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The Explanation of Life

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Mysterio448
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The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » May 1st, 2016, 6:02 pm

I have recently published an Amazon Kindle ebook entitled "The Explanation of Life" (found here: "The Explanation of Life"). As the title suggests, I propose an explanation for our existence. I propose that my explanation satisfies the "meaning of life" and "purpose of life" questions that are ubiquitous in philosophy. The explanation that I propose happens to center around a certain concept which I call "entasy." To introduce this concept, I will provide an excerpt from the book:
Let me propose an analogy. Let's say you were very bored one day. Searching for a way to while your time away, you find a pair of dice lying around, so you decide to just roll them over and over. With each roll, you come up with various numbers between the numbers 2 and 12. There is never any order or sequence to the numbers you get – they are just random numbers. Now let's say that, after a while, you roll the dice at one point and you get a 2, you roll again and get a 3, then a 4, then 5, 6, 7, 8 all the way to 12 in perfect consecutive sequence. You find this very strange, as they are just a normal, un-rigged pair of dice, and you lack the precise muscle control to deliberately make the dice fall in this manner. Nevertheless, you keep rolling. As you roll again, the pattern starts again: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and so on. This continues to happen for roll after roll. You even obtain a different pair of dice but the same pattern still keeps happening. At a certain point, you will probably say to yourself "This is impossible!" or "How is this happening?"

But why are you surprised by this event? It is probably because you understand the rolling of a normal pair of dice to be an activity that operates within the realm of chance. Chance is understood to be devoid of structure and pattern. Thus for a meaningful pattern to unfold immaculately through the random rolling of dice should be virtually impossible. But why? How can we impose restrictions or rules on chance? How can we dictate what chance can or cannot do?

Here’s an additional thing to consider: Is this event just a strange coincidence or are the dice generating this pattern for some particular reason? Where exactly do we draw the line between a coincidence and a reason? Is there a line at all?

One might think of the roll of dice to be something that conforms to laws of statistics. But strictly speaking, there are no statistical "laws" in the sense of something that explains what necessarily will occur. Statistics does not produce laws; rather, it produces models. The purpose of these models is to attempt to predict the unpredictable and understand the inscrutable. Statistics is not something that can stipulate what can or cannot happen; it can only map out the way things tend to happen given a large number of instances.

How long, would you say, can this strange dice behavior last? Technically speaking, nothing in probability is impossible. The pattern could go on forever. But our everyday experience with random behavior seems to tell us that this will not happen. We know intuitively that, although randomness has no strict rules, there is still a certain regimen that we expect randomness to follow. The dice will generally yield a pattern-less progression in which there is no meaningful relationship between successive numbers. There may be occasional instances where you may roll a series of consecutive numbers (or even a series of the same number or a repeating sequence of different numbers), but you would expect such instances to be rare and short-lived. But exactly how many times are the dice “allowed” to yield consecutive numbers before they must return to their normal regimen of unpredictability? Exactly how much repetition is allowed before "random" is no longer random? How do we precisely measure the "pull" of randomness and the "pull" of structure?

With this analogy in mind, consider the idea that maybe randomness and structure are not mutually exclusive or distinctly separate things, but are intermingled somehow. My belief is that the universe in which we live is a mysterious harmony and unity between randomness and structure, chance and purpose, between what could be and what is meant to be.
This idea is the foundation of my book. Regarding things such as predictability, structure, coherence, meaningfulness, usefulness and so on, I group these together into a phenomenon I call "order." Regarding things such as unpredictability, randomness, confusion, meaninglessness, futility and so on, I group these together into a phenomenon I call "chaos." Order and chaos are cosmic forces. They are the opposite of each other, yet paradoxically they form a primal, inseparable union. I call this union "entasy." In a way, entasy is similar to phenomena such as spacetime, electromagnetism, mass-energy equivalence, and the wave-particle duality. These four scientific phenomena are each composed of two things which are very different from each other, yet the two things are simultaneously the same thing, forming an inseparable union. Such is the same with entasy.

I describe the relationship between order and chaos as a tension, like a game of tug-of-war. Regarding the dice-rolling analogy, the "pull" that causes the dice to want to produce random results is the pull of chaos, and the "pull" that causes the dice to want to produce an ordered sequence is the pull of order.

. . .

There are many examples in science of a strange kind of harmony between order and chaos. We can see much of this in quantum mechanics. Particles at the quantum level are subject to much chaotic and unpredictable motion, yet somehow all of this chaos translates to order and stability at the macroscopic scale of things. Electrons move unpredictably around an atomic nucleus, yet statistically they produce probability clouds which have orderly, predictable shapes.

