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Why Is Proximity To The Goal Occasionally Useless jack vero

Why Is Proximity To The Goal Occasionally Useless?

Written by Jack Vero
on October 24, 2013

In many things in life, at least being close to the target is better than being far off. For example if you aim to lose thirty pounds and you lose twenty-eight, that's still pretty good, much better than if you had only lost fourteen.

However in other pursuits, being close to target is still completely useless, just as useless as being totally off. For example, consider the following two alternate spellings of the word "ace." The first alteration is "bdf" and the second is "dfh". The first alteration offsets each letter forward in the alphabet by one, so "a" becomes "b" and "c" becomes "d". However in the second alteration each letter is offset by three, so "a" becomes "d" and "c" becomes "f". The point being that though "dfh" is thrice as far offset as "bdf", both are equally meaningless in terms of their resemblance to the target word of "ace." Shouldn't the near translation better resemble the target than the far translation?

Why is it that sometimes proximity to the target results in a close resemblance, so close that the difference might be negligible, and other times if it's anything less than perfect it doesn't resemble the target at all?

The subjectivists would say that simply the laws of logic are not universal. What works for some things doesn't work for others. But I would pose another explanation.

The reason proximity appears to result in resemblance in some cases but not in others is not due to a wrinkle in the laws of metaphysics, but rather, due to our failure as humans to recognize the pattern before us (as is always the case). The fact of the matter is that "bdf" does resemble "ace" better than "dfh," as any computer would tell you. It's just that our minds are not trained, or designed, to recognize that resemblance. Why?

Because our brains are just incredible machines that are extremely capable at certain, life-propogating, happiness-acquiring tasks, but not at other generally useless tasks like offsetting the letters of words. And when people learn to distrust the auto-respond function of their primitive senses and intuition, and rather subscribe to a logical framework of abstractions to explain the universe, perhaps long examinations of false premises may be avoided.