13.0415 logic-based probability methods, cont.

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 17 2000 - 06:28:52 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 415.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 06:16:52 +0000
             From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com>
             Subject: Logic-based probability (LBP) in the Metamorphoses

    Dear Colleagues:

    My earlier comparison of Beethoven with Ovid in terms of Logic-Based
    Probability (LBP) may have been an understatement. In looking through the
    historical literature, I notice that Ovid came to manhood simultaneously
    with the change of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire under Augustus,
    that he lived under Augustus, and that he was sent into exile by Augustus
    for a mysterious reason that has been speculated to be political, moral, or
    both. Since Beethoven lived in the tumult of Napoleonic Europe and refused
    to play for Napoleon, we are confronted with the scenario of two geniuses
    (Beethoven and Ovid) who lived in times of acute political crisis in which
    very systems of government changed in forms that seized the emotions, the
    very psychological foundations of these geniuses for whom creativity and
    the ability to avoid externally imposed mediocrity and patterns was or can
    be conjectured to be essential. It is tempting for some to dispose of such
    relationships by noting that some geniuses were sedentary family men living
    in relative comfort and with no known stresses. Perhaps there is more than
    one road to genius. The Beethoven-Ovid road is built on rare and
    influential events: cognitive, political, emotional, socioeconomic,
    cultural clashes and system-shattering revolutions, and in Beethoven's case
    there was also the trauma of the alcoholic father who was nevertheless a
    royal musician. (Ovid's father opposed his going into poetry, which may be
    a hint of some deeper conflict.) These are probability 0 extremely rare
    influential LBP events. They are also events involving boundaries, which
    in LBP are also maximally influential events: geographical boundaries of
    empires, individual boundaries of the personal lives of geniuses which were
    endangered by "benevolent dictators", boundaries between political systems
    and concepts. Do we not have the beginnings of a handle here on
    conceptual as well as physical boundaries? The fact that they are
    intertwined may provide us with a Rosetta Stone as well. So many
    conceptual boundaries and clashes have no clear linkage to physical
    boundaries and clashes. Here they do.

    In one of my earlier descriptions of LBP's ability to handle rare events, I
    mentioned assassinations. A few days before the birth of Ovid's brother,
    Julius Caesar was assassinated ninety miles away.

    The very influential events of the world form entities or sets of
    interlocking rare-boundary-internal and/or lower dimensional events. In
    this, my early study of the Metamorphoses, I see the Metamorphoses as
    unified not by any future continuation or past continuation but by the
    expression of massive influence beyond any ordinary measure in the

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