Re: [SystemSafety] Logic

From: Derek M Jones < >
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:04:38 +0000


> Derek
> That feels to me like abuse. If you want to discuss the merits of formal
> methods, let's do it professionally.

After I sent the email I realized that your name was at the top and it could be read as applying to you personally.

I did not intend it to refer to you as an individual.

Think of all the inhabitants of dreaming spires.

> I see this table in the article that you reference. I think that the
> work on formal methods by computer scientists meets the definition of
> Science in the table (except that we are not discussing physical
> processes, so /mutatis mutandis)/, whereas the criticisms of formal
> methods seem more closely to correspond with Pseudoscience. I can give
> you examples to match most of the boxes in the left-hand column. Can you
> do the same for your claim that formal methods do not scale to more than
> the simplest problem?
> Martyn
> *Science* *Pseudoscience*
> Their findings are expressed primarily through scientific journals that
> are peer-reviewed and maintain rigorous standards for honesty and
> accuracy. The literature is aimed at the general public. There is no
> review, no standards, no pre-publication verification, no demand for
> accuracy and precision.
> Reproducible results are demanded; experiments must be precisely
> described so that they can be duplicated exactly or improved upon.
> Results cannot be reproduced or verified. Studies, if any, are always so
> vaguely described that one can't figure out what was done or how it was
> done.
> Failures are searched for and studied closely, because incorrect
> theories can often make correct predictions by accident, but no correct
> theory will make incorrect predictions. Failures are ignored, excused,
> hidden, lied about, discounted, explained away, rationalized, forgotten,
> avoided at all costs.
> As time goes on, more and more is learned about the physical processes
> under study. No physical phenomena or processes are ever found or
> studied. No progress is made; nothing concrete is learned.
> Convinces by appeal to the evidence, by arguments based upon logical
> and/or mathematical reasoning, by making the best case the data permit.
> When new evidence contradicts old ideas, they are abandoned. Convinces
> by appeal to faith and belief. Pseudoscience has a strong
> quasi-religious element: it tries to convert, not to convince. You are
> to believe in spite of the facts, not because of them. The original idea
> is never abandoned, whatever the evidence.
> Does not advocate or market unproven practices or products. Generally
> earns some or all of his living by selling questionable products (such
> as books, courses, and dietary supplements) and/or pseudoscientific
> services (such as horoscopes, character readings, spirit messages, and
> predictions).
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Derek M. Jones                  tel: +44 (0) 1252 520 667
Knowledge Software Ltd
Software analysis     
The System Safety Mailing List
Received on Tue Feb 18 2014 - 18:05:56 CET

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