Ising Reductionism

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The friend of my friend is my enemy.

The first statement is an old Chinese catch phrase often attributed to Sun Tzu. The second derives from the first as a necessary complement. Maybe? They also illustrate several intriguing aspects of human thought.

The first is our addiction to Ising Models. [Link] Most simply put, an Ising model portrays some aspect of reality as being in one of two states, A or Not-A. IOW, everything is either black or white, good or evil, sweet or sour,……… It about as simple a model as one can formulate other than the null model, that everything is A, and thereby the entropy is zero.

This simplicity points to another aspect, namely that we tend to over-simplify everything. For example, how many people are so destitute that they have exactly one friend and one enemy? So a slightly better (?) statement may be:

An enemy of one of my enemies may be a friend; and

A friend of one of my friends may be an enemy.

This still, however, ignores the vast number of people who don’t know me or do and don’t care. As such they may be neither friend not enemy, neither of which is absolutely measurable.

I mention this because I had to contend with a friend of a friend who is at least a nuisance if not an enemy. The product is a result of my own altruism. I was trying to offer a constructive viewpoint on something and this ferd chose to take it as negative and lashed out in violent wordage. 

Since all of this happened on FaceScroll, I could resolve everything in a perfectly human fashion. I blocked the ferd. So he no longer exists, at least in that fantasy reality (aren’t they all such?) that is FaceScroll.

I am repeated barraged with complaints that social media is highly artificial in that it permits things like this that cannot occur in the barrager’s “real” reality. Most of them – especially the Bogs – only think of social “reality” as real. The actual reality of the universe is irrelevant and unreal. Which makes it eminently real in human terms.

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