Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Knight 'N Knave

The Knight & Knave: Who is lying and who is telling the truth and: Who is who?

Maybe this is a question you can sit down with a friend, place the 2 cards above in front of them, while watching some Squaddie TV, and pose this riddle to them: "Knights and Knaves - Fork In The Road":-

"John and Bill are standing at a fork in the road. John is standing in front of the left road, and Bill is standing in front of the right road. One of them is a knight and the other a knave, but you don't know which. You also know that one road leads to Death, and the other leads to Freedom. By asking one yes–no question, can you determine the road to Freedom?"
In the previous blog, Argument Abstraction, it was seen that it took 33 blogs to reach the 34th blog on "Argument Quality". That was the easy stage. In this blog we examine an underlying assumption in "the quality of arguments" in application: Who is arguing honestly and who is "cheating" the quality of arguments by lying ie "who is not who they appear or purport to be"? The method given is summarized nicely (apart from Truth Tables/Boolean):-
"Notably, if all we want to know is whether a man is a knight or a knave, you can test this by simply asking "Is a truth, true?". As a truth is always true, this is a tautology and hence a known truth which we can test against the answer they give."
If you understand the above, then putting it into practice such as the recognizable satire of our politics as portrayed in: "Yes, (Prime) Minister"

"May I just clarify the question? You're asking who would know what it is that I don't know and you don't know but the Foreign Office know that they don't know and you don't know that the Foreign Office know that they know, that they are keeping from you so that you don't know but they do know, and all we know is that there is something we don't know and we want to know but we don't know what because we don't know." ~ Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley, played by Derek Fowlds, p.173
The above played through enough times seems to indicate that the information is on the borderline of being an "unknown unknown" except that they have "social information" that it exists enough for it to become a "known unknown" because the FCO know something and they know the state of knowledge of their FCO secrets against what others know and don't know and that itself is known by "I"! You can also see the prediction of politicians for over-complicating, hedging, using flowery language, inverting meanings and definitions and chaining together various guises of "intentionality" or dressed-up versions of such; so as to obfuscate their direct responsibility at the same time as increasing their indirect potential responsibility should "events" turn out positively!

 We want our Referendum Question Context to be as close to "very predictable" binary

 Q1: Gaussian World is SAFE & Predictable!
"Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his insightful books, explains that most of us think we live in a world dominated by averages and normal distributions, when in fact the things that matter most are those governed by "scalable" or power distributions. One of his examples is the turkey, who lives every day of his life happily roaming the farm, pecking on corn, getting his fill, being treated nicely by the farmer, and goes to sleep each night knowing that the next morning will be just like the last. Until one day the friendly farmer picks him up, carries him to the back yard, chops off his head, and throws him in the oven. 
Some of the standards we come back to in our Brexit debates, considering all the above:-
A Gaussian (Normal or N-Distribution) world is safe (no big surprises) and events and observations are normally distributed. There are two categories of observations in the first quadrant:-

1. Binary
2. Small Range

Everyone likes a Gaussian world – normally distributed and safe – where predictions without errors are easy. Such perfect environments are every risk manager’s dream.

Risks are binary or cover a small range of possibilities, and are not life-threatening. Only probability is important – not magnitude
 If we look at the most FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) arguments against Brexit:-
  • Magnitude (fear):-
- Ed Miliband: Leaving the EU would be catastrophic for business
- Exit will be a disaster for UK and Europe, say many City heavyweights
  •  Unpredictability (uncertainty):-
The morning after: Brexit uncertainty and what it means for business
- CBI warns of ‘huge’ uncertainty from Brexit

  • Intentionality (doubt):-
- BREXIT: the impact on the UK and the EU (EU member nation and EU institution emphasis)
JPMorgan warns Brexit could trigger Scottish independence vote
How a 'Brexit' could unravel the Northern Ireland peace process
- US warns Britain: If you leave EU you face barriers to trading with America

We can transform the above now firmly applied into characterizations of the behaviour of the people making these arguments:-
 EU Reformers vs "eurosceptics": Who is telling the truth and who is who?

If we look at the above picture, it can in the context of The Knight And The Knave Riddle, be interpreted as two competing visions of the UK/Britain's future:-
  • Fish of the Left is dreaming of Association Membership
  • Fish of the Right is dreaming of Global Sovereign Britain
  • BOTH Fish are in the current EU Goldfish Bowl.
As above we use "what we know about each type of fish" to work out whether what each fish is saying is true compared to the other and hence which fish is which!

It comes down to this, the more complex, the more assumptions and the more promised: The more likely the fish is to be a Knave on which ever side of the argument it is making an appearance.

The irony of using the above cartoon in the aftermath of the preceding week should not be unnoticed:-

FLEXCIT: The Definitive EU Exit Plan For Britain - 14.0 Fisheries p.266
While there are aspects of the CAP which may be tolerable, at least in the short to medium-term, there are no redeeming aspects of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy  (CFP).  Limited  reforms  have been  largely  cosmetic  and  do  not  address the fundamental deficiencies of the policy. However, restoring national policies in a post-EU environment is extraordinarily complex.

When Conservative Farming and Fisheries spokesman Owen Paterson undertook a review of the CFP, it took two years to produce a draft outline, embodying  the basic principles of a repatriated policy. On that basis alone, given the need for extensive consultation, and setting up the administrative and other systems needed to manage the implementation of policy, it would not be untoward to argue that  it could take longer than five years – and perhaps more than a decade – to get to the stage of introducing a UK policy.

The starting point of the Paterson review was the recognition  that, prior  to UK entry to the EEC, the British fishing industry had been a model of sustainability. Yet, after decades of the CFP, areas of the most fertile and productive fishing grounds in the world were being threatened with closure.
 There's 2 take-homes here:-

1. Brexit: The Event & Definition of Leaving (withdrawing from EU Treaties) must be as simple and predictable "space" as possible.
2. Derivative Policy is immensely complex.

It does not matter which suite they're in, not following the above = Knave:-

David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Daniel Hannan, Matthew Elliott

If you remember we've already met a "Knight" on the Pro-EU side in The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast. as per Andrew Duff in Cameron’s bid for irreversible guarantee means constitutional chaos, who must be credited correctly and with good grace for the honesty of his arguments for the EU. Likewise, this first step in making quality arguments in my honest opinion is made by the various groups affiliated in the side-bar.

The EU Referendum is a simple Remain OR Leave binary question. Defining the practical political consequences more closely to this question seems both more accurate, more honest and more accessible to understanding for more people:-

The Knight is revealed: For Pro-EU and for Pro-Brexit