The book from Blog 45

May 15, 2018

1. Setting-out. . .

I hate to spoil this lovely emptiness with words.
(But every (philosophical) journey begins with a single misstep.)

2. Are we going on a journey?

We are driven, as we drive, in philosophy (as elsewhere), by metaphors. We are led, and misled, comforted and seduced by our metaphors.

One that comes to minds too easily, as metaphors do—unbidden and unexamined—is that a philosophy book takes you on a journey. And I am your tour guide, talking|explaining as we look at a number of things.

There is much wonderful and appealing about the journey metaphor:

  • a journey is an experience
  • a journey takes us on places we have never been before, and shows us new things we have not seen
  • and shows us things we did not know existed
  • a journey is an experience to talk about, and at times, to share
  • a journey takes time
  • a journey shows us things that cannot be said in words
  • on a journey we can only be in one place at a time a journey takes our attention
  • we are going together
  • a journey with a guidebook is different, and often more interesting, that a journey without one
  • a journey is an achievement
  • a journey is exciting; it is travail, adventure (though sometimes it is not)
  • a journey is an appealing, and familiar, metaphor
  • and a journey is no doubt also many things we cannot put into words

The journey metaphor is as comforting as a journey is. It works in that we can think of things that happen on a guided journey, and they happen metaphorically here as well.

The metaphor is extensible.

But it is important to see that of course this book is also NOT a journey:

  • We are not going anywhere. Even to a "field" of study. We are not going to a "place".
  • There is no "there" there. There are no simple and correct|incorrect descriptions.
  • You are not leaving your armchair. You are sitting down and your chair is not traveling either.
  • There are none of the accouterments of an actual journey: no transportation, hills, weather, hotels, streets, people, cafés...
  • We are not even looking at anything, except metaphorically. I am not showing you anything, (except metaphorically).
  • I am just presenting you with a number of words. Or better, I am just telling you a number of things.
  • We are not even "we." We don't know who we are.

For lack of better words, this book is a journey, though it is hardly a journey at all. It is more of a journey than not a journey, though it is not a journey.

I could have said that I am (and have been) constructing something for you: something like a building, an edifice, with many rooms. I am making a place you have not been before that is interesting in ways only an intellectual construct–like a philosophy book–can be interesting.

I could present you with a table of similarities and dissimilarities (like I did with the "journey" metaphor), but at the end it would be equally true I am not building you anything either.

It should be surprising how tenacious such metaphors can be. Perhaps their deep familiarity soothes us as we do whatever we do.

All this shows us some important things about the nature of language.

  1. Language recycles old concepts effortlessly, even as it extends their meanings into new activities.
  2. The language user is only dimly aware of this. Language is seductive.
  3. Each metaphorical extension of language has multiple meanings, most of which are subconscious. The application of the metaphor is not dependent on being able to list the ways in which they work.
  4. We speak, as we understand, for a large and largely unknown number of reasons. We do not speak randomly.
  5. Even after everything has been pointed out to you, you are still drawn to the metaphor.

We need to explore that fact that a word almost always begins in a metaphor, and the metaphor may remain apparent, the word become something different. Often (in English) it takes an etymological dictionary to discover the metaphors behind most of the familiar words in our language.

It is not like we first see the similarities and dissimilarities between an actual journey and a philosophical journey and then we consciously choose the word "journey" as the best fit. We simply use the word. And we feel that it is good.

The word is used and it shows itself to be useful, in ways unimagined.

But for lack of a better metaphor, I will be taking us on a journey. It is a metaphor, but it is my metaphor.

As your guide on this journey, I may worry too much about exactly what and when I will shows you. As in an actual journey, this is not supremely important.

I expect to lose my bearing every now and then.

And my thoughts will pull me off into unknown thickets of thought. At those times I will have to retreat.

After having all this pointed out to me, why am I still drawn to the same metaphors? Well, this is how we talk.

In the preface to his Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein writes: "For this [set of investigations] compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction.— The philosophical remarks in this book are, as it were, a number of sketches of landscapes which were made in the course of these long and involved journeyings. The same or almost the same points were always being approached afresh from different directions, and new sketches made."

The metaphor, vivid and pleasant, also gets in the way of thinking.

