Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Zendo rules

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 12 Mar 2009 11:38:46 -0500
Timothy Hunt writes:
>Marc Hartstein writes:
>> The issue, of course, is that a "simple" statement to someone used to
>> the assumptions of logic may be hideously complex to somebody who isn't
>> ("What do you mean the rule is 'Either there are no blue pyramids or all
>> blue pyramids must be flat'? That's too hard!"), and vice versa ("Your
>> rule was 'There must be at least one blue pyramid AND all blue pyramids
>> must be flat'? I thought you said it didn't require a compound
>> statement!")
>Which is why Kory made the (IMO) excellent choice to disallow the null koan.

I think the best reason to disallow the null koan is that it, more
than any other koan, depends not on the rule but on how the rule is
worded.  One cannot, usually, make any assumptions about the null koan
based on other koans on the table until one is pretty sure of the
rule--and even then, without a null koan test, one might be wrong;
moreover, testing the null koan rarely gives one insight into other
koans unless one inutits the wording of the rule -- which shouldn't be
necessary to solve a zendo rule.

The second best reason is that the null koan is tricky to distinguish
from a spare marking stone.

That said -- Marc's example above isn't null-koan relevant; under
"bniff blue is present and entirely flat", a single red piece is
false, under "bniff blue, if present, is flat", a single red piece is

       Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\      _,,,--,,_  ,)
--^--   "Did you know, if you increment enough, you   /,`.-'`'   -,  ;-;;'
 /\\    get an extra digit?"  "I knew," weeps Six.    |,4-  ) )-,_ ) /\     
/-\\\   "We knew. But we had forgotten."	     '---''(_/--' (_/-'

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