Shannon's information theory and foundations of mathematics

dennis.hamilton at dennis.hamilton at
Sun Jul 10 15:00:56 EDT 2022

I stand by my objection concerning “worldview.”  
We don’t come with identical worldviews.  We certainly don’t come with identical notions of what are grounded facts, what are accepted theses, and what matters.
That there is an economy of utterances in linguistical expressions does not suggest any contradiction to me.  
I claim that confirmation bias is as strong an influence as anything else, and one can encounter contradictory statements of fact (allegedly one valid and another dis-informative) that are not so distinguishable as utterances based on Zipf’s law or any proposed Shannon entropy.  Belief is a powerful driver.
I wager that statements with terms such as “fascist” and “nazi” may rank more surprising than ones with “those” and “others.”  Yet both could be mis-attributions, no matter which ones people nod their heads over.  Calling “name-your-Supreme-Court-Justice” a liar will have some nod, while others will view that Justice as a victim.
So how can one possibly distinguish disinformation from form alone?  >From familiarity or unfamiliarity to whom?  From what arbitration of fact?  How are “surprising *truths*” to be distinguished?
From: Vaughan Pratt
Sent: Saturday, July 9, 2022 20:21
Subject: Re: Shannon's information theory and foundations of mathematics
Dennis Hamilton wrote,
"I find it more interesting that the idea of someone's worldview being something having Shannon entropy goes unchallenged."
Well before Shannon, linguists such as Jean-Baptiste Estoup, Felix Auerbach, and George Zipf had noticed an inverse relationship between length of words in any given language and frequency of their usage that has come to be called Zipf's law.
[orcmid] [ …]
Disinformation succeeds when it is believed, and is the situation my point is about.  Surprising truths are more interesting than expected truths, and the less critical the audience the more likely they are to believe them.
Vaughan Pratt
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