[Fis] A New Intellectual Avant-Garde

Karl Javorszky karl.javorszky at gmail.com
Fri May 13 13:32:51 CEST 2022

The Ultimate Rhetorical Exercise: The Beard of the Emperor (220428)

Dear Colleagues,

*Part I.*

*1. Augurs promising*

As was remarked before, this group has matured into an interactional
community which comes close to the ideal of friendly exchanges of advanced
thoughts. We have open minds, talents, are interested and possess of time.
This is an artistic group which uses humour as one of its communicative
tools. The scenery is set for an unusualy, really deep discussion. The
stars are in a favorable constellation, and the flight of the eagles augurs
great advances.

The art of Rhetoric has a great tradition and possesses its own laws, rules
and expediencies. Schopenhauer has demonstrated in his *Eristic Dialectic*
[1], how a controversial discussion is to be managed, if the goal is to
gain advantages in a debate. Here, we deal with a similar special case of
rhetoric, namely, how do we discuss a subject about which the participants
in the debate know nothing. The methodology of discussing the unknown has
also a traditional subject.

*2. Subject of the Debate*

There is an idiomatic expression in German: *“um des Kaisers Bart streiten”*.
To discuss the beard of the Emperor has become a synonym for uselessly
debating such things, about which no one knows anything, and there is no
way to come to a clarification. Even if there were a way of verification of
hypotheses, the results would be of no value, because there is no real
consequence attached to either of possibly many results of the debate.

               (Kaiser Frederic I, drowned in 1190 during a crusade, was
known South of the Alps as the Red-Bearded, Barbarossa, but not North of
the Alps. Much research has been dedicated to the controversy.)

Let us use this etalon of scientific debate for our own purposes, too.
After all, we do not know what information is, how it is interdependent
with energy, what forms can it have, and how much these forms contrast
among each other, and what the meaning of information is. We similarly have
no idea, whether information is present in the whole or in the parts of the
whole, and if so, by which methods and rules. Actually, even questions of
reality, objectivity, interpersonally understandably communicating about
the subject emerge, as it could well have been that the Emperor had no
beard at all. We propose to use for the discussion of the concept of
information the patterns of debate relating to the beard of the Emperor.

*3. Clarification of the Meanings of the Terms Used*

Unfortunately, due to the strict discipline kept by the Server at Zaragoza
University, one can not include drawings and illustrations in his
contributions to FIS. This is why I have to refer to a Figure in Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_hair#Styles_of_facial_hair. Let me
propose for the current debate to use the term ‘beard’ for the whole set of
hairs on the figure. This includes the subsets named ‘moustache’ and
‘jawbone’, where moustache means all and every form of hair originating
from above the mouth and jawbone means all forms of sideburns and goatees,
that is, all the hair that follows the bone of the chin. Generally, the
description of the beard agrees to *a + b = c, *where *c *is the complete
facial hair (beard),* a, b *are respectively the hair N of the mouth
(moustache) and the hair in regions W, S, E relative to the mouth
(sideburns & goatees). Here, however, we shall call that part *a* of the
beard{N, /W,S,E/}*, *which is *less *than the other part *b *of the beard
*c*. Whether *less *refers to less mm² or to less mg of hair material shall
be discussed in the sequel.

The beard can grow on any and all places of the plane of the skin. We
create a Mercator map of the skin of the face of the Emperor. Where the
beard does grow, a potential has been realised. If there is no growth, be
it because it had never grown there, or it became shaved away or it fell
out (temporarily), we have a state of Zero. If there is a hair on a spot,
we give one of the symbols {1,2,…,16} to distinguish it against other kinds
of growth. Such, we have *17 *degrees of beard, from *Zero *meaning no
beard at all, thru *1 to 16 *which symbols distinguish each a type of hair
that has grown. There are natural processes governing the growth of the
beard, and then there are actions by participants in society, mostly by the
subject himself. One is free, as an Emperor, to grow any and all forms of
combinations of Zeroes and Ones-to-Sixteens. The omnipotence of the Emperor
finds its limits, however, by the prescriptions of Nature, which is
likewise free to allow or hinder the growth of hair on any specific spot.

*4. Perspective of Discussion*

Attempting to do right in a discussion about a subject about which no one
participating in the discussion has admittedly any idea at all, has – as
mentioned – a noble tradition. That attempt has been given up and has
become a subject of ridicule. The failure to come to a result is in itself
a result: that all the avenues investigated so far have proved to be dead
ends. We know for sure, that all such methods that have tried to establish
a closing statement about the Beard have proven to be a failure, at least
in their interplay. Therefore, a completely new approach is needed. How can
one propose a solution to a problem of complex interdependent unknowns
otherwise than by referring to the tradition established by having
investigated the beard of the Emperor? *We discuss some behind-the-scenes
organisational principles that weave the different kinds of unknowns into
one complex system. *These are other words for asking, which patterns of
hair could the Emperor have, and which are mutually exclusive? Could he
have grown spots like a leopard or stripes like a zebra? What are the rules
that determine, which patterns can come into existence and among such,
which are perceived art and beauty?

