The Too Sharp Sword

If you sharpen your sword constantly keeping it at its peak sharpness, the sword will wear down quickly and you will have to forge a new sword. But the opposite, of never resharpening and using a dull sword means while you may have the sword for longer it will eventually become so useless as to effectively be no sword. There is a balance to strike between the two, finding the perfect sharpness for the task.

The Too Sharp Sword is a maxim we use for describing how constant maintainance can lead to extra unnessessary work, a decrease in overall efficiency. The example goes that a blade kept too sharp will wear away quicker. You’ll need to reforge a new blade more often if you keep the edge constantly at its peak sharpness. While you may be able to get a finer cut with a sharper blade, past a certain point there is no increase in material benefit from finer sharpening.

A commercial knitting machine may be able to knit a finer cloth than knitting a garment by hand, but the time spent to build the machine would take longer than the time spent knitting any garment itself. And a very coarse and shoddily made hand knit fabric can be nearly as warm and comfortable, the increase is minimal.

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Things that do not change, have no meaning. Things that do not end, have no value.

If a process were to last forever, a point in the future would inevitably come where due to the intermediary buildup the actions of what is currently the present are untraceable to the conditions at that future point.

And in a real process, one which must end, the actions during it’s existence have no effect on the final outcome. This is indistinguishable from a process without end.

A universe without value is self-contradictory. Rules without action are not rules.

Without some process to act, value cannot apply to system.

Thus, any set of value cannot violate the preliminary requirements for there to exist value. This, in itself, is valuable.

Mu

We have used the concept of Mu in our logic since the start, but we didn’t always have a name for it. The name ended up coming from the koan Joshu’s Dog from The Gateless Gate;

A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: “Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?”

Joshu answered: “Mu.”

Recently I found out that we weren’t the only people to do this, and infact mu is the standard word for the concept, also taken from Joshu’s dog koan! Take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(negative)

Mu means not applicable, moot, invalid. It means the statement is incapable of being true or false. This is invariably because one or more or the premises or prerequisites for that statement being true are false. We call this shai, the Second Law of Logic. It states “If any statement is impossible to disprove, it is false.” So Mu can be considered at the same time as falsifiability, anything which whether it is true or false, would have no observable effect on the world is mu. There are different ways a concept can be Mu. There is the classical example used to demonstrate Mu of asking a bachelor “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” The answer is mu, because the premises of the question are false. But there is another type of mu. Suppose the argument “There is a dog over there. I have a satchel. Therefore you are a piñata.” In this case, the answer is also mu, but while all of the individual statements may be true (and I would question the person who talks to piñatas), there is no relation between them. We call this latter type of mu ‘taim’. Furthermore, this sort argument is not even unsound necessarily although it very likely does seem to be the case.  There is no way of actually “knowing” this however based on the logic of the statement, hence it being deemed mu.

We aren’t the only ones to use this concept, in computer programming it is called null, in mathematics its called the null set and it is also used allot in Buddhist logic. It is a third value of logic along with true and false, and the answer to most paradoxes.

For more info on this sort of logic you should check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-valued_logic and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-manyvalued/

For more Buddhist koans check out  http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Teishos/Tarrant_koan_mu.html

-Both Civilsavage and Mouse

Greek mu

Greek mu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is a Ryup?

The core, and perhaps only, belief of a Ryup is Ongku, or ‘debate’. A Ryup is just a person who applies Ongku, which means many things in practice. We believe in using logical debate to solve problems and learn about the universe. We believe strongly that any two people with the same goals and access to the same knowledge, would always come to the same conclusions when using logic. Our system of logic (we call Kolkam), isn’t the exact same as Mathematical logic, though. The primary differences are our introduction of the concepts of Mu and Xuilte, but I’ll cover those in another essay.

In order for a person to be debatable, they must have a Noble Goal. In order to have a Noble Goal they must pass a right of passage, which involves logically working out one’s noble goal from nothingness before another Ryup who can verify the logic used was sound. There’s a wide variety of Noble Goals, and Ryup beliefs are different from most philosophical systems in that there are multiple objective truths. The only other system I know of that does this is Hinduism, with it’s four goals of Dharma, Moksha, Artha, and Kama. (which it so happens correspond rather well to some of our ideas on Noble Goals.)

In this manner, a Ryup is similiar to a Buddhist. According to Buddhism, Dharma and the middle path are always there, a Buddhist is just a person who choses to follow the middle path. According to Ryup beliefs, Kolkam and Ongku are always there, Ryups are just those who use Ongku to attain a Noble Goal. We believe Nibbana is one such Noble Goal, and the Middle path as outlined by the Buddha is the proper way to attain it, but we don’t believe it’s the only goal.