## Peiorology: From the Performative Impasse (Excerpt)

Proposition 1. Optimists have their place in any beer heist.

Definition 1. We define as “optimistic” a system of propositions that draws from the following predicate set: “good.” We define as “pessimistic” a system of propositions that draws from the following predicate set: “bad.”

Proposition 2. All paradoxes of Artificial Intelligence vanish if, instead of attempting to reproduce human consciousness, we settle for building an optimist (or pessimist.)

Proposition 3. In particular, the “frame problem” vanishes. Inform an Artificial Pessimist that a certain Bookshelf A has been moved to location x. What predicates does it attribute to the shelf, its books, and the room? Still bad.

Hyperlink 1. Frame Problem

Proposition 4. The “pig problem” is a special case of the frame problem. Define function “Put_on(x,b)” which puts b on x, and “Is(x,c)” which judges whether x is a c. The following characterizes the ordinary system:

Is(x,pig) holds after Lipstick(pig_1,lipstick)

But the Pessimist and Optimist systems draw from a very restricted predicate set. Thus, with some poetic license:

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s bad anyway.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still awesome.

Problem 1. If Is(x,c) holds after Put_on(c,lipstick), then Is(x,pig) holds after Put_on(Put_on(x,lipstick),lipstick). Let Put_on_n(c,n,lipstick,) be defined as the recursive application of Put_on(c,lipsick) n times. Is(x,pig) holds after Put_on_n(pig,n,lipstick) for all n. In other words, if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig, therefore, it’s still a pig no matter how much lipstick you put on it. Is this true? Is there some excessive n beyond which the application of more lipstick reduces the pig to bare life, to a state of porcus sacer?

Hyperlink 2. According to Google, “porcus sacer” has been said before.

Antinomy 1.

Claim 1. There exist pessimists who insist that they’re realists.

Claim 1′. There do not exist pessimists who insist that they’re realists.

Proof of 1. Earlier today, I asked one of my roommates if she was a pessimist, and she said: “I’m a realist.” Since she /is/ a pessimist, and since she said “I’m a realist,” there exists at least one pessimist who insists that she is a realist.

Proof of 1′. Let Petra denote an arbitrary pessimist. Suppose Petra insists she is a realist, and that, moreover, this proposition is of the form “I am a realist.” The predicate “realist” is here attributed to “I.” But “realist” is not the same word as “bad.” Therefore, “realist” is not included in the pessimist predicate set. Therefore, by Definition 1, Petra is not a pessimist. But since we began by assuming “Petra” is a pessimist, we have obtained a contradiction. Therefore, there cannot exist a pessimist who insists on its being a realist.

Corollary to Claim 1′. My roommate as described in Proof 1 satisfies the conditions of “Petra” as described in 1′. Since no such “Petra” can exist, my roommate Petra does not exist.

Corollary to Corollary to Claim 1′. I am holding a garage sale for Petra’s stuff this Saturday.

October 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

The function Lipstick is undefined. I think you mean Put_on(pig_1,lipstick).