Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Home page of The Chess Variant Pages

Home page of The Chess Variant Pages:
"It is generally assumed that chess originated in India, 5-7 centuries after the birth of Christ. At that time, the game was not as we know it. During the course of history, many variants of the game were tried. Some were discarded immediately, some had for some time an enthusiastic following and then died out, while others stayed, and replaced the game as it formerly was known.

Today, the game chess as we know it, has remarkable differences from the original game.
At the same time, in different parts of this world, different chess games are played.

These are also believed to originate from the same Indian / Arabic origin. The most played variants are Shogi (in Japan), and Xiangqi (in China).
Other Asiatic countries know other variants. Additionally, these games and the `Western' chess have many variants, played by people that want something different for a change. These pages want to describe such variants, and give pointers to places that contain more material on them. "

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ernst Mach - Gedankenexperiment

Thought experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia coined by Ernst Mach)

Ernst Mach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Mach developed a philosophy of science which was influential in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mach held that scientific laws are summaries of experimental events, constructed for the purpose of human comprehension of complex data. Thus scientific laws have more to do with the mind than with reality as it exists apart from the mind. Some quotations from Mach's writings will illustrate his philosophy. These selections are taken from his essay 'The economical nature of physical inquiry', excerpted by Kockelmans (citation below).
The goal which it [physical science] has set itself is the simplest and most economical abstract expression of facts.

When the human mind, with its limited powers, attempts to mirror in itself the rich life of the world, of which it itself is only a small part, and which it can never hope to exhaust, it has every reason for proceeding economically. "

In accordance with this philosophy, Mach opposed Ludwig Boltzmann and others who proposed an atomic theory of physics. Since atoms are too small to observe directly, and no atomic model at the time was consistent, the atomic hypothesis seemed to Mach to be unwarranted, and perhaps not sufficiently "economical".
Mach had a direct influence on the Vienna Circle philosophers and the school of logical positivism in general.

Albert Einstein entitled him as "forerunner of Theory of relativity".
Mach's positivism was also influential on many Russian Marxists, such as Alexander Bogdanov. In 1908, Lenin wrote a philosophical work Materialism and Empirio-Criticism in which he criticized the views of "Russian Machists".

Saturday, April 22, 2006

wittgenstein vade mecum

Paul Strathern wittgenstein vade mecum - Google Search

Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes

Paul Strathern - Penguin UK Authors - Penguin UK:
"Paul Strathern was born in London in 1940. He studied physics, chemistry and maths at Trinity College, Dublin, before switching to philosophy. He is the author of several novels, including A Season in Abyssinia, which won a Somerset Maugham prize, and two highly successful series of short introductory books, Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. Paul Strathern lectures in philosophy and science at Kingston University."

from my email:-
Grain of Sand: Another Wittgenstein Essay: "Wittgenstein's notion of 'language games' compares favorably with the emergent notion of 'namespaces' in computer science: in order to disambiguate and avoid gratuitous 'name collisions' we must specify the context, using a notation for doing so."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

English translations of Marcel Proust's lesser known writings

Introduction to Bricquebec: " The text we have here is the original corrected, but not proof-read, typescript of what was later to become Noms de pays: le pays. In this original incarnation there was as yet no mention of Albertine and the jeunes filles en fleurs - what was to become one of the most significant themes of the whole novel. During the years between 1914 and 1919 this episode was rewritten and extended almost beyond recognition. There are numerous textual inconsistencies within this early draft, names of people and places have yet to be definitively decided upon: Balbec is called Bricquebec, but also in places Cricquebec; Robert de Saint Loup is first called Beauvais then Montargis; Baron de Charlus is called M. de Fleurus (and at one point, intriguingly, Charlus); Mlle de Stermaria is called variously Sclaria, Silaria, Silariat.
In 1989 Richard Bales published a remarkable piece of scholarship Bricquebec: Prototype d' l'ombre de jeunes filles en fleurs in which he has deciphered and reproduced the typescript including all of Proust's extensive handwritten additions, paperoles, changes and crossings out. I have translated this text incorporating all the corrections. "

Marcel Proust Ephemera Letters, Articles, Translations

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Wittgenstein seen from USA

Control Room: Wittgenstein Again: "I wrote a more comic book version of this, but let's try to be more serious. The work for which Ludwig Wittgenstein (LW) first became well known, as the miracle-spawn of Bertrand Russell, was the pretentiously titled Tractatus Logico Philosophicus (TLP). Except this wasn't so silly-sounding for that day, as Latin still connoted authority, as did the flat hats and gowns, all the gothic surroundings of a dark ages cathedral. So the TLP fit right in, as more organ music."

BizMo Diaries: Wittgenstein for Dummies: "Wittgenstein was born into money, was living a glam life as a courtly genius, then gave it all up to go to Oxford. He left the ordinary world of muggles and their ways to join up with Slytherin, headed by Bertrand Russell. His Tractatus Logico Philosophicus (known as TLP by insiders) was his young knight in shining armour debut (the women back in Vienna swooned), then he exited stage right and wasn't heard from in awhile (before all this, he'd been a handsome POW in WWI, but that's another story)."

Grain of Sand: Moral Relativism?: "I've been chatting with a certain SWM on a Wittgenstein list (a Yahoo! group) -- both of us appear in the acknowledgements in Duncan Richter's new book by the way (Historical Dictionary of Wittgenstein's Philosophy). We've been yakking about moral bedrockism (absolutism) versus relativism, whether Wittgenstein was either, and tangentially, where do we come down? I know for myself I'm coming to the following elucidation: moral relativism is a first line of defense against the morally inferior; let 'em all duke it out, and the bedrockers among 'em 'll likely percolate to the surface, ready for round 2 etc. I mean, we're of harder and softer metal, along many different axes or principles. Alchemical mixings of archetypes. I'll budge where you'd never and vice versa. We wonder at one another's weaknesses. I'll grant you all that."

I know Kirby from wittgenstein-dialognet : Wittgenstein Dialognet