# Conjectures and Refutations

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by radarmark, Dec 9, 2012.

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you know, i'm not entirely sure i understand what the two of you (radar and L7) are arguing about - and i generally think of myself as quite bright (i know, i know, i'm not). indulge me - are you disputing precisely where the line around the concept of "truth" can be drawn, or what?

b'shalom

bananabrain

2. ### A Cup Of TeaWell-Known Member

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I just think Luecy likes picking things apart, radar probably touched on one of his triggers. But radar and he usually don't stick to one subject.

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BB, "truth" (if by that we mean absolute, eternal truth) is very limited; limited to a priori truths (ones we need not test in the world, but are true logically). There are in general only three types I accept: deductive logic (the construction of tautologies), the Peano arithmetic (a kind of extension to deductive logic using the successor function), and ostensive definitions (point and define the term one uses to refer to what is pointed at, again a kind of deductive logic). The limit of logic was famously found by Hume (in his problem of induction). The limit of mathematical truth (in terms of completeness and consistency) was found by Godel. The limit of linguistic truth (in terms of clear meaning) was found by Wittgenstein.

Now, that does not mean lots of deductive, arithmetical, and linguistic declaration cannot be proven false. I believe that there are a finite but countable number of truths (an aleph-nought sized set) but a much larger infinite number of falsities (at least an aleph-one sized set).

None of the above includes empirical truth (that provable in the world). I do not know of any, all empirical claims of truth are to a certain level of accuracy or confidence. But again, at least an aleph-one sized set of false empirical statements. See there is only one path to sure and certain truth, but many, many ways to miss. That is why I like the Dine terms "daats'i", which can mean yes or no or yes and no or (better yet) possibly or potentially. Some things can be identified as "doon-ah" or not or false, but most things are "daats'i".

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oh - i think i see what you mean. in non-philosophical terms, it's like saying that one should admit that when one uses terms such as "truth", "correct", "fact" and "proof" and so on, that it is a sort of shorthand for "working truth", much like the idea that a solid is not really a solid when you look at it closely enough or on a quantum level; that doesn't mean it's not a solid, it's just that there's a sort of tacit rider of "for our purposes". does that make sense?

b'shalom

bananabrain

5. ### luecy7Well-Known Member

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Bananabrain that sounds great, unless you are faced with, "Do you swear to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, so help you God?" Well it is really more of a 'working truth', 'for our purposes'. Fine... "Do you swear to tell your working truth, your whole working truth..." Well, possibly, yes and no, daats'i. I can tell you what my response will be, "Do you swear to uphold and obey the golden rule, 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you', so help you God?"

This argument with radarmark was not over the definition of the word 'Truth'. It is over the method of defining any word or neuron, including the word 'Truth'. In language, in math, in logic, and in science, the words and the variables are mere symbols of something real. If the symbols have some form of real association with the real world, then the language and the logic helps produce some real conclusions. If the symbols have an association with garbage, then the language based on the symbols produces garbage. If the word, symbol, or concept were given without measurement, then it may be true but it is not yet known. With some empirical measurement and verification, then it can be known as to whether or not it was true. The empiricial measurement, the experience, and the real world feedback are important towards establishing truth.

If I were to nail down the one word that RM and I disagree on, it is not the word 'Truth'. It is the word 'Prove'. I submit that to 'prove it' requires a real world association, which can not be handed over in words and symbols. If I am asked to prove something, my reply might be, "I already have, thank you, so why haven't you?" Or perhaps I should just go do it again, and let the other person find their way. No amount of words, evidence or reason, can prove it for someone else. Prove it requires personal empirical measurements, with both the ability to do and the ability to see. With a pivotal difference in the definition of 'prove it', the fuzz is on what was called 'Hard Truth', and that which is allegedly fuzzy actually contains some crystal clear contrast.

I tend to respond to the double standards that I see, and look for the ones that I don't. For example if a person is saying, "Love you" in one case and "Love me" in another, with two entirely different meanings for 'Love': 1. Attraction, attachment, desire. 2. Forgive, obey, treat special, take the trash out. Well, then someone has a double standard. Same person saying the same word 'Love', but different standards for self and for other. Radarmark calls it a slam to point to the double standards that I see. Well then, I prefer to be slammed, and I prefer to NOT be conjectured or lied to.

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Truth, as such, I believe exists in reality--eternal and immutable. The problem with changing this to "swear" allows the subjective, the relative to enter the equation. I believe in Indian (dots not feathers), Chinese, and Western logic the first line trumps the second.