Is there a better metaphor? Some metaphors work; some don't. Some work by not working. (Though "work" is a metaphor as well.) We are

  • Having some food?
  • Opening a present?
  • Experiencing an orgasm?
  • Putting on new clothes?
  • Petting the dog?
  • Going fishing?

Can we even|ever experience this in an unmetaphorical manner?

Another common metaphor is that I am talking/lecturing to you. But this reduces a complexity to a triviality, or equates it with something else we hardly understand.

After we finish talking about goinf somewhere, we are going somewhere.

I am also not showing you anything new.

So what are we doing? I have written and you are reading reading a philosophy book for you to read.

Nor will I be showing you a new way to look at things. (For we are not looking at anything.)

3. How can we travel in a book?

Books a deeply familiar part of our culture. They are honored—for reasons not always apparent (but usually transparent) to us

Yet we are clueless, or at least answerless. Currently we are concerned about texting and the influence it my have on our youth and our society. When I was young people we similarly concerned with the influence of television. We do not know about texting, we did not figure out much about television, and we have not gotten very far with books, even though we have had 2500 years to puzzle this out.

Let us look at Plato's criticisms of a book in the Phaedrus:

Writing ... has this strange quality about it, which makes it really like painting: the painter's products stand before us quite as though they were alive; but if you question them, they maintain a solemn silence. So, too, with written words: you might think they spoke as though they made sense, but if you ask them anything about what they are saying, if you wish an explanation, they go on telling you the same thing, over and over forever.

How can a book, an extended piece of writing, an extended piece of speech, capture our attention and shut off our senses? What is happening when we lose our selves in a book? There is a mystery here we must not overlook by answering.

There are different kinds of books, and in some we do not lose ourselves.

One major distinction is between fiction (and there are many kinds of those as well), and non-fiction.

So where do books take you?

And where does a philosophy book take you? IS it fiction or non-fiction.

All a writer can do is speak the truth, or something that looks the truth.

Music and books show us a world of people who are out there thinking and feeling.

A lack of obscurity in a philosophy book is almost a deal breaker. We know the book must be mistaken if we can understand it.

Philosophy books that seem to talk about the meaning of the world in interesting and provocative ways, are never upsummable. But then, what is?

Often, reading a book or watching a movie is not profundity but validation: other people have said this as well. It's not just me. I am in a band.

Books are a special hypnosis.

There is no short list of books you can read to understand the universe. (You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?)

4. What is philosophy

So this is a philosophy book.
What does that mean?

A philosopher is just anyone who makes a lot of sense.

Let us say a true philosopher sets out to orient us in the world, a guide to the very place you have lived all along.

More cynically: The aim of a philosophy book is to make you think you understand something profound. This is not very hard to do. So beware your understanding.

We can accept this as the nature of conceptual reality. The post-modern belief is that all books are personal understandings that can never be subsumed in any klind of over-arching understanding. But this is only one possibility.

To speak most intelligently about the "universe" there are two steps that need to be taken simultaneously. On the one hand you must speak about the world in very general terms. On the other, you must be deeply awareness and suspicions regarding the limitations of these very terms|concepts|words.

The second step is the hard one.

There is obviously a deep tension between the two steps. The second step cancels the blithe self-certainty of the first.

Most philosophical understandings (or adumbrations) have no commonly agreed upon method of verification. (There are many many ways of making philosophical conversations.)

A good philosopher needs to battle bad philosophers, but not too much. You will sink into their conceptual swamp — and neglect your own.

A perspicuous understanding is still just one point of view. There are others.

Philosophy is a kind of speech where there can be no agreement. Philosophy is more like singing along.

Philosophy is not a subject. Philosophy is a verb.

The work could equally well be entitled:

  • Ten Steps in Every Direction
  • Shortcuts to Wisdom
  • It's Not That Simple
  • Flying Fucks at the Rolling Donuts
  • Leaps of Reason
  • For lack of a better word, Philosophy.
  • How peculiar!
  • Things Taken for Granted
  • The Limits of Human Understanding
  • Philosophical Travails

A good philosopher improves over time. A good philosopher cannot be read in one setting; they need to be read a number of times. (That number is zero for bad philosophers.) Every sentence is true and also has a point.

