Scientists are in wide agreement on certain principles, laws, concepts and theories, and would apply the ItDoesntDepend on these. To find example of this, consult any competent book or writing by a scientist. You will find many instances, which lay a basis of certainty and predictability on scientific concepts.
Some statements are recognized as certain, provable, unequivocal and needing no qualification.
Much of the following is about statements, propositions and opinions and not about principles, laws, concepts and theories about which scientists and other experts agree. They are based on juxtapositions and altered contexts which are similar to positioning oneself such as to view a statue from another angle or position.
I'll make a serious effort to agree with as much of this as I can. Some statements, if unqualified, will elicit assent in all who hear and understand them - this I would unhesitatingly say, and expect to elicit assent. If you say "two plus two is four", I expect that all rational people will express assent - unless of course, the very phrase is embedded in a contentious conversation about statements expected to elicit widespread assent.
The opening statement is made using the decimal system, widely used and accepted. If you wish to count in binary, trinary, etc. do so, and while doing so, you will be applying the rules of that system. The opening statement is one which illustrates the outcome of a decimal arithmetic using the digits: zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine.
Two plus two is four whichever base you use. (Whether 2+2 = 4 is another matter). It's the same in denary: six (6) plus six (6) is twelve (12), not 'ten two' or 'one two'. Likewise in binary: two (10) plus two (10) is four (100). The opening statement is, in fact, made in English and illustrates the outcome of arithmetic irrespective of the base or symbols used. Unless, of course, the statement is actually made in a different language where 'what's' means 'do', 'two' means 'apples' and 'plus' means 'taste like', in which case 'what's two plus two' means 'do apples taste like apples'. The answer may seem to be obvious ('apples taste like apples' sounds like a tautology), but I've found empirically that for a while after I've cleaned my teeth apples do not taste like apples, so ItDepends after all!'' -- lanAshtonJeanes
Why are we wasting time delving into semantics Yet Again? Can we please, please, stop filling this page with drivel and outright BS?
Semantics is not useless and is often the heart of the matter. It also happens to the part of the discussion that doesnt depend so much.
Enlightenment for the Puzzled: This isn't the place, but for now I will do:
This must be Costin I'm talking to, isn't it? I sort of recognize your style. I could be wrong, of course.
Thanks for the compliment, but no, this isn't Costin, Nineteen questions to go. Next?
I'm puzzled. Is anybody actually making "issues out of definite and precise facts"? Is that really a problem?
Not for me, but tell me people don't do that!
Anything to please. Here we go: people don't do that. (Yes, I really mean it. Point to an example if you think otherwise, or make one up.)
I'll make one up: suppose you are presenting arguments demonstrating the theory of evolution and a fundamentalist Christian pipes in "You're all wet, God created the universe, and you are wrong. The Bible proves that, look at Genesis!"
Yes? Where is the "definite and precise fact" supposed to be in that? I sincerely don't follow.
Some people take evolution to be definite and precise, and take the theory to be fact, when it is not. Others see and understand that theory is not fact and therefore not definite and precise. The fundamentalist rests in a faith acceptance of the Bible as truth.
It is possible that the theory is fact, that it is definite and precise, but it is not yet proven. Whether it is proven or not does not change whether or not it is fact, but it does change whether or not the answer ItDoesntDepend is considered suitable. The change from DontKnow to ItDoesntDepend is often the source of conflicts.
The issue is between the first and the last.
There is *both* the theory of evolution and the fact(s) of evolution. Many people have become confused by this, over and above those who reject either for irrational reasons (which is not the same as invalid reasons).
More generally, I'm puzzled as to what value this page brings, compared to the discussion of the phrase "it depends", on the eponymous page. This page seems to be defending a philosophical principle or premise of some sort. Please enlighten me.
Firstly, it depends was not intended to be a philosophical principle or premise, but rather the recognition of ambiguity. This page was originally created for the opposite viewpoint, but has served instead as a place where support for that page has been presented. I agree this is strange, but repeated behavior that many posters seem to like to take, that of the devil's advocate.
What seems strange about it ?
It is strange that people would rather post opposing arguments than supporting ones. That is what seems strange to me. So when they succeed in making a good opposing argument, it often becomes a candidate for refactoring to the contrary page. It was not originally intended to function in that way, it just worked out that way. Your point is well taken and in agreement with what has happened. Further, I find so far, there is little support for the argument of this page ItDoesntDepend, and will eventually refactor it to such arguments as will support the topic.
I'm puzzled once more. How can you "support" a topic?
My question wasn't about process, but about terminology. A topic needs no support; an opinion or a theory does.
topic used in a linguistic sense: A word or phrase in a sentence, usually providing information from previous discourse or shared knowledge, that the rest of the sentence elaborates or comments on. Also called theme.
Elaboration and comment can be viewed as support.
