On the Bush Administration "We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence. I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country." Hillary Clinton
"Agression unopposed becomes a contagious disease." Jimmy Carter "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." F.D.R. "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." J.F.K. "Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose." L.B.J."Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel." Bill Clinton
BARACK OBAMA 2008
That is possibly the saddest song ever..but I am glad you posted it. As I metioned to you, Nicolas, I have so many things around my house that Tina gave me that will remind me of her. It is almost as if she knew that by giving me these things that I would not forget her. I felt very loved by Tina, even when we weren't speaking.
For some reason I remember so much the time that I came to your apartment on Kansas Avenue so that's how long ago it was. I am guessing that it must have been Veteran's Day --one of our "pupil -free" days from Edison. I kept ringing the doorbell and could hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner, or something like that, that was the reason that Tina didn't answer. Finally I managed to get in --either she answered or I just opened the door --and it was Nirana playing full-blast. I should have known...even then, I don't think of Tina ever vacuuming. She was quite involved with Kurt Cobain at the time. ---and now, who knows???
Yesterday, I started writing a paper journal. There is something therapeutic about synchronizing one's thought processes with the coordination activity involved in handwriting. This morning, I wrote about an acute feeling of melancholy that occurred when a song started playing while I was reading a particularly interesting article in the first issue of The Review for Symbolic Logic.
This is a new journal that I received as part of my membership to the Association for Symbolic Logic. I had completely forgotten about it when this issue arrived around the time Tina passed away. Since then, I've been reading it at night and on weekends. Actually, for a terminally-nerdy journal, this is pretty darn good stuff! The first article kind of blew my socks off: "How Applied Mathematics Became Pure". Geez, how many people in their lifetime spend a iota of time thinking about the distinction between the two? That's assuming that someone already knows about the existence of this distinction which brings me to this morning when I read the article:
"The Closing of The Mind: How The Particular Quantifier Became Existentially Loaded Behind Our Backs"
An example of a particular quantifier is this:
There exists a French person who speaks English without any accent.
Well, the debate that has been raging in the circles of formal philosophy and mathematics for years has revolved around the meta-level question whether this statement is vacuously false because it is impossible for any French person to speak any other language without any accent or materially true because such a person has been identified and universally recognized as being a particular example that proves the validity of the statement. I won't pretend dreaming that I'm that person; that would be unpleasantly arrogant and conceited. However, toying with non-native speakers of English about the mere possibility of this statement being true has value as a conversation starter.
Somewhere in the discussion about Russell's views about the existential quantifier and Russell's example about "Unicorns exist", my computer started playing Léo Ferré's "Avec le temps, tout s'en va..."
Léo speaks of the inescapable melancholy due to the inevitability of forgetting feelings and memories about loved ones that make particular quantification about the beauty of love, friendship, tenderness, connectedness and understanding true between lovers. Eventually, all of these feelings and memories will be lost; an absolute truth that I realize is the dual of the fundamental need for particular quantification over things that exist, might have existed, did exist or were believed to have existed. How can we be 100% sure about love?
I am sure of one thing irrespective of any interpretation of particular quantification: Tina taught me how to love someone. Love is something worth living for. I'm surprised that despite centuries of introspection, all of these smart philosophers are remarkably silent on the import of love on questions of particular quantification. If there is one thing that ought resolve this debate, I'd choose love instead of Russell's unicorns.