Philosophers can say so much, in so many ways, because no one bothers to stop them—in part because after a short while no one listens.

Whether I am a philosopher, or whether this is a work of philosophy is of little concern, except for unconscious circles of attitudianalia.

Not what is philosophy but what am I doing in this book.

There is an intuitional aspect to this.

5. Can we even do philosophy?

Is it possible to create an over-arching conceptual structure (coupled with a high awareness and suspicions regarding the limitations of concepts|words?)

We can certainly try. We can write down words to the best of our abilities.

We will never attain anything like full agreement. No matter what nuanced words we write, at the end of the day, a person can shake their heads (to clear it all out) and say "No!" The world is like this.

We have favored defensible, or at least indefeasible, point of view.

  • The world was created by a god, and our relationship to that god is all that matters.
  • Our understanding of the world is a creation of the human mind.
  • Everything is atoms.
  • Everything is energy.
  • Hume was right. Or Descartes, or Heidegger, or Lacan. And this is how we approach "the universe"

So what is the right way to approach the world? What is the right way to speak about the world?

There may not be one right way. On a journey there may not be one path that you take through the city, or one gate through which one must enter.

We can certainly not encompass the fullness and complexity of the world in one sentence, or one point of view. We cannot see every aspect of a large and complicated city in one place. We must take the time to cover many of the main things to see. And there may be more things to see than we can ever see.

We need not only an over-arching conceptual structure, coupled with a deep understanding of the limitations of our words. (If we tour a large city, we must realize it has a seemly endless amount of interesting places.)

We also need confidence in a set of conceptual procedures to deal with aspects of the world we do not cover in this short work.

And we need good intentions: intellectual good-will. Our differences must not be based on any kind of animalistic loyalty to our own points of view, where we do not think|believe|understand based on a fair thoughtful assessment, but on all-too-human things like wanting to be right, befuddling the "opposition", demonize alternative points of view.

A person of intellectual good-will is educated, well-read if you will.

One set of watch words should be: "I see how you could say that."

It is possible the world is too vast for us to comprehend, that our minds are too limited to take it all in. It is possible, if not probable, that our words are too weak to support an adequate understanding of the world.

It is impossible for us to stop talking}thinking.

Philosophy is speaking in oversimplifications. Some are original, but oversimplifications none the less.

Philosophy: there is no one in charge

Philosophy can be dismissed only in the way music can be dismissed by the tone-deaf.

Philosophy is about all the things we don't know

Philosophy has no answers. Philosophy fights against answe6. Why can't we just use a new word for all this?rs.

Philosophy is first of all a verb.

6. Why can't we just use a new word for all this?

Since we are talking about a new conception of the world, and since we have already noted the unconscious influences of a word, let's give it a brand new name: olliele

So what does "olliele" mean?

Can we define it ostensively? Here (sweeping hand gesture): this! is what "olliele" means.

And what is this + {hand-sweep}? And here we are right back into words.

And how wide, how deep, how encompassing is this this + {hand-sweep}?

If we ask what this is, what "olliele" means, we are back into an alternative description. And this cannot be another unique, non-allegorical word.

This cannot be defined ostensively. even though it seems to be right before us—all the time.

We all see this, but we disagree on what this is. People will disagree on what this is.

So we read thoughtful books about this. (For what is a tour without a knowledgeable guide?) If you are standing in a square in Prague, you might see a clock and some old buildings. Without an historical guide-book, that is all you see.

It is an interesting fact that the world can be looked up in books. (Or you can be told about it.) And you would not feel you understood the world if you were not able to do so.

But we could still we disagree on what is here.

How can we resolve this disagreement? What can we agree on about this? What is fundamental? What is the ultimate conceptual wrapper? I suppose it is ony fair that I try to state what my ultimate conceptual wrapper is.

My ultimate conceptual wrapper is allegorical, but with a deep co-existing awareness of the limits of words and metaphors. It ties in with the public knowledge we get from science, with a a deep co-existing awareness of the ways in which even scientific conclusions can derail our understandings.

The ultimate conceptual wrapper must tie in with the things we know, though not necessarily with the things we think about the things we know. So we describe our knowledge as carefully as possible, and call the results, without misleading presuppositions that may easily accompany them, "facts." (And there is a word that will get further examinations.)

