Probably Not Probable

Hello Muse Readers. Happy October. Sorry for the tardy posting of the October Muse, but I suffered a minor crisis- my antiquated web design application got corrupted, and I had to migrate to Dreamweaver which I really don't know how to use. If the layout in not centered and there are even more typos than usual- I ask for your forgiveness in advance!

As usual, I am living my life in 15 minute intervals at this time of year. I am okay so long as I do not dare to think about what I am going to attempt to undertake in a single day, as it is usually not conducive to keeping my sanity. But, I have learned that it behooves me to stay in the moment and just move forward toward my goals doing the best that I can. When I do this, things just magically seem to fall into place. The less I "do" the more others step in, and all is well. Well, at least most of the time.

When I do not follow this principle, all hell breaks loose. Take the other night for example: It had been a busy day of catch-up after a 3 day weekend and a day at Disneyland the day before. Work, teen pick up, soccer practice, and finally home by 7:30 to heat up spaghetti sauce ( I had made the meatballs on Sunday to save time. ) We sat down to eat by 8 PM and the only comment I got regarding dinner was a question regarding was the sauce burnt. This wasn't the comment I was looking for needless to say.

I was trying to prioritize how the school uniforms would be washed as there was a full washer and dryer ahead of them, dishes would get done, lunches packed, when Buddha Boy casually mentioned that he didn't quite grasp the meanings of the open circle vs. closed circle on the number line. Ah! this was something that I could help with- though I was rusty on the concept- I was certain that if he just gave me 10 minutes to read through the chapter with him, we could clear this up. I asked for assistance with the dishes and laundry so I could enter tutor mode, and I was declined on both requests. Then Buddha Boy declined to let me assist with the Math.

It felt like rebellion coming at me from all sides. Of course I was trying to do too much and not letting things take their natural order. 3 minutes into the forced math review ( I even set the timer for 10 minutes and promised not to raise my voice or go over the time limit ) the phone rang and Buddha Boy's friend rang the doorbell to retrieve his items he left at our house. They trotted outside and the timer buzzed. I used this opportunity to rinse the drying sauce off of the dinner dishes. Buddha Boy's friend, who is one of the kindest young men I have ever met, spent about 2 minutes to clear up the math issue. Buddha Boy then gave me the silent treatment as though I was an evil zombie. The next morning Soccer Boy accused me of raiding his car insurance fund ( I do admit, that I have used it as an at home ATM- but I always jot down the amounts borrowed and the date returned ) and we got into a tussle.

I roared, and then I crumbled, and then I did the laundry. I secretly vowed to stop speaking to certain members of my family without the protection of a running tape recorder so that I could prove my words and intentions. It seemed as though I was saying one thing and they were hearing another. And this is what got me to Musing on Logic.

How is it that we come to the conclusions we come to? And why do different people come to different conclusions? This is what makes us human! Philosophers have been trying to answer this question for a very long time. According to Wikepedia, the study of logic figures in most major areas: epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, mathematics, linguistics, philosophy, semantics and computer science to name but a few.

The term "Logic' is derived from a Greek word ( and I haven't figured out how to copy and paste in this damn Dreamweaver- so you don't get to see the Greek symbols here grrr...) and it is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. It was studied in several ancient cavitations, including the Indian Subcontinent, China and Greece. It was later established as a discipline by Aristotle ( Oh how I would love to have tea with that man! ) who gave it a fundamental place in philosophy.

The study of logic is often divided into two parts, Inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning, the process of deriving a reliable generalization from observations- for example:

1) 90% of men are right handed

2) Joe is a man

Therefore, Joe is probably right-handed.

Therefore, the probability that Joe is right-handed is 90%.

Here is a weaker example of inductive probabilistic reasoning which excludes mathematical induction, which is considered to be a form of deductive reasoning:

1) Every time I see you after you've gone out with Johnny, you're stoned.

2) You went out with Johnny.

Therefore, you must be stoned.

Deductive reasoning is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive reasoning attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis. A deductive argument is valid if the conclusion does follow necessarily from the premises, provided that the premises are true. Deductive arguments are either valid or invalid. Right or wrong. This is what we often refer to as "black and white thinking." Here is an example:

1) All men are mortal

2) Socrates is a man

Therefore Socrates is a man.

If the premises are indeed true, there is no possibility that the conclusion can be false. The argument is "proven" in other words. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand,allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false, even when all of the premises are true. And using my mad inductive reasoning skills, I will argue that conclusions based on inductive reasoning open the door to unsavory social interaction. At least in my house.

Which brings us to the lovely syllogism, which takes two conditional statements and forms a conclusion by combining the hypothesis of one statement with the conclusion of another. Here is an example:

1) If Larry is sick, then he will be absent from school.

2) If Larry is absent, then he will miss his class work.

Therefore, if Larry is sick, then he will miss his class work.

We deduced the solution by combining the hypothesis of the first problem with the conclusion of the second statement. We can also conclude that this could be a false statement. In other words- there are good sound reasons, and reasons that sound good. Very different animals. Generalizing can be useful but can also bring you into dangerous territory. So I think I will either have to shut my mouth until I have first proven my premises, and then pull out that tape recorder and record those premises so that my arguments cannot be misconstrued. I do hope you have enjoyed the crash course in Logic courtesy of Wikepedia.