The difference is in our ontologies (what exists?). I believe that things like the concept of good, beautiful, truth and constructs like deductive logic and arithmetic exist in a kind of Platonic world version. They exists on their own and need not apply to anything material. This "real conditions" argument is based on the scientistic dogma that only material reality counts. I am neither a material nor a ideal monist. The experience is not empirical ("provable by sense experience only") it is experiential and, therefore experientially, provable. Both empirical and experiential things are subject to the proofs of rationality. I am merely pointing out that rational proofs which use analogy or simile or induction or abduction (or any other empirical or experiential evidence) are not deductively true, they are dependently true ("working truth" works).

As previous statement implies, I do not believe "empirical truth" to be "Hard Truth". Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, and Feynman got closer to the truth. If they had gotten to the truth, their theories would never have been modified to fit empirical reality,

I just never understand the double standards you point out. Why? Because we use the words differently. Nothing wrong with that, it prevents miscommunication.

7. ### luecy7Well-Known Member

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False. My "real conditions" argument is based on the golden rule, especially the first word, and my own empirical experience.

You defined it. The question is whether you make your 'believe' in "I believe you" to be "You believe me", and your 'prove' in "You prove it" to be "I prove it". Your words tell me no.

I can define words too. I define the "Hard Truth" to be the fact that every action, inaction, thought, missed opportunity, deed, word, and measurement, are being perfectly preserved in this world that we are living in. All of history has been recorded. If you don't believe that, check with those physicists that you mentioned. The world contains an empirical truth in the entropy, meaning that this world is empirically recording us. It also measures the activity of non-human spirits.

I am not the one expecting my words to 'prove it' or bring understanding of a double standard. Not my intent. We have to 'prove it' or 'disprove it' and bring understanding to ourselves. A person or entity can give us a truth (or a lie), but the homework has to have been done, or to be done, to know it and understand it. I am looking to be sure my 'prove' is symmetric in "you prove it", and "I prove it". Is your 'prove' symmetric in "you prove it", and "I prove it"? If not, that is what I have called a double standard.

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I give up. You go ahead and believe what you want, and I will believe as I like.

"Empirical experience" just is not and cannot be proof of absolute, eternal truth.

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Let us presume that I claim "thou shalt not kill" is an "empirical experience" that is true.

First what does empirical experience mean? Usually, it is taken to mean a direct experience of the senses (empirical means sense-based).

Second I do not mean the trivial notions of (1) linguistics, and (2) ethics. That is I am not defining "thou shalt not kill" in terms of those scribbles on the page or the sound I hear when someone says it out loud in English. Nor am I defining it in terms of something we should do (that we can employ will to follow or not follow). If we have a choice of will, of action, it means that which is described can sometimes be true (I do it) or false (I do not do it).

So what do they mean when conjoined? If "thou shalt not kill" is empirically experiential I mean that I directly sense the notion. Well thoughts and notions are incorporeal (they do not have a physicality), so I cannot mean that.

I must mean I sense proof that "thou shalt not kill" is a value by which I feel "good" or "moral" or "enlightened" people have in their character. But wait, that does not mean I experience it... qualia are not shared. Your experience of the red of a gorgeous sunset off San Diego is not directly accessible to me (I cannot experience your experience). Not that I cannot have a direct empirical experience that allows me to imagine what you did (sunrise in Maine).

What I am saying is that I have empirical experiential evidence to support "thou shalt not kill" and may have constructed a thread of reasoning the convinces me I am right (perhaps so perfect that anyone hearing it is also convinced by reason).

But this is not empirical experience of truth. It is the empirical experience of evidence (J-sus, MLK, Ghandiji all taught this and I perceive it in the actions and words and deeds of their followers). But prove as true (always corresponding to the world in all places and all times... what I mean by hard or absolute truth)? Nope, plenty of people have killed and continue to kill (even J-sus slew the fig tree and the herd of swine).

Therefore "thou shalt not kill" is not true (in an absolute sense). It may be true in a moral or ethical sense, but this is not what my claim of empirical experience entail.

Now, do these realms of "absolute truth exist"? Yep. the structure of a valid tautology in deductive logic or arithmetic are not true just in English or just since the Indians discovered deduction. They were true at the time of the big bang and will be true at the big crunch (or gradual entropy death via black holes). Ain't no fuzz on it at all.

There is some fuzz on "the sun will come up tomorrow". There is no reason in the physics (which could be wrong anyway) why the sun could not nova tonight. It is just not very likely. There is more fuzz on the Ricci Calculus (the calculus of tensors) because (per mathematicians and logicians) it can never be proven (reasoned to be) consistent and complete (thank you, Godel). There is even more fuzz on the claim that "high taxes are bad for the economy" (the economy has been quite strong in times when taxes were twice or thrice what they are now).