What if a second grade class has twins, the teacher has just administered a simple quiz on anatomy, and the teacher's assistant asks the teacher how the twins answered the question about the number of eyes on their faces. The teacher responds "two and two", meaning that one twin answered "two" and so did the other twin. This is not about addition, and the number four, although close by, is not requested or implied. If semantic ambiguity didn't exist everywhere, you'd have a better shot at ItDoesntDepend. But what you really mean is "I don't care about those niggling, hair-splitting distinctions."
"...about terminology..." There are languages where "+" is the concatenation operator, aren't there.
Is English one of them?
Context is everything, like the "paradox" about two fathers and two sons being only three people: 2 + 2 = 3
Oy. Yet Another "Equation" Taken Out Of Context. You are not specifying a mathematical relationship, but stating a relational description. Try not to be quite so obtuse, eh?
The point is the context is the key, ergo ItDepends upon the context.
The "easy science" where it does not depend is mostly done already. Now we are entering an era where it DOES depend because we are dealing with managing many variables. The black-box approaches are becoming inadequate. We are being pushed from math into psychology and vast networks of relationships to solve today's problems.
The problem with ItDoesntDepend is that it assumes that all the parties to the discussion actually understand and believe. My experience is that that is rarely the case, especially in Marketing Driven Companies where the folks running things have no technical understanding of the principles that the Engineering Staff is talking about, and think that the marketing personnel are superior life forms. The construction of any resistance on the part of the Engineering Staff is to assume they are just being uncooperative. Of course this is a form of OrganizationalPathologies which arise when the different domain experts that make up an organization don't trust each other. Of course because it really is true that ItDoesntDepend -- then just because they don't believe the Engineering Staff doesn't change anything. It all turns on Clarke's Third Law whenever these things happen -- the uninitiated think they are dealing with magicians and so if they don't get their way the only reasonable construction is that the WizardsAreLazy --RaySchneider
See SplitByTopicNotByOpinion for a very cogent argument as to why a few people think this page and ItDepends should never been separate. All that's happened is what appears to me to be two pages of DrivelCoveredGems instead of one page. (and parallel discussion) not really, it is approaching things based on the one hand by certainty [ItDoesntDepend] and on the other by dependency [ItDepends].
What's two plus two? ItDoesntDepend. It is four. There is no need to make issues out of definite and precise facts.
The answer depends upon context. If one uses FuzzyLogic, the answer to what is two plus two varies. It may be 4, it may be 3, it may be 5, it may be a wide range of results that vary on a case by case basis.
The underlying principle in FuzzyLogic is that precision decreases as generality increases. One can give a very precise answer for a very specific context (such as integer numbers). As one expands the context, however, different answers become possible. The reason behind this is that different logical contexts often have different underlying fundamental axioms (unproven propositions that are assumed and asserted to be true). In the example above, the shift in definition of two from an integer number to a fuzzy number changes the result.
Context is the key and this allows the merging of ItDepends and ItDoesntDepend. Within a specific context, the answer may well be that ItDoesntDepend. If one sees a disagreement with something he feels is fundamentally correct, one should investigate the context for both cases. This is where learning occurs and I feel that when both parties are willing to uncover their contexts and underlying axioms, that then the most interesting discussions arise. They may not lead to agreement, but they will lead to understanding.
There are those who would argue that "two", "a pair of two's", and "four", are all abstract concepts that don't really happen in real life. According to Lotfi Zadeh, "As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning, and meaningful statements lose precision." To venture into the realm of ItDoesntDepend means you've probably overshot relevancy by two units plus two units. Two, a pair of two's and four, even if abstract, do not represent complexity in my view. (perhaps even Lotfi would agree with that -- http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~Zadeh/)
What's two plus two? ItDoesntDepend. It is four. There is no need to make issues out of definite and precise facts.
The answer depends upon context.
But a context is assumed if it is not supplied. Where two people communicating share a common context, that context is assumed in the communication unless one party specifies what their context is.
Thus if two average people are communicating and one says "What's two plus two?" the context of decimal arithmetic is an underlying assumption because it is the normal use of numbers and plus. If two fuzzy logic mathematicians are talking and one says "What's two plus two?" while they've been discussing fuzzy logic the context of fuzzy logic would be assumed. One mathematician would have to say "In decimal arithmetic, what's two plus two?" to change the context.
If two complete strangers meet and one begins talking with "What's two plus two?" the normal context of decimal arithmetic would also be assumed provided the second person speaks the same language. If they don't speak the same language it will quickly be discovered that they have no common context in which to communicate.
Why are we wasting time delving into semantics Yet Again? Can we please, please, stop filling this page with drivel and outright BS??
Why is semantics a waste of time? Presumably we communicate with each other in order to have another person understand what we are thinking about. That requires we use words (or other symbols). Words have meaning. Semantics is the study of meaning. If we don't understand what the other person means when they say something we need to clarify the meaning in order to have communication.
'What' doesn't depend? Two plus two 'whats' ? If someone could come up with an unconditional fact, then maybe this page would go somewhere. Otherwise it is a religious appeal to some higher power. Probably involving some stamping feet and rattling of antlers....