Please allow me to use the classical perspective, even if it may appear to
you to be an arbitrary one, and to re-formulate some of the contributions
in the FIS chatroom of the last few weeks and months, under the aspect that
we seriously and diligently pick up on the work of our predecessors and
frame the whole collection of unknowns as being part of the questions of
the beard of the Emperor.

In order to convince you about my seriousness of transforming our debate
relating to the concept of information into the form used by our
predecessors and forefathers while they discussed the concept of the beard
of the Emperor, I have culled some of snippets of your contributions. We
shall re-phrase some of them to make visible that we are indeed conducting
a discussion here which accords in its syntax to the discussion about the

*5. Integrating the Structure of the Discussion about a System of Unknowns
into Contributions *

Those who will recognise the verbatim citations of their own contribution I
will have to ask for tolerance for not having chosen a different snippet,
which could have given more succinctly the essence of what they wished to
express. From the others, I have to ask forbearance for having formulated
their ideas in a wording which is not of theirs: here I hope that the
general drift of the idea comes across, independently of the articulation.



Those first things were leptons and quarks.

In our logic, we have to come up first with proto-concepts of *a, b *based
on which all other ideas can be brought into existence.

a mousetrap will have been activated by larger than it human hands. When a
mouse blunders into it, forces of larger scale than its own will come
crashing down on it.

There are hierarchies of levels of realities. Something that happens on a
lower level can trigger a threshold reaction on a higher level. There is a
calculable bonus if *a+b=c *holds true, even if the procedure is not

Contrast is what is the key principle

We have spoken long enough about *a+b. *Let us now turn our attention to

There is a duality in it

Of course

We need to address redundancy generated by the looping of information when
provided with meaning.

The higher-level pictures about what happens in lower-level reality are in
themselves a collection underlying the rules of a collection. The celebrity
gossip has its own syntax, independently of the facts.

The concept of a beard is an anthropogenic construct. There is hirsutismus
and then there is the social convention ‘beard’.

We give a meaning to the facts we observe. The meaning allows us to connect
inner images to external observations. We believe the world to be ordered
and we know our sentences to be ordered: maybe we make a catch by the
rational net.

The interpersonal domain does not "exist" in the sense that a table may
exist. It remains a construct.

In a discussion about experiences with tables and with pictures of tables,
both subjects of the conversation are equally real and abstract.

The social marketing value of a beard does not depend so much on the beard
itself. It is a cultural assignment, which beard style is of the highest
value. The power of assignment tends to centralize, erecting entry barriers.

The facts are the first-level reality. Their oddity is a summand for the
second-level reality. That what makes the *‘most’ *of a property appears to
have an inbuilt tendency to prefer to generate even more *‘most’; *kind of
gainful conversion (systemic bias) reinforcing itself, till meeting
external threshold.

Working backwards, intersubjective intentionality, to the extent that it is
expressed in human beings has a real existence and must be considered
cognitively objective as well as subjective accordingly.

Social conventions regulate to a high degree the properties of beards,
specifically the relations of the parts to the whole. It can well be that
humans share an archetypic consensus about what is nice, proportionate,
fitting. The archetype does indeed exist.

If we introduce a distinction between ontic and epistemic then we are
assuming a dualistic view in advance, which, for example, I am not in
favour of.

Always keep in sight, that art happens on the *whole* and the parts are but
constituents. If it is organised, *a+b=c* holds true, and of this, the
relations of *a, b *to *c *allow qualifying the relating *a, b* to each

A beard is a realised potentiality

Of course, but of what?

We observe that our current discussion about the ontology, epistemology,
semantics and psychology of information follows the rhetorical rules of the
classical debate, among the subjects of which the Beard of the Emperor has
a classical, prominent position.

In the present Treatise, we discontinue discussing the man-made and the
man-judged levels of reality: neither do we discuss how the Emperor was
shaved and trimmed, nor do we discuss what the social consequences were of
his beard being such as it was.

We are discussing, how parts that are unknown are/become organised into a
system which, while remaining in its deep essence unknown, has recognisable
features, which each can be assigned a distinguishing name. (Moustache,
goatee : energy, potential). We experience and know the complete,
interacting system, without knowing as yet, how the parts are regulated to
appear in specific relations that are (make them) parts of a whole.

*6. Failures, Discouragement, Reluctance, Resistance*

As has been stated before and repeated by Joseph (May 9, 2022): *“… most
attempts at finding ‘clear’ definitions and other analytic approaches have
failed.”* This was the point at which our forefathers have given up, and it
seems that all hope is lost when searching for an *organisational principle*
(along *Giordano Bruno: The Cause, the Principle and One *[2]) *which makes
unknowns to interact in recognisable patterns*.