Radioactive decay is a completely random process. There are no known mathematical formulas, laws or rules that can explain when a particular radioactive nucleus will decay, or explain why it decays when it decays. However, despite this randomness, the half-life of a given sample of a radioactive isotope is predictable enough to be used as a dating method in archaeology.

If you were to inflate a balloon, you would notice that the balloon forms an orderly, spherical shape. Seeing this, you would assume that the air or helium inside the balloon is pushing equally on all parts of the balloon's interior in an organized manner. But this is not the case. Counterintuitively, the gas molecules on the inside of the balloon are actually zooming around chaotically, bouncing off of each other and hitting the inside of the balloon in various directions and at various speeds. But there are so many molecules hitting the balloon that this chaos translates statistically into order on the macroscopic scale.

We can perhaps see evidence of entasy in the context of fluid dynamics. The laminar (smooth) flow of fluids, such as gases and liquids, is known to undergo turbulence under certain conditions. Turbulence is the swirling, chaotic motion of a fluid, which you might see in the smoke rising from the end of a cigarette. Yet interestingly, scientists and mathematicians are recently beginning to discover certain "coherent structures" hidden within this turbulent motion.

. . .

There are two important things to know about entasy. One is that chaos has the potential to produce order. This can be demonstrated by many examples. For example, take snowflakes. Snowflakes are beautiful, ornate, symmetrical designs that materialize out of random activity in clouds. Another example is gemstones, which are orderly-shaped minerals that materialize from random geological processes. The sphericity of stars, planets and moons is a product of the force of order emerging from the chaos of mindless astronomical activity, such as the coalescing of cosmic dust and rocks. Another interesting example of this is in the phenomena of supernovas and black holes. Both of these are extremely destructive and chaotic phenomena, yet strangely they also produce order. The intense temperatures and energy of a supernova explosion is capable of causing enough nuclear fusion to produce elements heavier than iron – something that a star alone cannot do; and supernovas also give off stellar gases that can accumulate into nebulae, which can eventually give birth to new stars. A black hole is also orderly in that it is said to be the ordering mechanism at the center of many galaxies, holding the galaxy's stars together with its gravitational pull; and a black hole also emits jets of particles which can lead to the production of new stars. Probably the most fascinating example of order from chaos is evolution by natural selection. Natural selection has created the diverse array of life forms that exist on Earth. These life forms all possess a distinct sense of form and design and functionality, yet paradoxically all of this hinges upon the chaos of genetic accidents called "mutations."

This emergence of order from chaos is a result of something I call the "randomness paradox." The idea is this: the nature of chaos is to be unpredictable, but it would be predictable for chaos to be consistently doing chaotic things, so therefore chaos – in order to be chaos – must at some point do something non-chaotic, i.e. orderly. One example of this that I mention in my book is the decimal number of pi. Pi is an irrational number whose decimal is an infinite, random number sequence. But interestingly, there are rare points in pi where the sequence briefly stops being random and transitions to a limited sequence of repeated numbers. One of these points is known as the "Feynman point"; it is a sequence of six consecutive nines (999999) occurring at the 762nd decimal point of pi. There are more sequences like this in the decimal of pi. One might think that such sequences are merely "accidents," statistically inevitable instances of randomness stumbling upon structure. But I think there is much more to it than that. I think it is the result of entasy.

On the other hand, another important feature of entasy is that order has the potential to yield chaos – orderly things and orderly processes often have a tendency to fall apart. This is a phenomenon I refer to as "Murphy's law." Murphy's law is essentially the opposite of the randomness paradox. While the randomness paradox is often difficult to detect in practical, everyday life, Murphy's law is often readily observable. One obvious example is the fact that mistakes happen. Mistakes are a phenomenon that we just take for granted, but I believe they actually have cosmic implications. When we make mistakes or when plans don't turn out the way they are supposed to, this is an example of chaos emerging from order.

Murphy's law also manifests in our own bodies. We all know that mankind is subject to various forms of infirmity. The bodies of living things are subject to diseases, disorders, deformities, and defects. When we see people with things like multiple sclerosis, panic disorders, stuttering, blindness, retardation and so forth, we just accept these things as simply endemic parts of the human condition. But a question we often neglect to ask is: why? Why do our bodies tend to falter? I argue that this aspect of our existence can be explained by primal cosmic forces. The anatomy and physiology of our bodies is a manifestation of the force of order, and that order is inseparably linked to the force of chaos which disrupts that order.

The universe is full of orderly things, but all of these orderly things are flawed somehow. However, this does not mean that there is something wrong with the universe itself. This ubiquitous flawedness is simply the signature of the principle of entasy that lies as the heart of reality.

