Re: the two questions

From: JOG <>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 04:01:30 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Nov 28, 1:07 pm, "Brian Selzer" <> wrote:
> "JOG" <> wrote in message
> > On Nov 27, 3:49 pm, "Brian Selzer" <> wrote:
> >> "JOG" <> wrote in message
> >> Each individual that existed, exists, or can exist has a property that
> >> distinguishes it from all other individuals that existed, exist or can
> >> exist; so, yes, there is a property that the caterpillar and butterfly
> >> share.
> > Great, we have agreement :)
> >> The problem is: I don't think haecceity can be observed directly.
> > This time I agree with you (although I did have to look up what
> > 'haeccity' meant) - it is often the case that the identifier we need
> > isn't available to us (I mean we can't often check a butterflies dna
> > right...).
> > But we have to find a solution to this in the real world right - If I
> > have a butterfly, how do I know it came from the caterpillar from
> > earlier? Would you agree there are two options?
> > 1) Check an identifier that we can manage to observe (dna if we're
> > lucky, more likely the jar number we've kept it in, etc.)
> > 2) If we couldn't access that identifier (or it was just too much of a
> > pain to do so), we'd have needed to invent a new identifier as a
> > replacement, that was trackable (a representative identifer for the
> > insect's 'haeccity' - similar to what biologists do when they 'tag'
> > birds).
> > Again, all in the real world, before we get to a database.
> There is a third option: continuous observation. If you never take eyes (or
> the camera) off of the individual, there is no need to reidentify it, and
> therefore no need for a constant identifier.

How would you know that the insect your looking at now is the same one as a second ago? You've tracked its (x,y,z) position. You've just been continually checking another of its identifiers! And then you describe the butterfly to someone else (after all this is shared data we're talking about), and you refer to it as the butterfly you've been watching, or the one on camera 2. More identifiers! 'Brian's' butterfly or 'Camera 1' butterfly. In fact surrogates for the butterfly's locational path!

> >> If one were able to examine the history of the butterfly, one should be
> >> able
> >> to determine that it coincides with the history of the caterpillar--up to
> >> the point of the initial snapshot. The problem is: I don't think history
> >> can appear in a snapshot.
> > I get your gist here but hope we can come back to it after you've
> > looked at the above question. Regards, J.
Received on Thu Nov 29 2007 - 13:01:30 CET

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