If we strip away the existing connotations of words, it is a little like experiencing words as mere sounds.

7. Where Are We Going on our Journey?

Here are some of the major stops on our intellectual journey. (Though what kind of a stop is an intellectual reconceptualization?

1. The Grand Synchronicity

There is a strong and conceptually important interconnection connection between:

  • the human brain
  • human language (use)
  • the human animal
  • human societies
  • and human culture

2. The Manimal

Humans are also part of a blooming species. I will call this species, the manimal. This is a new word, whose purpose is to shake our understanding of ourselves (as it is) and place more focus on the animal / unconscious / biological / instinctual parts of ourselves.

3. We are constantly deluded by our words.

The preceding thought is a subset of a larger thought that our language is constantly deluding us. This is particularly true of our abstract or philosophical thoughts.

4. We live in a vast ignorance of the world and who we are, and we don't know this.

But it is not just our language. We could perhaps forge our language into submission. But we are habitually ignorant of who we are and how we work. (This needs to be spelled out, even as we lack words for it.) An interesting part of this ignorance is how little it seems to matter. But it would not hurt to have an alternative and more honest conception of who we are.

5. We live in contexts.

We grow up and thrive or fail in a world not of our own making. This is as much a social world as anything else.

6. We are the environment

We navigate a world of our own making, as much a social world as anything else.

7. We are deeply ignorant about our language and our words

We need a better picture.

We do not understand it any more than we understand music. We cannot put music into words. We cannot substitute words for music. Even though we can have a deeply nuanced appreciation of it.

8. Not all questions are meaningful

And an answer to a non-meaningful question is not an answer at all, but a mistake.

There is no place to go first. Let us begin with some words on language.

We fail to see the dangers and total complexities of language.

We live in ignorance. There are so many places we don't go.

Hijacking the world.

We are going to Spain, but we are not 100% sure what will happen in Spain.

A guide can get lost as well.

8. Words on our explanations

We understand much about the world and how it works. So much that no one person can understand all our knowledge.

We also know how to get by in our human world. This we cannot describe much. We journey successfully from context to context.

The big question is: HOW DO WE PUT IT TOGETHER?

Life cannot easily be circumscribed in words. Perhaps the best we can do is to catch it in our peripheral visions.

Someday people will find the words. At that time it will probably be a necessity. . . if it is not already too late.

If we cannot find a common way to describe our differences, it may be too late. How can we agree to disagree?

We need to describe olliele. We will need to talk about something like the following:

World Real world as described by science and observation. World as perceived and felt by individuals. AND the world as perceived and felt by society. (Social realities)
Social Universal evolutionary hooks that keep us a social and sometimes an anti-social animal Actual Society, like ours!, with its history culture and endless details.
Individual Human nature (the parts somewhat separate from its social nature) Individual person
Brain The brain and its mind Consciousness and its perceptions.
Language The structure of languages Actual languages and experienced meanings, metaphors, synonyms and rhymes.

Before we speak about these things we must speak about speaking and its many limitations and seductions.

What would make people want to stop using their individual cultural languages|concepts? Make them want to give up their cultural identity?

We prefer to continue onwards as usual, ignoring the bulls in our china shop competing for dominance.

9. Words are dangerous

We speak, write, read and think in words, which in turn are part of our language. We do this, acts of mysterious complexity almost effortlessly.

Words lead but words equally mislead.

I am not talking about lying or falsehoods, but a deeper failure of words which is difficult to put into words as are these statements.

about the limitation of language have the same limitations we are discussing.

We can only speak of slippery, deceitful words, in slippery deceitful words. But we must speak of slippery, deceitful words. It's like a building an edifice out of wet spaghetti noodles.

  • Words are fluid. Words flow too easily between contexts, and once we are doing abstract thinking, like philosophy, we think we understand things we do not understand.
  • We are unconscious of this fluidity.
  • Language is opaque to us. We do not recognize when we have entered a problematic use of language.
  • Some questions are not questions, but we are often unaware of this. And all answers to those questions would not be answers.
  • Some words are suspect. This includes most philosophical and religious words. If we want to talk about such things, we must become more thoughtful.
    (The correct answer to a philosophical questions should be a hesitation.)

