I have taken my Compazine to battle the slight tendency to unruliness on the part of my ever more beleaguered stomach, so I am full of energy. However, the macro in TextMate that says the date and time says it is now Date: 2006-12-26 21:56:27. (By the way, don’t accidentally start looking for this macro on the C language sub-menu, because it’s most unhelpful to do so.)
However, the fact of the time which the built-in macro presented us with also presents us with a probability extremely close to 1 that I’ve taken my Ambien already too. So, I have plenty to tell you, and very little time to do so coherently in.
I was going to present you with various notions of mathematical proof up against what we in the workaday workd regard as proof, and what trained lawyers regard as proof. We’re talking three different worlds here.
I’ll take the workaday world’s version of proof, because it’s very easy, and can be short enough for my needs at present. The workaday version of proof works like this: “Four out of five dentists say that brushing your teeth regularly is a good thing to do.” Then you, later in the evening, are confronted with a toddler who, though getting ready for bed, doesn’t want to brush his teeth.
“But you have to brush your teeth,” you say to him.
“But why, Mommy?” he asks, not all that unreasonably.
“It’s because,” you say in that tone of voice reserved for enunciating knowledge received from on high, “It’s because four out of five dentists say that brushing your teeth regularly is a good thing to do.”
Confused by the nature of this new kind of bullying from anonymous dentists, he decides to brush his teeth anyway so he can get to bed and have you read some more *Harry Potter* to him before he falls asleep.
Workaday world burden of proof: “They say.” Get enough of them and they’ll not only say damn near anything, but have you believing that it’s so.
As for burden of proof, that certainly has nothing to do with us, with you and me who are talking here. For even if we were dentists, we’re certainly not “four out of five dentists.” Proof is assumed. Of course it’s assumed; that’s what proof is for: being assumed.
Now the rest of the types of proof that I actually find myself worried about on more than one occasion (Happens to the best minds, don’t you know? Just check out any math department) are clearly in my head, but have started holding conversations with the Compazine and Ambien floating around in there. It seems that they’ll be busy in conversations till tomorrow.
Meanwhile, they’ve asked me to post this as an introduction. So consider yourself introduced. Hats and coats go in the spare bedroom, and there is a light buffet on the dining table. Mix, mingle, and enjoy yourselves.