..." is true. That is not what I meant to say, though. I thought I
implied that a joke was a tautology, that a riddle was a teleology, and that
an axiom is the resolution of either a joke or a riddle--at which point, it
ceases to be funny. Resolving the joke about "We Be Toys" into a statement
like "'Toys Are Us' doesn't translate from standard english into black
english" ( or "Black english is different from White english", an axiomatic
form) resolves the inherent contradiction implied by the joke--the
contradiction being that the two names are the same, are not the
same...whereby their difference becomes obvious ("are" becomes "be"), this
contradiction refers back to the context defining "Harlem" as "A place where
Black English is spoken"; so that one *gets* the joke (the dissonence
created by the contradictions are resolved into an "axiom"). But, I don't
think that "axiom" captures the heart of the joke, since at this level (the
level where one "gets" the joke) the "axiom" must also appear blatently
contradictory for the joke to be funny. So, a joke is an axiom but a bad
axiom (a house is a car).

I do not define axiom as something which is tentatively not
believe in subjectivity such that a subject ever *decides* what is self
evident. There are qualities about statements which lend themselves to
certain conclusions. Some statements can be taken as self evident, some
statements cannot. A statement with subject and object is an axiom (Bill
hits Balls)--the action of the statement is completed and not self
referential; so, it may stand as an axiom for further considerations about
where the balls go or how hard the balls are hit. If Bill hit himself, that
would be a tautology, the action is complete and the statement is self
referential. If the statement is open ended "Bill hits balls or himself"
(when Bill is not hitting balls is he always hitting himself?), it is a
tautological statement. Well, any of the above can be "subjectively"
assumed to be true and could be used like an axiom, but assuming the effect
of something is related to the cause (assuming something is "true") is not
always can be teleological, or tautological as well.

One can deduce from the axiom that statements are falsifiable, axiomatic or
tautological...that a statement which is not tautological or axiomatic is
falsifiable. (But I think I'm missing your point here).


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