Wittgenstein used the term language game to describe the word and the rules and context in which a word is used. (He and his followers failed to do much to describe a fully nuanced language game.)

Some language games have clean homes where they can be used unproblematically: counting, naming, directions, many of things we call "facts".. Other words do not have such clear boundaries of use. Wittgenstein felt that when those words had left their native home where they had clear into new contexts, their meaning was no longer so clear. (For philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday. (PI #38)

There might be no problems with language going on holiday. Who does not love vacation? But we should be aware that the money we spend so freely on holiday are won with hard work at home.

You actually cannot get your mind around concepts like capitalism, religion, philosophy, banks without (over)simplifying them. There are too many things that fall under these words, so you often take hold of a nice bouquet of contexts and you go, yes! that's it.

(The difference between understanding something and truth of something. Sometimes all we are capable of is understanding. We are not capable of understanding the truth.)

Perhaps we should not speak of beauty, truth, reality, understanding, wisdom, love, happiness, enlightenment, and peace. There is little agreement we can find on these issues. But there is a perennial tendency to speak like this. And anyone can use these words. And anyone can think they understand these words. There are few sumptuary laws for our vocabulary.

This is not a philosophical|learned mistake; it's an instinct. A sign of this is that we do it over and over.

Mistrust all abstract nouns. Mistrust the minds, including your own, that thinks and uses these words.

How then can we speak of the most important and wide-ranging things?
Perhaps these things aren't things. That is not the best way to conceptualize them.

Allegorical and symbolic sentences are not merely true or false. We tend to think a metaphor works because of similarities between the thing and the metaphors we use to speak of it. In some sense that is true. But we cannot always itemize the similarities without using or relying the metaphors. So what is at work here?

It is hard to talk about words. We are tempted to use words—and usually not the most appropriate ones.


Language games are behavior games.

"How do you see the impact of the East on the Western soul?" Such a question invites you to talk about East, West, impact and soul. But these are no longer the best words to use. Think of changing technology.

A phrase resonates (and this is my point) you don't know why.

David Hume describe the unbridgeable is-ought gap. More common in everyday speech is the is-ought (described-judged) amalgam.

Label something as a performative utterance makes it sound like one of say 17 different kinds of utterances. But it is not like that at all. I have taken a snapshot, from one particular point of view.

It is a strange belief that by using certain very specific words, magic things will happen.

On word usage: A phrase like "blow your mind" floats down a lazy river of associations, which we process over time. Understanding may consist of a number of processes of understanding that do not all take place immediately.

(As we should know) not all words are used to describe things. But most things can be turned into things.

Words, nuanced and sophisticated, were around long before dictionaries.

there are as many kinds of words as there are words.

NEW CONCEPT: layer-words

It seems impossible to speak with different connotations?

We should also have our software spot jargon/professional terms.

What would words be without connotations? Would it even be possible to speak with only personal connotations?

Words are like cookie cutters Simplify in many dimensions. Something that engages at many levels need to be described at many levels.

There is nowhere to start. And the tools we use to think, the words, are illusions. They start off with oversimplifications. And not just seen from a distance simplifications, but distractions.

In many areas, especially the more abstract areas, words are almost useless, or at least dangerous...

Candidates for the List of Words We Do Not Understand: heart, dignity, soul, love...

Nouns and verbs: a thing | does | is done to ] is done by. There is an animal=like structure built into our grammar.

How can there be so many words and phrases in common speech we do not know the origin of?

There are no Arabs. There are no Jews. (Just a huge number of individual people who can be labeled as Jews or Arabs. There are also many who are borderline.)

Don't say "Israel," or "America." Say "the current government of Israel," or "the current government of the United States." And even these are not monolithic entities.

10. If philosophical words are suspect, perhaps we should not speak at all

Because of the felt inadequacies of abstract discussions of philosophy, religion, politics and many other areas, philosophers have often felt we should stop speaking.

It has been famously stated:

If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. — David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence. — Wittgenstein, Tractatus 7.0

But who can shut up? And why do we not?

If we are asked to say something intelligent about the Holy Roman Empire, or the properties of Barium in chemistry, or differential equations we can easily and wisely demur and remain silent. But ask us about God, society, morality, sexuality, religion, politics, philosophy we open up our mouth and speak. One would think these are the very things we should hesitate speaking about.

