Excerpts from Shadowfirebird's message of Wed Aug 03 13:42:18 -0400 2011: > Doug, is light a "physical thing"? It's certainly true that a rule can't > depend on a pattern of shadows. How about a computer program? That's not > physical, can a rule depend on that? Or the date - is the date a "physical > thing"? Interesting. This just caused me to realize that you could make a "pattern of shadows" rule that's legal. You just have to define the positions and types of your light sources strictly in terms of characteristics of the koan. At that point Spock could recreate the light source or reason its effects, so it ceases to be external. An example: akhtbn iff, when viewed with the only source of light being a [brand-name] 100W Soft White bulb installed perpendicular to the surface in [specify lamp] 10' above the surface and positioned above the gravitational center of the koan, it has a piece whose shadow touched no other piece but points toward at least one. Another terrible rule, but it again actually describes a precise physical relationship between the pieces in the koan which can be evaluated independent of time, orientation, or location. In fact, it could be described without having to refer to the light source, it's just much easier to do so taking it into account. I guess the point is that the defining factor isn't "external reference" but rather "cannot be accurately described without reference to an external factor".
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