[r6rs-discuss] Case-Sensitivity Optional, Case-Preservation Mandatory
cowan at ccil.org
Mon Feb 23 19:31:27 EST 2009
Brian Harvey scripsit:
> (We lefties are supposed to hate Descartes anyway, because of the mind/body
> duality stuff. :-)
Exactly. Descartes admitted he could be mistaken about the nature of
his body (maybe he was just a brain in a vat orbiting Aldebaran) but not
about the contents of his mind. By the indiscernibility of identicals,
then, his mind and his body had to be two different things. I think he
was mistaken about both, actually. ("Descartes thought that he thought
but his dog did not; his dog, however, thought otherwise!")
I see you are from the People's Republic: you may enjoy this message's
.sig (randomly chosen from a hand-maintained list).
> Discernibility of identicals does sound strange, when you put it that way,
> but to me it feels analogous to the situation when it turned out that
> multiplication of quaternions wasn't commutative, or when it turned out
> that fast-moving objects don't follow Newton's laws: It's weird, but when
> you plug in all the empirical facts and all the requirements and all the
> axioms, that's what pops out, and you learn to embrace it. There's nothing
> logically incoherent about this approach, is there?
I don't know; I'm not very good at logic. :-(
In any case, I'd rather see such symbols distinct in the sense of eq? but
perhaps indistinct in the sense of eqv? or equal?.
> P.P.S. I said I was giving up on case-insensitivity, but that was before
> I learned that Unicode already knows how to "normalize" characters in
> different languages, and that (I think I learned this) it's the folding
> that's problematic for the Turks, rather than the insensitivity per se.
Well, if the insensitivity is defined generically, then it produces a
counterintuitive result for Turks: capitalized words with I are treated
as equivalent to words with i instead of ı. So when you think you are
writing in caps in pursuit of some private or shared convention, you
are actually generating a different symbol altogether. And effectively
folding away the distinction between dotted and dotless forms can be
literally fatal, as shown by this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction news
story from last year:
Ramazan Çalçoban sent his estranged wife Emine the text message:
Zaten sen sıkışınca konuyu değiştiriyorsun.
Anyhow, whenever you can't answer an argument, you change the subject.
Unfortunately, as a consequence of diacritic-folding in the interface
between the two cell-phone networks, what she thought he wrote was:
Zaten sen sikişınce konuyu değiştiriyorsun.
Anyhow, whenever they are fucking you, you change the subject.
(The change from -a to -e in the ending of the third, critical, word is
an automatic consequence of Turkish vowel harmony rules.)
She showed the message to her father, who angrily called Ramazan and
accused him of calling his daughter a prostitute. Ramazan went to his
wife's home to apologize, only to be attacked by his wife, her father,
and two sisters. He was stabbed in the chest but succeeded in grabbing
a knife, stabbing his wife, and getting away. Emine died of her wounds;
Ramazan killed himself in jail.
John Cowan http://ccil.org/~cowan cowan at ccil.org
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