Re: virus: Re:PCR Three Axioms

Brett Lane Robertson (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 21:32:12 -0500

A few comments on my own post. First, I am confused and don't want to set
myself up as an expert on what an axiom is not very obvious to me.
I think that an axiom contains a teleological element, a tautological
element, and a relationship between the two that objectively manifests (and
I'm not even sure what I just said). Next, I'm fairly certain that a joke
is a tautology (even my example "Bill hits himself" seems funny, in a way).
And I'm pretty sure that a command and a riddle are teleologies. I must
admit, though that I'm not sure how to form an axiom or what to use as an
example. I was *way* over my head when I envisioned multiple isosomantic
versions which both varified and negated themselves/each-other.

I am very tentatively saying that an axiom is a statement with a subject and
an object...but not like "There's Bill" and "There's the ball"...I think an
axiom has to show some kind of relationship between subject and
object--*THAT* relationship is what I'm trying to get a handle on...I've
used words like continuity, and consistency, and continuence--something is
done TO my consciousness or THROUGH my consciousness that makes "hitting a
ball" personally meaningful to me (I "see" it, I "sense" it, I understand it
somehow, not as an objective phenomenon "out there", but as a thing which
has an internal resonence that I might call "true"). I think an axiom must
have that "subjective objectivity".

Finally, I don't know what I said below about jokes, riddles, etc. Some of
it still makes sense some doesn't. But--of course--I meant to say that a
statement which was open-ended is a teleology (and I think I used the word
tautology below).


At 07:51 PM 9/28/97 -0500, you wrote:
>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).
>Rabble Sonnet Retort
>Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.

Rabble Sonnet Retort
Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.