A blog on passionate problem solving at the intersection between the humanities and the natural sciences
The Law of Identity is a problem solver's blog. I could have said an entrepreneur's blog, but since that concept is used to mean so many different things today, I prefer to see myself as a problem solver, solving problems for intellectual and material gains. I attack all problems coming from a perspective that is at the intersection between the humanities and the natural sciences. I have a deep interest in both the humanities and the natural sciences, which cover subjects such as: business, philosophy, marketing, programming, physics, and physiology. So the topics covered in this blog will be mainly on these subjects. My main tool for solving problems is programming, which I enjoy enormously. However I am not a programmer solving problems but I am rather a problem solver programming. I am much more interested in ideas and being creative and approaching programming from that angle. So in simple terms I can say that I am an "idea guy" that learned to program.
Why the name "The Law of Identity"?
I chose the name "The Law of Identity" for the blog because I wanted to honor Aristotle. I chose it also because the implication of this law is by necessity at root of everything good in this world. In fact I would go so long as to say that you could distinguish good from evil by judging when the law is respected and when it is not. It is not for nothing that the whole subject of logic, which Aristotle gave the world, is in essence a way to ensure that the law of identity is respected at all times.
"The law of identity" refers to the first law of logic, which says that "A is A". This means that every thing that exists is "a something" with a specific nature. For example this means that a stone is a stone and a leaf is a leaf. The further implication of the law of identity is that a stone is not a leaf and a leaf is not a stone. The stone cannot "be" and "not be" at the same time and in the same respect. So the law of identity in simple terms implies that you can not eat your cake and have it too. This means that the law of identity is a reminder for us that in reality there are no contradictions.
The law of identity is an axiom, meaning a statement that is subsumed in all of knowledge. The law of identity can not be proven, but it is the base behind all proofs. It is a self-evident truth of reality. The law of identity is such that even those that proclaim to deny it are by necessity accepting it, because all knowledge, as mentioned, by necessity assumes the law of identity. This is because a statement that outright denies this law is a definitive something and not something else, which means that it adheres to the law of identity. But unfortunately too many people still go about denying this law of nature and the majority of those that adhere to the law only have an implicit understanding of it. These people that adhere to the law implicitly much too often also lack an understanding and appreciation of the law's importance to living on earth.
Now why is a full understanding and appreciation of the law of identity important?
Because it is literality the key to reality! With it, all of reality is open to you. You can begin to explore all aspects of reality that interest you and be sure that all the answers that you seek lie open to be discovered by you. This is the joy of being Aristotelean in the true sense of the term. Note also that the Aristotelean approach is a bottom-up approach, beginning by observation from which abstractions are reached. It is based on a true respect for nature. Thus the greatest hallmark of an Aristotelean is asking "why" and "what is the nature of X" (where X is the subject of study) while knowing that the answer can only come from studying nature itself.
Now I want to finish off by quoting some great people of history and present from different fields that to various degrees were Aristoteleans:
"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature." - Frank Lloyd Wright
"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." - Frank Lloyd Wright
"I have always flattered myself that what I represented was from the ground-up"
"We call formal training when it comes to music schools. My formal training was nature. My teacher is nature itself. My teacher is music itself… It does not mean that you become a musician if you go to music school. Most of the schools, they teach repertoires but not music. Music is a different thing. It is not what we think today. It is one of many important things that have been distorted." - Vangelis
“When one considers that the dominant intellectual approach of the growing number of self-styled “experts” in the bodybuilding field is characterized by approximation, contradiction, equivocation and evasion, it is little wonder that an entire generation of bodybuilders - many of the top champions included - finds itself bewildered and without rational guidance. However, let me assure those who refuse to allow the flame of their passion for a more muscular body to die, who, having some awareness of the role of facts, logic and reason in their lives: There does exist a science of bodybuilding - and it can be understood by anyone willing to exercise the required mental effort.” - Mike Mentzer
"I try never to abstract any pieces of code or functionality until I have seen the problem at least three times" - David Heinemeier Hansson
"We move into these abstract discussions about one principle or another without staying in close contact with the code. And that just is not a very interesting sort of exercise to me… We’re not interested in the patterns themselves and just talking about them on this abstract level. We’re interested in like what happens when you apply this pattern of principle to a piece of code and this is how it looked before and this is how it looks now." - David Heinemeier Hansson
"The deep knowledge only lies in when you actually understand why this is helpful in certain cases which is the problem I find generally with the sort of design patterns, and learning them before you’ve actually stubbed your toes. Before you’ve had the hurt of not knowing like how bad things could become without that principle, it’s very hard to internalize and understand why these things are actually helpful and when they’re helpful and sort of grow and learn from that." - David Heinemeier Hansson
"He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors." - Thomas Jefferson
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." - Thomas Jefferson
"I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way." - Thomas Jefferson
"A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding." - Isaac Newton
"I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses" - Isaac Newton
Now a last quote that to my knowledge perhaps best expresses the joy of being an Aristotelean:
"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Isaac Newton