1) I enjoy reading Wikepedia.

2) You enjoy reading my blog.

Therefore you enjoy reading Wikepedia.

Is this Inductive, Deductive, or a Syllogism?





Q. What do goblins and ghosts drink when they're hot and thirsty?

A. Ghoul-aid


Q. What is a mummy's favorite type of music?

A. Wrap


Q. Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?

A. Because demons are a ghoul's best friend.


Q. What is a monster's favorite bean?

A. A human "bean".


Q. Why can't the boy ghost have babies?

A. Because he has a "Hallo-weenie."


Q. Where does a ghost go on a Saturday evening?

A. Anywhere he can Boo-gie.


Q.What did the skeleton say to the vampire?

A. You suck.


Q. Why did the ghost go into the bar?

A. For the Boos.


Q. Why did the game warden arrest the ghost?

A. He didn't have a "Haunting License."


Q. Why didn't the skeleton dance at the party?

A. He had no body to dance with.


Q. Where does Count Dracula usually eat his lunch?

A. At the Casketeria.


Q. What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?

A. He is mist.


Q. Where does the goblin throw the football?

A. Over the ghoul line.


Q.Why doesn't Dracula mind the doctor looking at his throat?

A. Because of the coffin.


Q. Why is the zombie such a messy eater?

A. Because he is always a goblin.


Q.Why did the vampire read The Wall Street Journal?

A. Because he heard it had great circulation.


Q. What do you give a skeleton for Valentine's Day?

A. Bone-bones in a heart shaped box.


Q.What are zombie's favorite kind of streets?

A. Dead ends.


Q. What kind of makeup do ghosts wear?

A. Mas-scare- a


Q.Why did the skeleton go to the mall?

A. She wanted to visit The Body Shop


Q. What do you call two spiders who recently got married?

A. Newlywebbed


Q.Who was the most famous French Skeleton?

A. Napoleon Bone- Apart


Q. Where do most werewolves live?

A. In Howllywood, CA.


Q. What do Italians eat on Halloween?

A. Fettuccini Afraid-o


Q. Why did the skeleton go to the dance hall?

A. To see the Boogie Man.


Q.What do you call a little monster's parents?

A. A mummy and deady


Q.What do you get when you cross a black cat and a lemon?

A. A sour puss.


Q. How do you treat a zombie?

A. With a yummy mummy in a crash test crummy.


Q. Why do ghosts shiver and moan?

A. It's drafty under that sheet.


Q. How do you know that a vampire likes baseball?

A. Every night he turns into a Bat.


Q. What is it like to bee kissed by a vampire?

A. It is a pain in the neck.


Q. How does a girl vampire flirt?

A. She bats her eyes.


Q. What is a vampire's least favorite food?

A. Steak


Q. Why are vampires like false teeth?

A. They all come out at night.


Q. How do you keep a monster from biting his nails?

A. Give him screws.


Q.Why did the headless horseman get a job?

A. He wanted to get ahead in life.


Q. What do they teach at Witching school?

A. Spelling


Q. Why don't mummies take vacation?

A. They are afraid to relax and unwind.


Q. Who are some of the werewolves' cousins?

A. The whatwolves. the whowolves, and the whenwolves.




Next Post date: November 7, 2011

check out today's front page all around the world!

October 3, 2011


A mind al logic is lie a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.

Niklaus Wirth


Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.

Laurence J. Peter


An action doesn't have to be wrong just because it is not logical. It doesn't have to be right just because it has logic.

Lion Feuchtwanger


Beneath words and logic are emotional connections that largely direct how we use our words and logic.

Jane Roberts


Consequently he who wishes to attain to human perfection, must therefore first study Logic, next the various branches of Mathematics in their proper order then Physics, and lastly Metaphysics.



Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.

Lewis Carroll


Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman.

Marian Anderson


Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason.

Richard Chenevix Trench


Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.

Norman Cousins


Human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Humor is something that thrives between man's aspirations and his limitations. There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth.

Victor Borge


In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat, but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress toward a victory.

Alfred North Whitehead


In life, particularly in public life, psychology is more powerful than logic.

Ludwig Quidde


Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind over tasked.

Oliver Wendall Holmes


Intuition is a suspension of logic due to impatience.

Rita Mae Brown


It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media.

Christopher Lasch


But, logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.

Edward John


Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.

Ambrose Bierce


Reason means truth and those who are not governed by it take the chance that someday the sunken fact with rip the bottom out of their boat.

Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.


If you follow reason far enough, it always leads you to conclusions that are contrary to reason.

Samuel Butler


Truly, that reason upon which we plume ourselves, though it may answer for little things, yet for great decisions is hardly surer than a toss-up.

Charles Sanders Pierce


No no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical.

Niels Bohr


Logic is one thing and commonsense another.

Elbert Hubbard


A mind all logic is like a knife all blade.

Rabindrananth Tagore


He that cannot reason is a fool.

He that will not is a bigot.

He that dare not is a slave.

Andrew Carnegie


If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle.

Rita Mae Brown


A wise man is not governed by others, nor does he try to govern them; he prefers that reason alone prevail.

La Bruyere


The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it.

Blaise Pascal


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