. . .

I had an incident happen to me recently that I think is very illustrative of the entasy concept. When I go out, I usually carry a pen in my pocket in order to jot down notes or ideas as they come to me. But one time I happened to misplace one of my pens. I looked around for it for a while but eventually just gave up and started using one of my backup pens. Subsequently, one day I got into my car to go to work and the backup pen that I had in my pocket accidentally fell out and became lodged deep in the tight space adjacent to the car seat. I readjusted the car seat in order to open up the space and reclaim my pen, however in doing so I happened to find not just my backup pen but the other pen I had originally misplaced.

Now this story may seem rather mundane and trivial to you, but I actually believe it is indicative of cosmic forces. Here is a meaningless, random accident which, paradoxically, proves meaningful and useful. I view this incident as a further example of the randomness paradox – of order emerging from chaos. Incidents such as these fall under the category of a phenomenon known as "serendipity." Another similar phenomenon is called "synchronicity." While a serendipity is defined as a "useful accident," a synchronicity is defined as a "meaningful accident/coincidence." The phenomenon of entasy can cause life experience itself to appear to speak to us and give us relevant and useful messages from time to time. I have encountered numerous instances of synchronicity in my own life. Both of these phenomena -- serendipity and synchronicity -- are important parts of the entasy concept, and I discuss both of them in detail in my book.

. . .

This is a brief overview of the contents of my book and the concept of entasy. My book goes into much more detail. In the book, I argue that this entasy concept is the key to understanding why we exist, as well as why anything exists and why things exist in the way they exist. People often contemplate the reason for the universe's existence apart from the mundane details of reality which we observe everyday; however, I argue that the little details of this universe in which we live are actually crucial to understanding the raison d'etre of the universe. What are your thoughts about this idea? Any questions, comments, criticisms? Do you think that this concept explains our existence?

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The Beast
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by The Beast » May 11th, 2016, 10:44 am

There is a process and a substance of creation. We call this substance the Creator. If we believe it is conscious we are to the right and if we believe it not conscious we are to the left.

Incarnation: We are the children of the Creator.

Paranormal:” Phenomena that defy explanation in normal rational terms.”

Serendipity: “It has happened almost by accident”

Synchronicity: “The concept of order is not identical with the concept of meaning”

In Ancient Greece it was Troy. In the mind of Athena “the mother” the heroes come home. They were immortalized in the paintings of murals and in plates and funerary (amphora). Guarded by the row of Medusas comes the peaceful warrior in the horizon as it was almost the vision of perfection, the everyday wish, the dream. They came home. Their ashes. Brothers singing in their youth. They came home. Is that wanting entasy? Perhaps, it is like to will the wish.

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Mysterio448
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » May 19th, 2016, 1:03 am

The Beast wrote:There is a process and a substance of creation. We call this substance the Creator. If we believe it is conscious we are to the right and if we believe it not conscious we are to the left.

Incarnation: We are the children of the Creator.

Paranormal:” Phenomena that defy explanation in normal rational terms.”

Serendipity: “It has happened almost by accident”

Synchronicity: “The concept of order is not identical with the concept of meaning”

In Ancient Greece it was Troy. In the mind of Athena “the mother” the heroes come home. They were immortalized in the paintings of murals and in plates and funerary (amphora). Guarded by the row of Medusas comes the peaceful warrior in the horizon as it was almost the vision of perfection, the everyday wish, the dream. They came home. Their ashes. Brothers singing in their youth. They came home. Is that wanting entasy? Perhaps, it is like to will the wish.

I don't think I understand what you're saying here. Could you clarify?

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Greta » May 19th, 2016, 2:06 am

I quite like the order / chaos angle. I see it as related to other angles such as growth / entropy, life / death and (relative) something / nothing.

In all these things are thresholds - points where linearity gives way to exponentialism, and vice versa, occurring both during pattern assembly and pattern deconstruction.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Mysterio448
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » May 19th, 2016, 7:56 am

Greta wrote:I quite like the order / chaos angle. I see it as related to other angles such as growth / entropy, life / death and (relative) something / nothing.

In all these things are thresholds - points where linearity gives way to exponentialism, and vice versa, occurring both during pattern assembly and pattern deconstruction.

This is a pretty accurate summary of my thesis. So, do you think my thesis explains existence?