Practical necessity overcomes intellectual abhorrence and timidity. Even if
the case with the Beard appears to have been closed, the same situation
confronts us today. It is the same whether we discuss the beard, follicles
on specific places getting enough nutrients or not, how crystallisation
takes place on a plane, how planes can be laid atop each other to create a
space, how molecules attract and merge, how the position of a logical
marker on one of three places determines the quality of the molecule that
can attach onto a specific place – all these questions debate the relations
of parts to the whole, where *the parts appear to be organised* *according
to some* – as yet unknown – *behind-the-scenes plan or plans*. The debate
goes back to theological roots: if we believe that there is *one *overriding
Principle that organises the parts into the whole, we are close to
*concepts. If we see an incessant, innate rivalry among several Principles,
we find ourselves in *polytheistic *systems of thoughts.

It is an uncalled-for effort for contemporary scientists to have to decide,
whether they believe the main, basic organisational principles to be *one
central* or rather *several coequal* organisational perspectives. It is
pure necessity that forces us to do mental contortions (*asanas*). If the
interaction in genetic information transfer, or among forms of memory, had
been accessible by *definitions and analytic approaches*, we would not need
to uncover, de-archive the debate about the Beard. Admitting that we are
lost graduates us into the position of a participant in the Debate About
the Beard. This is not by free *voluntas *that one learns that different
organisational principles exist, alongside the usual. Who wants to learn
the Akkadian concept of Unit and ways of counting, if he hasn’t to? Who
wants to familiarise with the system of bondages during the feudal ages? In
fact, no one in his right sense would want to spend time discussing the
beard of a long dead emperor.

Unfortunately, the effort can not be avoided, because Nature has not gone
through civilisational stages with us and has therefore remained an
infantile primitive brute. As we have begun going to school, some abilities
had already been learnt. These were not further educated at school.

The abilities to

·       Establish a mental foreground contrasting against a background,

·       Recognise differences among objects and experience preferences,

·       Maintain the concept of order,

·       Order objects according to preferences, based on properties of the

·       Group objects together based on the objects’ similarities

need to be present for the child to be able to visit elementary school.
These abilities will not be educated further. The child learns to build a
stable mental space, in which it imagines units that are abstracted from
the different objects of the perception. We train the mental muscles of
abstraction, of leaving aside particularities in order to deal with the
generality of the thing. Keeping order and how to do a reordering is not
taught as part of the formal education, but rather as preparing for life.

There are many small instances of preference for abstraction against
distraction in the procedure of schooling. One would think that our culture
believes pictures that come from *narrowing* the perspective are somewhat
more valuable above those which present us pictures that carry their
content by theirs being a *wider* perspective than usual. As if it would be
a rule of Nature to come on a consensus that the unit is uniform and not
that units come in *from – to *variants. A part of the brain feels superior
towards a different part of the brain, because the former has *publicly
learnt *to deal with uniform units, while the latter had to *individually
autodidact *how to deal with diversity and variants. In the present
Treatise we ask Mr. Clever to help Mr Touchy-Feely (Mr. Clever’s inner
child) to express himself. This may give rise to some cognitive dissonances.

There are precedents for the irritation that the introduction of a new
world view has brought about. “How can that be, that the Earth circles the
Sun, although we see every day that the Sun circles the Earth?” and “How
can that be that our ancestors were apes, although we clearly see that we
are actually different to the apes?” are of the same category as “How can
that be that concurrently counting in two counting systems makes counting
more exact and more indeterminate at the same time, although we see that
our one and only counting system is functioning exactly and error-free?”.

Reader is invited to adjust his perspectives as he investigates the
question, by which principles and rules many unknown parts are organised
into a system which is a whole, and then some more than the sum of its
parts. (Definition of *Gestalt *[4]). There is the subjective component of
the spectator, how the individual history of the spectator had prepared him
to accept a new idea/explanation (how well his distracting abilities can
play with his abstracting abilities), and there is the objective component,
how the spectator believes the world to be organised by Nature.

Aside from the reluctance to put up a perspective while regarding the melee
of the unknows to interact beautifully, there remains the primary
question: *What
do we use as measuring unit to establish that a degree of organisational
interdependence is observable which is different to the value of the degree
of organisational interdependence achieved by a different observation?*

7. Proposed Solution

We take the plane which is a depiction of the face of the Emperor and *turn
it over. *In the retro vista we see all the physiological works of a skin,
with some follicles sprouting a hair and some not.

We distinguish the *paths *of the nourishment flows (and suppose that there
are several types of nourishment compositions), from the *material *that
sprouts on some spots.

