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Dictionary of the Possible and the Uncertain

Das Dictionary of Uncertainty ist ein offenenes und etwas anarchisches Wörterbuch, in dem Überlegungen zum Möglichen und Ungewissen aus verschiedenen Disziplinen zusammengetragen werden. Es ist ein work-in progress sei 1999 und soll 1000 Seiten erreichen.

Hier ein Auszug:

A posteriori. For the most part, it is a posteriori probability [introduced by Jakob Bernoulli] that we use for predicting the future in the everday world. (Keith Devlin, The Unfinished Game. Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the Modern World, New York 2008)

Algorithm. Monte Carlo Method refers to a mathematical Simulation to an algorithm, concieved by that Bermuda Triangle of maverick European mathematicians at work in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the years following the Second World War: Stan Ulam, John von Neumann and Nicolas Metropolis. (Ecke Bonk, Monte Carlo Method)

Ambiguity. „We all play occasionally, and we know what playing feels like. But when it comes to making theoretical statement about what play is, we fall into silliness. There is little agreement among us, and much ambiguity. (Brian Sutton-Smith: The Ambiguity of Play, Cambridge, Mass. 2001, 1)

Art might have well started, as Jacob Bronowski suggested, as a tool of human survival (H. Sakane). Cape believed that →conciousness is not a thing but a →process, that art must entail the →random, the indeterminate, the →chance aspects of →nature and culture.


Value. Value is about expectations and exchange.

World. Most representations of uncertainty […] start with a set of possible worlds, sometimes called states or elementary outcomes.

Intuitively, these are the worls or outcomes that an agent considers possible.

The set of worlds that an agent considers possible can be viewed as a qualitative measure of her uncertainty.

The more worlds she [the agent] considers possible, the more uncertain she is as to the true state of affairs, and the less she knows. (Joseph Y. Halpern: Resoning about Probability, 2005)

Zero. The mathematical expectation of the speculator is zero.

(Louis Bachelier’s Theory of Speculation. The Origins of Modern Finance. Transl. By Mark Davis and Alison Etheridge, 2007)