Finally, we get to sense-based notions that are just not true (do not correspond to any reality at any time). It is not true that the shortest distance is a straight line (think of the surface of a globe), it is not true that weights fall in straight lines towards the earth's center (the mass of the moon and sun have some small, not now measurable effect), it is not true that satellites move in circular motion (per relativity, it depends on the frame of reference.

So empirically experienced events are not absolutely true (they cannot correspond to what is at all times and at all locations). They can be absolutely false. The vast majority are merely things more or less likely to correspond to reality.

10. ### Bhaktajan IIHare Krishna Yogi

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What is the 'Constant' here? or How do we reconcile this?:

If you work hard and study, now ... you'll, later, do less work.

If you play around and loaf now ... you'll, later, do more work.

if you attend to this lesson now . . . you'll, later, have less to learn.

if you neglect this lesson now . . . you'll, later, know this lesson better.

11. ### luecy7Well-Known Member

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"Thou shalt not kill" is a sentence, a command, to NOT go obtain some form of empirical experience, and to NOT take from someone else. On the flip side it could be written: Do forgive. Do cherish the life of others.

You are missing the 'Do'. Closed loop feedback control. You describe experience as if you were a member of the audience, watching and listening, but not partaking.

You should help the Mars rover team look for a tautology, deductive logic, or arithmetic, on Mars. I think they would be excited to find one. As you say there is no fuzz on your concept of a big bang, or a big crunch, I am wondering which part is NOT fuzz. On which picosecond did/do the alleged events occur? Year? Place? Tell you what: give me just one valid tautology, deductive logic, or arithmetic, that was true in existance at the time and place of the alleged big bang.

That which is false, is also true, just not in the way that someone intended it. Do you think a person can learn from mistakes, or from having been misled? Can they learn if they don't try?

Who looks around at anything of the world and says, "That is true", or "That is false". The moon is true today, but that sun over there is being false, and that big bang over there is definitely full of truth. It is a nature of the symbols or information that people exchange. People have the ability to create symbols and concepts that reflect reality, or that have no bearing on reality.

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1) reverse the sense to "Do forgive. Do cherish the life of others" the same logic applies.

2) sense experience has no do in it, to my knowledge. I hear my bride asleep. I see my disk defragger indicating it is working.

3a) these kind of truths are metaphysical and not limited to any time or place. Point out the simplest tautology here (it has no physicality).

3b) "1+1=2"

4) there is no fuzz on true/false. To be true the notion under consideration must "point to" or indicate some aspect of what is. "The moon is made of green cheese" is pretty well proven false... no fuzz. If the notions we create "have no bearing on reality" they are QED false (that is the definition in most languages).

13. ### luecy7Well-Known Member

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Mind you, I am not the one believing that logic is ever sufficient. It seems you are, some of the time.

Did you truly 'do' nothing to establish the bride and the defragger as yours? If your bride is awake, or your defragger is not working, will you likewise 'do' nothing with them? Your care and attention was a 'do', so I suspect you might!

What you point to as being the simplest absolute True tautology, I find is absolutely False in reality. That tautology and any tautology with the = symbol contains a gross human approximation that is never, ever, true in reality. No two cars, No two people, No two wave particles, No two things counted, are ever equal or equivalent. At best you can imagine that with proper units or stoichiometry, that some fuzzy attribute of two things at some point in time are roughly equivalent. It is a generalization, full of extrapolation or interpolation, that may help it round off to a relatively accurate approximation, thus being useful, but as a statement itself it is absolutely false.

The left side of the '=' has greater information than the right side of the =. It could have been 1.5 + .5 = 2. It could have been 4 + -2 = 2. It could have been 2 + 0 = 2. In fact, according to the mathemagician there is an infinite set that is = 2. With your alleged big bang, is there an infinite amount of mass and energy? No? You see, the tautology with an = does NOT exist in reality. (1 = 1) is false in reality. (True = True) is false in reality. The two reside in a different time, place, measurement, and are counted unique. The brain works on generalization, interpolation, extrapolation, pattern matching: look outside that box. Every particle and collection of particles are unique and any similarity between them is an approximation at best.

There are other ways to say this. As Jesus said that every hair on one's head is numbered, then (1 hair = 1 hair) is false. (1 hair + 1 hair = 2 hair) is false. Information is missing, is thrown out, or is never available, to the person that says that 1 hair = another.

