• TheMadFool
    All or None (AON)

    an order to buy or sell a stock in its entirety or not at all — Wikipedia

    Everyone knows the principle of AON. I've seen people use it to counter many positions that employ the principle.

    Of course logic, especially classical logic, depends on it - the law of the excluded middle (LEM). I'm no logician so won't attempt to go into the fine structure of LEM but I will say that there's Fuzzy logic and multi-valued logic that deny the LEM.

    The AON like LEM denies anything between two options given. "Either you're with us or against us" captures the AON very well. One could even call it digital thinking, 0 or 1 and nothing else.

    Ye we all know reality arranges itself on a spectrum. We could say that there's an upper bound and a lower bound but we can see that between them there's a whole range of possible values.

    It appears then that the AON is wrong in failing to account for an essential aspect of reality - that it's "best" model is a spectrum and not digital (1 or 0).

    However, AON has an advantage that may be the reason why it exists at all. Simplicity. AON is very simple - there are only two choices. This makes it easy to learn. Ever notice how children are black & white thinkers.Tell them "Don't talk to strangers" and they'll run from ALL strangers. As children grow up they begin to see the spectrum nature of reality and learn to act appropriately.

    A "disadvantage" of rejecting the AON is that it requires adopting a spectrum viewpoint on nature which, obviously, makes matters complex - a juggler with too many items to keep track of is bound to make an error.

    We have a choice between the simplicity of AON and the complexity of rejecting AON, both with inherent pros and cons.

    Your views...
  • bongo fury
    Thanks for reincarnating this thread. :wink:

    Translation (or mapping or commensuration) from analog to digital (continuous to discrete, spectrum to alphabet) doesn't have to be AON, thankfully. Usually it is all-or-nearly-all vs none-or-hardly-any... with a no-mans-land in between. E.g. from light intensity to white vs black, separated by grey.

    E.g., white and black then have borderline cases of light intensity that will be sometimes (e.g. for particular users of the language, or the same user on different occasions) white and other times grey (or sometimes black and other times grey). But no intensity ever taken (within the system) for a black is ever (persistently i.e. without correction) taken for a white.

    And only practical considerations limit the number of shades reliably discriminated in this way, i.e. the number of characters in the digital alphabet.

    We have semantic alphabets as well as syntactic. Sometimes. Often we can't agree on the mutual exclusivity just described, and fall into a slippery slope dispute in which each camp accuses the other of extremism, and teases the other that yes they are quite extreme... and would, for example, call snow black or coal white.

    It might end in tears (or thread closure), but the motivation is often positive... to restore mutual respect for the neutral zone, and hence the feasibility of consistent discourse about (pattern-making with) the non-neutral 'characters'.
  • TheMadFool

    I think AON has dualistic thinking at its core. Forgot to mention that in the OP. I think I'm conflating concepts here but the point is that nature expresses itself in degrees and one may, for the sake of simplicity, just dwell in the extremes of AON. It keeps things simple but misses out on some great content in reality.

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