We clarify the terms *path, material, composition *by referring to the
term *cycle.
*The term cycle is a part of the context: reorder in consequence of *periodic

The term *periodic changes *is considered to be axiomatic, or given the
deictic definition ‘that what happens as consequence of the Moon’s
movements around the Earth, the Earth’s rotation, the Earth’s movement
around the Sun’. Transported into dealing with natural numbers, periodic
changes are observable there in the form of orders (sequences) and of
reorders (procedure which generates cycles).

The cycles are – in a geometric interpretation – paths. Paths can cross. In
a visual interpretation, cycles can also be seen as strings or filaments,
or caravans.

In fact, we have created an etalon cohort of logical tokens (made up of *136
*pairs of *(a, b)*), which we use as a catalogue of possible states of
whatever that consists of two parts. The idea to take the most basic
collection of individuals (aka ‘logical primitives’ © *M. Abundis*) and
subject these to repeated periodic changes, is to establish a researchable
data set, out of which numeric values for the strength of a relation among
elements can be read off.

The patterns observed while the logical primitives are reordering allow
erecting space concepts, with spots and places where caravans cross.

We shall introduce the concept of a follicle to be one specific kind of
place where the caravans crossing have specific properties.

The only remaining task is to set up the accounting behind the idea. The
resulting web of numerical relations binds the elements to each other by
means of what we term *bondage. *The bondage reflects the connection of an
element to different elements.

We propose to use the bondage values as a concurrent system. It may well
be, that the bondage value system is that organising principle that knits
elements and places together with temporal and other qualitative

8. Closing Remarks

The proposals in the last Chapter shall be published in more details in
Parts II – IV.

Am Do., 12. Mai 2022 um 13:28 Uhr schrieb Pedro C. Marijuán <
pedroc.marijuan en gmail.com>:

> Dear All,
> Many thanks to Joseph for his lucid comments. Most people in this list
> think that the new syntheses needed should contain a fundamental
> ingredient: clarifying the scientific & philosophical thought around
> information. It is a critical element that has obscured, polarized, and
> aggravated nasty problems of our times. Would we be capable to offer clear
> advancements about that?
> About the current session, thanks to Mariusz for his presentation &
> responses. The point of view of the arts is an important angle for the
> above tasks (it would be great that he remains and contributes in our list).
> Thereafter, maybe it is time to go to the next session on Natural
> Computation. However, for technical reasons of the supporting publication,
> we should wait a few weeks.
> In this context--Terry, would it be possible that you continue with your
> session during these weeks? There are several messages addressed to you
> that could be useful to connect with...
> Best greetings to all,
> --Pedro
> El 09/05/2022 a las 12:34, joe.brenner en bluewin.ch escribió:
> Dear Friends and Colleagues,
> Here is a first response to Pedro’s pre-manifesto. As a chemist, I note
> first that for crystallization of something new to occur, you have to have
> the right reactants, but after the reaction is complete, the solution (in
> both senses) must cool down. Here, I would simply like to add to the
> reaction mix the concept of the value of “Eastern” forms of thought:
> openness, vagueness and change. No pontification or claims of eternal
> validity. If anything is certain about our discussions to date, most
> attempts at finding “clear” definitions and other analytic approaches have
> failed. What I would hope to see is an avant-garde that could produce new
> syntheses, combining Pedro’s position, my suggestion and others with an
> also necessary scientific rigor.
> Best,
> Joseph
> _______________________________________________
> Fis mailing listFis en listas.unizar.eshttp://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
> ----------
> Ud. recibe este correo por pertenecer a una lista de correo gestionada por la Universidad de Zaragoza.
> Puede encontrar toda la información sobre como tratamos sus datos en el siguiente enlace: https://sicuz.unizar.es/informacion-sobre-proteccion-de-datos-de-caracter-personal-en-listas
> Recuerde que si está suscrito a una lista voluntaria Ud. puede darse de baja desde la propia aplicación en el momento en que lo desee.http://listas.unizar.es
> ----------
> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=emailclient> Libre
> de virus. www.avast.com
> <https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=emailclient>
> <#m_-4299099751537767078_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
> _______________________________________________
> Fis mailing list
> Fis en listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
> ----------
> Ud. recibe este correo por pertenecer a una lista de correo gestionada por
> la Universidad de Zaragoza.
> Puede encontrar toda la información sobre como tratamos sus datos en el
> siguiente enlace:
> https://sicuz.unizar.es/informacion-sobre-proteccion-de-datos-de-caracter-personal-en-listas
> Recuerde que si está suscrito a una lista voluntaria Ud. puede darse de
> baja desde la propia aplicación en el momento en que lo desee.
> http://listas.unizar.es
> ----------
------------ pr�xima parte ------------
Se ha borrado un adjunto en formato HTML...
URL: <http://listas.unizar.es/pipermail/fis/attachments/20220513/0798f88b/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Fis mailing list