33 Brad's Sandbox

Welcome to Brad's Sandbox!

If you are looking for Bradford Harrison's resume and portfolio of work, please go to https://bradfordharrison.github.io.

Why Node.js?

React - Useful links
Stateless Node.js
Client-side image maps
Flash-to-HTML5 conversion
Test-driven development
Replacing installed apps with web apps; migration strategies
Structured programming with Node.js
Leveraging JS isomorphism for offline operation
Links to News Sites
Media window
Twitter Bootstrap

Truth Table
Logical PositivismFor scientists. Also known as Logical Empiricism. This is scientific truth—facts that can be reproduced by anyone, anytime. See Vienna Circle. See Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
Scientific ParadigmsFor physicists. Even with scientific facts, scientific truth is elusive. Perception affects even scientific hypotheses and conclusions. See The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. See Wittgenstein's concept of "pictures" in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
Social SciencesFor social scientists. See Chomsky vs. Skinner. To what extent can you apply the hard sciences approach to the social sciences? See Language and Mind. See The Blue and Brown Books.
ConsensusFor liberals and conservatives. Debate and agreement. See News Flanks. See Sonny's Utopia.
Moral RelativismFor hippies and Trump supporters. The further left and the further right you go, the more perception becomes reality. Empirical proof not needed. See https://bradfordharrison.github.io/Against_Hierarchy.pdf. See The Idea of a Social Science.
FaithFor monks, priests and preachers. A priori truth. See Critique of Pure Reason. See The Bible.

In philosophy, there are two types of truth: a priori, and contingent (a.k.a. a posteriori). An a priori truth is true regardless of the empirical world. Its truth or falsity isn't proved by pointing to something in the physical world. 2 X 2 = 4 is an a priori truth; you don't need any experience in the physical world to prove that it is true.

A contigent truth is a truth that depends on the empirical world. Scientific truths are contingent truths because they can be shown to be true. They can be reproduced as experiments that show their correctness.

There are of course many grey areas between the two types of truth. The statement that "God is king" is more of an a priori statement (at least by those who propose that it's true) than a contingent statement because you can't prove it is true or false by pointing to anything in the physical world.

Human beings are capable of dreaming up the most amazing cosmologies, legends and myths. And that's fine! The problem comes when they let their cosmologies, legends and myths interfere with their abilities to see the truths that affect us all. As a relativist I don't judge, but as an empiricist I do. As an empiricist, I distinguish between opinions that affect others' basic ability to survive and prosper, and what I call "victimless values." As a relativist, I don't judge about victimless values—think whatever you want. But as an empiricist, I know that clearly some values are destructive.

Democracy relies on empirical consensus to create the laws and policies that make up society. These laws are voted upon based on the consideration of empirical reality by voters. They are not the proclamation of some religious or fascist dictator or monarch. Democracy supports a relativistic view of the world, where there can even be many truths, even contradictory truths, depending on the views and beliefs of different people. In many cases, it doesn't matter what someone believes, because there are plenty of "victimless beliefs"—even conspiracy theories—that no one else really even cares about one way or another. If the truth can't be proved to be true with empirical validation, then a vote is required to determine the next course of action. The majority can determine the truth, but only if that truth cannot be proved empirically.

From: Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy
We have seen what 'can be said' according to the Tractatus: that, and only that, 'can be said' which is capable of being true or false, so that which of the two possibilities is actual has to be decided by 'comparing the proposition with reality.' A proposition has 'sense' in so far as it is a logical picture of the world. But no picture can be true a priori. It is impossible to tell from the picture alone whether it is true or false without comparing it to reality. Logical propositions are true a priori, they are tautologies and their negations are contradictions. Thus, '...the propositions of logic say nothing', they are senseless. Nevertheless they are not nonsensical, for they show '...the formal-logical-properties of language, and the world', or the limit of language and the world.

From: Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy
[In Investigations] The purely a priori method of the Tractatus is under attack and he now recommends (in a certain sense) the a posteriori method of investigating the actual phenomenon of language. This shift of methods is what constituted the break between the early and the later Wittgenstein.

In Sonny's Utopia (page 32 of the second printing) the narriator makes fun of "scientific" evidence used in court cases. The book also talks about everyone "just voting" on an issue and resolving all issues of disagreement that way. Sonny's Utopia is a purely relativistic society. Truth is relative. But of course that is why it wouldn't work: voting must occur only by an informed citizenry aware of the facts, not a bunch of hippies. There is truth, and it can be discovered. Voting is a tool useful in discovering the truth, not defining it.

Epistemology is all about the creation, analysis, and validation of the "picture."