FOM: dollars and electrons

Franklin Vera Pacheco franklin at
Thu Apr 18 15:46:37 EDT 2002

[replying to Miguel A. Lerma's posting Mon, 15 Apr 2002]
[and to Insall's posting Tue, 16 Apr 2002]

  I think you are trying  to  get the idea of numbers habing the idea of
numbers. You have two dollars after you had the first dollar (bill) and
next the second dollar (bill) {the same with volts, meters,...}
 And,in this time when you have a first and a second object you have a
characteristic to distinguish the dollars.
 If you say "I have two dollars" without having conection with
other set of distinguishable objects then the word "two" is meaningless
and you can  say too  "I have gjg dollars".
 If we are talking about "real" objects (a unicorn is a real object) you
can "always" (I think) lavel the objects. In other hand, you can set  as
an axiom that there are "two" indistinguishable objects but, how to set
the meaning of "two"? I agree with any change that you want to make to the
 idea of "number" if it is consistent with the  usual idea (so you will 
find a "clasical" set  of objects that have one and two elements).

  In the example of the electrons let me argue that the idea of "electron"
is useless. If you have an atom of helium with it's two level of energy
fulls then you say that there are two "electrons"  in two diferent levels
of energy. You can also say that there is a god that is puting his finger
in each level of energy with an super-ultra-fast movement (the action of
the god looks the same of the "electrons" to the humans). Then you have
only one thing (a god) and not two indistinguishable things and you have
no problem with the usual idea of number. This means that maybe you dont'
have to solve the problem changing the notion of number but changing the
way to say that there are "two electrons" in two levels of energy, or even
in the case of "two electrons" in the same level of energy (here the two 

"distinguishable" that there are are the two kinds of wave functions,ie.
the wave function of the case when we say there are one electron and the
one when we say there are two). So when we say there are "x electrons" we
are really saying "there are a wave function of x-tipe".

 The phisics have introduced various examples of meaningless phrases:
eg. We say "the time go on" and this is meaningless. (see "Fabric of
Reality",David Deutsh.), and the phrase "there are two electrons".

 This is the funny (to me) way of solve a problem saying there is no
problem, as Russel's solution of the paradoxes with the type hierarqui of
propositions ie. avoiding its construction (avoiding saying it).

Franklin Vera Pacheco
45 #10029 e/100 y 104
Marianao, C Habana,
e-mail:franklin at

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