Equivalent attributes: According to quantum mechanics, no two wave-particles are ever equal. Either the position or the momentum must be different. I call it the certainty principle. If the position is the same then the momentum must be different. If the momentum is the same then the position must be different. Where the position may allegedly be '=', the time derivative is not '='. Where the time derivative may allegedly be '=', the position is not '='. Thus, it is a generalization (pertinent information ignored) to presume some attribute '=', and it is NEVER absolutely true (all time, and all place). Same goes for a collection of wave-particles.

No, I am not reaching to argue with you as a personal vendetta. Yes I am an engineer that makes use of symbolic generalizations. I have said it before on this very forum in various ways: Here is an example.

Did you prove that with a tautology, or with an empirical measurement?

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Not logic, but how we use the word truth is what drives me. Western culture (from both Greek side and Jewish side) defines truth as something immutable and eternal. The only thing that meets that criterion is logic (with math and some linguistics highly influenced by logic). It is the only thing sufficient to handle this western truth (which I call hard truth).

I was not speaking of my bride or the defragger, but my empirical experience of them (by, again, common definition) in terms of sensory input. The only caveat is that I have to focus my consciousness on the sense datum (I do not hear, that is consciously experience, her snore when I am asleep).

What is it I have to "do" to have an empirical experience, besides pay attention to the stream of sense data. Honest question, I do not understand.

Yes, it is a tautology, the simplest tautology... that is my point. "Absolute" or "hard" truth is only tautological. Why? That is the only way to make it correspond to reality (no matter how trivially that is) for all times and at all places.

Any other rational (coming from reflexion or thought, like similes or abduction) or empirical (coming from sense data) truth can never be proven true in that sense. It can be proven false.

You are defining reality too narrowly. The platonic forms, if only as metamathematical models and tautologies, exist outside of physicality. If you wish to follow (what I believe to be the inappropriate notion of) scientistic monistic monism, so be it. If you want to discuss that issue, we can start a new thread (the issue would be something like "idealism, materialism, dualism, and holism--an ontological debate).

You are correct in your admitting truth (in the absolute truth) does not exist in physical reality. But your certainty principle does not work. All electrons are equivalent mathematically. They cannot be in the same place (if one includes spin as an extra dimension), that is true. But any set of paired electrons (with spins that obey the exclusion principle) are usually (not always) in the same momentum states. It is the nature of entanglement.

I know you are an engineer... but the difference is that you accept the dogma of monist materialism. I just do not and do not have to (that suggested new thread would focus our discussions on this notion).

As empirical statements ("the moon of green cheese") can be disproved by either logical (tautological) or empirical means, either would do.

"Green cheese is the product of a human cheese-maker". "If the moon is made of green cheese, it was made by a human cheese-maker". "The moon is far older than humanity". "Therefore, the moon is not made of green cheese".

The physical parts of the moon brought back from the moon have been tested and show it is not made of green cheese.

15. ### luecy7Well-Known Member

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History is the truth that you measure. As you point to logic, you point to a logic that is not being found everywhere in the solar system. Even restricted to this planet, to the brains of humans, a logic is not found everywhere.

Interesting caveat, one that required some 'Do'.

As an alleged physicist, I thought maybe you had done a few empirical experiments. My recommendation: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Your original definition was a provable relationship between the physical and the symbol: "“Hard truth” is a provable relationship between a thought or proposition and reality (the Kosmos) whereby the thought “corresponds to reality” always, everywhere". Only you can prove your symbol. You can jump into all the meta...jumbo you wish, but it won't change the conflict that your one idea of prove has with the other idea.

I did not say that.

The physics report differently.

False. The velocity and momentum is a vector, not a state. I think you have confused energy or quantum states with momentum. They are related, but not the same.

I don't think they have found any tautology on the moon either. The physical parts of the moon brought back from the moon have been tested, and they show no tautology.

Where did the word 'moon' come from, and how did you know that it was older than humanity? You may not see or admit to the empirical measurement, but it is still there.

16. ### A Cup Of TeaWell-Known Member

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luecy7, sometimes I get the feeling you come to this site as an exercise in argumentation. As if you pick a person and decide that every word that person writes is wrong and you set out to prove it.

That is probably not true, but is it possible that you miss the forest for all the trees, that you get hung up on very specific things instead of seeking to understand the general meaning of the post?

I have very seldom noted that you agree with anyone about anything. Am I wrong or are you at odds with most here. Or do you see a greater person in friction then flow?

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Quote:
Not logic, but how we use the word truth is what drives me. Western culture (from both Greek side and Jewish side) defines truth as something immutable and eternal. The only thing that meets that criterion is logic (with math and some linguistics highly influenced by logic). It is the only thing sufficient to handle this western truth (which I call hard truth).

History is the truth that you measure. As you point to logic, you point to a logic that is not being found everywhere in the solar system. Even restricted to this planet, to the brains of humans, a logic is not found everywhere.