In each case we can shake our heads, ignore most of what the other person has just said, and speak our piece, no matter how inane. In most cases we retreat behind a comfortable indefeasible position. I may not be able to defeat what another person says, but neither can he or she prove me "wrong" (whatever that means).

What conclusions can we draw from this?

  • There are areas in which we do not recognize authority, and we know what those areas are.
  • (This is another way of not recognizing other people and their opinions.)
  • There are areas we demand a certain freedom of equality.
  • We like to have an indefeasible position, and to expound it.
  • We like to solve huge problems about the world.
We like to play intellectual God.

11. Language

Let me take another attempt (a flying fuck) and make some major points about language here at the beginning.

  1. We do not understand language.
  2. We do not understand we do not understand language.
  3. Language is easily misleading, in part by making us constantly think we are making sense.

What is it about language we do not understand? We understand language; we practically live in language. We understand the world in language. And we understand many many things about the things we call language. We have a whole field devoted to just this: linguistics.

It is my deepest intuition that to understand language, you must understand that you do not and most likely cannot understand language (in words).

You do not understand:

  • the behavioral complexity of language
  • how to describe the behavioral complexity of language
  • the unseen fluidity of words
  • when you are misled by your own words

We learn language contextually, not by rules. The child grows up and navigates (and mis-navigates) linguistic usages.

With the important philosophical caveat that "language" is itself a word extended into a variety of contexts, and thus easy to mis-understand, think of it like this: language is

  • a way of making sound about objects and human behavior in situations,
  • and a way of extending those words into new contexts
  • the extensionality of language is a huge strength but is usually unnoticed.
  • which is part and parcel of dealing with new contexts linguistically. Both language and contexts can be extended in novel ways.

Language is misleading by nature. Extends concepts (words) into novel situations.

Constantly confuse concepts with the situation. (This is not an easy sentence to understand.)

It is important to realize that philosophy is an artifact of language. Philosophy is after all conducted in words. If language is problematical so in many places could philosophy be problematical.

So if we do not understand language, in some sense we do not understand that we do not understand language.

Language is an elephant that can be approached in many ways. There are many different things for which we are inclined to use the word "language." So even to say that language is problematical, is problematical.

The world becomes more interesting if we do not think we understand it. Or more accurately, that in addition to all we know there is a huge part we hardly know at all.

One way of not making sense is thinking we can see what we are not capable of understanding.

The world is a blind-spot.

And of course I am extending language in all sorts of ways in saying all this. That we do not understand language is not a simple fact.

Like many philosophical sentences, when I say "we do not understand language" we are dealing with three or more problematic words. This understanding is a poetic coming together.

You can stand your ground. But why? (I can't stand your ground.) Read the rest of this book as we tour and touch upon some famous blind-spots of the world.

Let us say that as a working picture, that language involves an unspecified number of activities in an unspecified number of contexts. If these behaviors and contexts cannot be specified—and we do not even have words for them—then we cannot understand language in the sense of stating what it is and how it works.

And I want to argue that "understand" is a word with its own problems.) (as is"problematical")

We do not, and perhaps cannot, understand how language functions, and so we are constantly misled by our own words.

But yet we speak casually and frequently of language. Though it is not one of the earliest words we teach our children. This means we speak in ignorance and are very far from realizing that fact.

This raises the possibility there are other things we confidently expound upon that we think we are quite in command of, and yet we are ignorant. Many of these words are the "philosophical" ones. Our confidence and self-certainty are unreliable guides to an understanding. Our understanding is illusory.

If I argue that you do not understand how the American political system works, I could listen to what you say and come back with facts and relevant considerations that you do not understand or clearly misunderstand. If I argue that you do not understand algebra, I could give you a typical algebra problem, and if you fail to even begin to solve it, I would prove that you do not understand algebra. Though you could understand parts of algebra and not others. In either case there are clear authorities. If I argue that you do not understand French, I could speak or write in French and it would usually be evident that you did not understand French. Normally I could give you a better understanding of language.

If "language" cannot be fully understand there is no canonical authority for genuinely understanding language.

Checkmate is verifyable. QED is philosphy is not. Stop pretending it is math or logic.

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