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The Beast
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by The Beast » May 19th, 2016, 3:12 pm

I am in search of energy transformations. The feeding of the fire; the cooling of the flame followed by decay that feeds the flame before it cools again. Anyway, my point? We all see ourselves as phenomena with different meaning. The presentation of such phenomena is not an awareness. The given of meaning to the phenomena is the existence of the awareness. We are the metaphor. I am a fire. The growth of this meaning is my existence. Are we the process of growth or the actual phenomena? Do I exist as my own meaning or do we exist as a process…or both? My point? It must be the title. If I give a point to your post it relates to my understanding of the phenomena presented to me. The effort of my explanations relates my friendly existence. An addition. The written presentation of the explanation makes a difference as to whether my point is understood. Is this looking for meaning intrinsic to the phenomena? The phenomena explains itself with a new word: entasis. Seriously.

Where is the origin of language as a phenomena? Or is it the same as awareness? Instead of language we could say entasis.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Alec Smart » May 19th, 2016, 3:42 pm

The Beast wrote: Instead of language we could say entasis.
But if we did, no one would understand what we were talking about, but I suppose you're used to that.
Smart by name and Alec by nature.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by LuckyR » May 19th, 2016, 4:27 pm

A couple of things: first there is little of value in a consideration of something that has never happened and likely will never happen (the original dice story). Secondly, even if it did, the value of the "structure" that this event is being labeled, would not lie in a post hoc evaluation (there are plenty of failed stock market "systems" that purport to give an advantage to playing the Market, but that are based on post hoc analysis). No, if you are going to label a system as having structure, you would have to predict the next dice roll over and over again, regardless of whether the roll was in a "pattern" or not.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Leon » May 19th, 2016, 4:51 pm

One thing: how can chaos be opposite to order?

Is there some Power who balances things? When an orderly set of numbers are outcome of the rolled dice, a chaotic set of numbers now must follow?

I think the only opposite of order, is another kind of order. Chaos is opposite to nothing.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by The Beast » May 19th, 2016, 4:59 pm

This is what I am talking about. Bloke might wear willies but he lands on his head. That could be entasis as well. To another’s point: existence is about wishing to land on one's feet and not the actual result. If I land on my willies then it all makes sense. There is Mr. Smart to tell how much.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Alec Smart » May 19th, 2016, 5:29 pm

The Beast wrote:If I land on my willies then it all makes sense. .
How many willies do you have? I suppose a photo is out of the question.
Smart by name and Alec by nature.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » May 19th, 2016, 9:59 pm

LuckyR wrote:A couple of things: first there is little of value in a consideration of something that has never happened and likely will never happen (the original dice story).

Actually, I think there is plenty that can be learned from hypothetical scenarios, and from this one in particular. Hypothetical scenarios can assist us in our a priori understanding of things. My dice story was designed to make the reader contemplate about what randomness really is and what makes it different from order. It is not a likely scenario but it doesn't need to be in order to convey the point it was meant to convey.

LuckyR wrote: Secondly, even if it did, the value of the "structure" that this event is being labeled, would not lie in a post hoc evaluation (there are plenty of failed stock market "systems" that purport to give an advantage to playing the Market, but that are based on post hoc analysis). No, if you are going to label a system as having structure, you would have to predict the next dice roll over and over again, regardless of whether the roll was in a "pattern" or not.
I'm not sure I understand your point here. How is a perfect, consecutive sequence of numbers not structure? Why is structure predicated upon one's ability to predict data rather than upon whether the data contains a pattern?

-- Updated May 20th, 2016, 12:49 am to add the following --
Leon wrote:One thing: how can chaos be opposite to order?

Is there some Power who balances things? When an orderly set of numbers are outcome of the rolled dice, a chaotic set of numbers now must follow?

I do not believe that there is some kind of cosmic Director that manages or balances things. I believe that order and chaos are a kind of self-balanced dichotomy. This balance exists because of the tension that exists between them. It is like a game of tug-of-war; the two forces are constantly pulling on each other for dominance but there is never a winner or loser. It is just a constant tugging to and fro. It is also like a strange mixture of two liquids which are distinctly different yet they paradoxically tend to fold into and unfurl from one another. Order and chaos are locked in a mysterious, interconnected relationship.
Leon wrote:I think the only opposite of order, is another kind of order. Chaos is opposite to nothing.
I disagree. There must be chaos in the universe. Otherwise this universe could never have begun. Everything order does, it does for some reason, purpose, or function. Chaos is the complete lack of reasons, purpose, and function. The first cause – the prime mover – of reality could not have been order, because then it would require a reason – a motivating cause – to bring the universe into being, and thus disqualifying it from being the first cause. The first cause of reality must have been something completely devoid of reasons – chaos. Thus chaos separate from order must exist in the universe.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Ormond » May 20th, 2016, 4:59 am

Just wanted to applaud you for upgrading your presentation of your books. This thread a big leap forward from the last.

