# Satisfaction

I have always had a fondness for logic..

I think it started back when my father gave me a book. I can’t remember its name but it was packed with conundrums, logical fallacies and mathematical proofs that proved the impossible. I used to get it in the neck for proving to the maths teacher that any line is always longer than itself, or that it is perfectly possible to drop two separate perpendiculars from one point onto a straight line. In retrospect, I don’t know why I wasn’t thrown out of class.

Logic though was the fascination. If I state categorically that everything I write on this site is a lie, then that seems reasonable? But I wrote the last line therefore that statement has to be a lie, therefore everything I write has to be the truth, which again contradicts that statement.

I suppose that’s one reason I like messing with computers. They work by very strict rules [unless those rules are written by Microsoft of course] and will always do exactly the same thing time and time again. And if the rules work on one machine but not on another, it’s not the rules that are at fault but something else.

My little obsession with my comment buttons was a case in point.

I don’t give a damn whether those buttons work or not. It is irrelevant to me one way or another. However, they worked perfectly on one site but not on another. Why? The code must be fine or it wouldn’t work on either machine so it had to be something else. It became a quest to solve a problem in logic and not a quest to find some dud fucking code.

My problem was that the test site differed from the live site in several important ways, so i had to work through all those differences one by one. But then I had the idea of running the code on a third site which was almost identical to this one. The buttons worked perfectly on the third site which left me in a drop of confusion.

So I set up a bit of comparison, with three columns – Site 1, Site 2 and Site 3., where Site 1 was this site, Site 2 was the test site and Site 3 was the almost identical site. So buttons worked in 2 and 3 but not 1.

I found it.

By meticulous comparison, I found a little thing on 1 that wasn’t on 2 or 3. It was a trivial little thingy that had fuck all to do with comments, writing or just about anything else. I removed it. 1 now works.

As I said, it’s trivial. It’s of no consequence. The buttons aren’t important. I can live without them or leave them.

What is important is the unravelling of a bit of logic, the fixing of the problem and the satisfaction of having discovered the cause.

I just hope those buttons work now!

Funnily enough that was put me off going ‘into computing’ at all seriously. I find there is something innately fascist and authoritarian about Boolean logic. I just can’t think ‘logically’. One plus one may equal two in your universe but who decided that, what illicit substances were they taking at the time and why didn’t they consult me ? Douglas Adams came up with a good explanation of how I think:

“Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that time was not an absolute but depended on the observer’s movement in space, and that space was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in time, it is now realised that numbers are not absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in restaurants.The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up. The second non-absolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre of the mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything, other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of math, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else’s Problem field. The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the check, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who actually brought any money is only a sub-phenomenon in this field.) “Ah but you are wandering off the realms of pure mathematics into the realms of Algebra, Sets and a drop maybe of Calculus here.

You start off with the simple equation where number of people who booked equals number of people seated. But then you have some unknown quantities to fit in [the number of people who cancel, the number who couldn’t be arsed to turn up and the number of late bookers]. Even then there is an infinite number of significant variables. Is there a football match on telly? Is it going to start raining? Is the couple going to break up? Will the place catch fire before the meal starts?

So you delve into the realms of Sets where one set is the number who booked; another set is the number who arrived; another set is the lazy fuckers who never turn up and so on. Where those sets overlap is where you get your answer, but there is an infinite number of sets too which makes things just a little tricky.

The solution of course is not to go into the restaurant business.

And incidentally, one plus one does not equal two in my universe. There are any number of proofs of that fallacy.

Great piece!

Welcome John! Thanks for that, but I wouldn’t consider it one of my best. Frankly I wouldn’t consider any of my brainfarts my best but there you go.

Incidentally, what happened to your last piece? It arrived in my feed thingy but not on your site…..

I’m with you so far

But that doesn’t follow. It should read “therefore

noteverything I write has to be the truth” which doesn’t contradict your first statement.You can “prove” lots of things with logic if your listener isn’t paying attention. 🙂

… which is the flaw in the logic. When baffling people with paradoxes it’s always wise to know the flaw in advance!

I read your missive with great interest, although being simple minded myself I was able to thoroughly understand your frustration (feelings?) and as I read on my own pucker factor went up!. Then what came to my mind was the total lack of logic/problem solving our collective governments have and (light bulb brightened!) that is how “they” get away with so much, acting logical, sounding logical, being the end all for all and the sheep, lemmings, are duped once again, but I digress. Dualistic thinking under the gaze of logical thinking and caring. Not sure where this shite came from but……

What baffles me about modern society is its total lack of awareness of logic, or indeed the capacity for any original thought. The philosophy now seems to be that if you read it on Google [or Farcebook] it has to be the ultimate truth. No one questions anything any more. They spout “facts” but if you ask them to back up those facts they just look blankly at you as if you were insane.

I guess there is a little of insanity in all of us for even perpetuating the Google/Farcebook and now Amazon center of the universe black hole. All we can do is have the opportunity to converse/commiserate with like minded questioners and thinkers. Keep up the observations, we all need to be poked some times.

I think this sums up the above rather nicely?