You are free to believe logic exists only in brains. fine. My point is that it exists as a necessary, a priori truth.

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I was not speaking of my bride or the defragger, but my empirical experience of them (by, again, common definition) in terms of sensory input. The only caveat is that I have to focus my consciousness on the sense datum (I do not hear, that is consciously experience, her snore when I am asleep).

Interesting caveat, one that required some 'Do'.

Still trow around the D-Word with no definition.

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What is it I have to "do" to have an empirical experience, besides pay attention to the stream of sense data. Honest question, I do not understand.

As an alleged physicist, I thought maybe you had done a few empirical experiments. My recommendation: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

See previous comment
. Is this a comment about how you feel I treat you?

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You are defining reality too narrowly. The platonic forms, if only as metamathematical models and tautologies, exist outside of physicality. If you wish to follow (what I believe to be the inappropriate notion of) scientistic monistic monism, so be it. If you want to discuss that issue, we can start a new thread (the issue would be something like "idealism, materialism, dualism, and holism--an ontological debate).

Your original definition was a provable relationship between the physical and the symbol: "“Hard truth” is a provable relationship between a thought or proposition and reality (the Kosmos) whereby the thought “corresponds to reality” always, everywhere". Only you can prove your symbol. You can jump into all the meta...jumbo you wish, but it won't change the conflict that your one idea of prove has with the other idea.

It depends on your definition of reality, my ontology is just much broader than yours. Some of reality requires no experimentation or sense experience (the logic underlying "All men are mortal. Socrates was a man. Therfore, Socrates was mortal").

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You are correct in your admitting truth (in the absolute truth) does not exist in physical reality.

I did not say that.

Oh? "What you point to as being the simplest absolute True tautology, I find is absolutely False in reality." If one does not include the mental as part of reality, then your statement is true. I try to be more inclusive and consistent.

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But your certainty principle does not work.

The physics report differently.

Oh? Find me a reference to the "Certainty Principle" (in the sense you are using it) in some peer-reviewed physics paper.

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All electrons are equivalent mathematically.

Please see any standard reference like 2.3 Identical particles

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But any set of paired electrons (with spins that obey the exclusion principle) are usually (not always) in the same momentum states.

False. The velocity and momentum is a vector, not a state. I think you have confused energy or quantum states with momentum. They are related, but not the same.

I will make this as simple as possible, see Position and momentum space - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The physical parts of the moon brought back from the moon have been tested and show it is not made of green cheese.

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Yes, it is a tautology, the simplest tautology... that is my point. "Absolute" or "hard" truth is only tautological. Why?

I don't think they have found any tautology on the moon either. The physical parts of the moon brought back from the moon have been tested, and they show no tautology.

You do not understand, a tautology is no mere physical thing to be found. It is a notion, idea, thought, qualia. This is the fatal problem in scientistic monist materialism (which you are mirroring). Thoughts exist separate from material things: proof? what physicality exists for the notions of "I" or "G-d" or "Good" or "Justice"?

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"Green cheese is the product of a human cheese-maker". "If the moon is made of green cheese, it was made by a human cheese-maker". "The moon is far older than humanity". "Therefore, the moon is not made of green cheese".

Where did the word 'moon' come from, and how did you know that it was older than humanity? You may not see or admit to the empirical measurement, but it is still there.

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Went over time limit. Put it this way, there are three empirical statements (arguments) within a deductive structure which is invariably true (in the sense the negation of the conclusion is true) if the arguments are true. QED

The word "moon" has nothing to do with it. I was speaking of the concept referred to by that word. That concept itself in independent of empirical measurement (it is really impossible to get fMRIs or some similar empirical measurement of brain state to correlate to a concept across all languages).

19. ### luecy7Well-Known Member

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False. This thread is largely about the concept of 'prove', especially as you just used it. Radarmark harbors and puts forward the same concept of 'prove' when it suits him. From my viewpoint, it is false. You have to prove or disprove for yourself. I have to prove or disprove for myself. I am a well rooted voice of dissension. As I said to you before on this thread, the proof of a good recipe is not received by merely reading the recipe. If you wish to keep your concept of 'prove', you are welcome to it. It is your choice: your gain or loss. I personally rejected it a long time ago.

You are on topic with a fine example of conjecture.

I agree, you have seldom seen it. I have seldom seen the F-bomb on this forum.

Where there is no friction, there is no work.

20. ### A Cup Of TeaWell-Known Member

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I think you answered 1/4 of my questions. I think you answered with four answerers you like, whether they are relevant to what I was asking (not the same as what you read) or not.