Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] nullity in Zendo, represent it, or stop allowing it, was "Zendo rules", which it does

  • FromAlan Anderson <aranders@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 10 Mar 2009 15:50:20 -0400
On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 1:25 PM, David L. Willson <DLWillson@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Perhaps it's time to put the Eastern/Western question to bed by introducing a third stone, a nice little clear or grey one to indicate nullity.

When the BN is not clearly TRUE or FALSE about a koan, the master could put out a null stone.
If the nature of a koan is not clear to the master, the master is not doing his job.
Using a previous example rule: "AKHTBN XIF if all it's blue pyramids are upright."

When a koan has blue pyramids the truth or falsity is simple to determine, on the words "all" and "upright".

When a koan doesn't have blue pyramids, truth and falsity become a matter for the philosophers to wrangle over.
No. It is, and always has been, a matter for the MASTER to decide.
Database science says "null" is a distinct third state, or lack of state, whichever you like.  My experience says that calling null true, or calling null false, will eventually bite you on the fanny.
That is one reason why the "null koan" is customarily disallowed. It breaks the otherwise compelling symmetry between two alternate statements, typically one positive and one negative, of the same underlying rule.