The best show on National Public Radio, called RadioLab, addressed this topic recently. As example, it explained how a bunch of ants wandering around randomly find your picnic basket and focus their community on plundering it. Each ant's behavior is chaotic and random, but when they are all put together it turns in to order.

Like this. All the ants are crawling around randomly. Sooner or later one of them stumbles upon the picnic basket. Sooner or later another ant follows the chemical trail the first ant left, and also finds the picnic basket. Now the original chemical trail is twice as strong. A third randomly wandering ant finds this chemical trail, and smells that it represents two ants instead of one, and so is drawn to investigate. As the chemical trail gets stronger with each new ant, that trail become ever more inviting to the other ants, and pretty soon all the ants are following it to your picnic.

Each ant is just following chemical trails it finds. It has no plan, no intelligence, no goal beyond randomly crawling and following trails. But when all the ants are dong this, it turns in to organized activity that builds their complex civilization.

I regret I can not summarize the show any better, but it was an hour of addressing order emerging from disorder.

If you don't already listen, give RadioLab a try. Sunday nights at 7pm in my local area. They have a website of course.

Good luck with the book.
If the things we want to hear could take us where we want to go, we'd already be there.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Mysterio448 » May 20th, 2016, 1:29 pm

Ormond wrote:Just wanted to applaud you for upgrading your presentation of your books. This thread a big leap forward from the last.

The best show on National Public Radio, called RadioLab, addressed this topic recently. As example, it explained how a bunch of ants wandering around randomly find your picnic basket and focus their community on plundering it. Each ant's behavior is chaotic and random, but when they are all put together it turns in to order.

Like this. All the ants are crawling around randomly. Sooner or later one of them stumbles upon the picnic basket. Sooner or later another ant follows the chemical trail the first ant left, and also finds the picnic basket. Now the original chemical trail is twice as strong. A third randomly wandering ant finds this chemical trail, and smells that it represents two ants instead of one, and so is drawn to investigate. As the chemical trail gets stronger with each new ant, that trail become ever more inviting to the other ants, and pretty soon all the ants are following it to your picnic.

Each ant is just following chemical trails it finds. It has no plan, no intelligence, no goal beyond randomly crawling and following trails. But when all the ants are dong this, it turns in to organized activity that builds their complex civilization.

I regret I can not summarize the show any better, but it was an hour of addressing order emerging from disorder.

If you don't already listen, give RadioLab a try. Sunday nights at 7pm in my local area. They have a website of course.

Good luck with the book.
It's interesting that you bring up that example of the ants. Recently I have been contemplating the same thing. I will sometimes notice bugs in my apartment and I will observe them as they crawl around in a seemingly aimless manner. It seems really pointless at first. It seems rather foolish for insects to behave so aimlessly, considering how vulnerable they are and also how short their lifespans are. Surely there are more productive things the insect could be doing then just wandering around. But then I figured there must be a good reason why evolution designed insects do behave this way. It occurred to me that each of the insects does not think in an individualistic way but rather a collectivistic way; it does not value its life nearly as much as it values the good of its colony. Presumably the colony sends out some of its members as scouts that help the colony to find sources of food or supplies the colony needs. I had been thinking that if my hypothesis was true, it would be a great example of entasy in the animal kingdom; it seems that the radio show you were talking about has confirmed that hypothesis.

There are many examples of things that happen in nature that immediately appear absurd or futile yet has some hidden function. One example is forest fires. Forest fires, often occurring because of lightning storms, appear to be merely destructive and appear to serve no purpose for a forest; yet counterintuitively, forest fires are an important part of replenishing a forest, and there also exist "pyriscent" plants which depend upon forest fires for their germination.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by The Beast » May 20th, 2016, 1:44 pm

Great, instead of willies, I will send you a picture of a control environment. I like a colony of ants. It is use a lot by novel scientists. Actually, you will need a movie. The colony of ants to mean the Universal symbol and we could add the semantics. Is it valid or invalid to explain the phenomena? For what I know we should name the ant-queen Entasis. In a whole country of humans the president is Entasis and I am the photographer. It will all be clearer if I take a good picture and I do because I am very skillful. In this way Entasis is the direction in which the forces of creation move. Is the Local the same as the Universal? If we could prove Entasis then we all call ourselves a name. So, we are trying to prove a vector as a force. The vector exist but the semantics are murky… dicey. An algorithm will be nice. If it is semantics, It may look like a book of Ethics or if math an statistical result of decay to explain the winner of the dice game.

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