[Retros] ch7: Moving from analysis to observation in RS

Guus Rol grol33 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 26 13:39:47 EDT 2014

Dear retro friends,

The previous post may have lead you to expect more complications from an
analysis of RS logic but this is not the case. The real significance of the
message was not the Quantum Mechanics but the idea of moving this logic
over from the "analytical" to the "empirical" domain. This puts
Retro-Strategy firmly into one category with AP -a posteriori- logic which
by definition is based on "empirical evidence". Which leaves us with the 2
certified approaches for acquiring knowledge in science: a priori
justification for pRA (and SPRA and RV) logic and a posteriri justification
for RS and AP logic. I'll replace "empirical evidence" by "observation" in
subsequent paragraphs which is more appropriate to the retro field.

Seemingly all, this is highly theoretical, but the simple dichotomy in "a
priori" and "a posteriori" explains quite a lot of well known phenomena
related to the logic forms.The human mind is capable of making "a priori
analysis" and splitting "whatif" variants for pRA logic without needing
knowledge of preceding events. In an a posteri setting, knowledge is
acquired by observing what happens, not by analysis. An observer can only
perceive a game being played and the maximum knowledge acquired is by
"observing countless games being played from the same diagram onward".
Which games exactly depends on the rules of the logic involved. Though the
application of goal-logics (help-, self- and direct-) adds an analytical
flavour, the analytical justification for the whole product has already
been irreversibly compormised by the a posteriori logics.

The immediate consequences for RS (and AP) logic are:

1. Since variants are analytical, each variant in an a AP/RS solution is
part of a "different game" and there may be a different past attached to
it. You are only in the same game as long as you play in the same
timeline (same "path" in a chess game "graph").

2. The solver solution to an RS/AP problem will often not be matched by the
players of *any *proof game for the diagram, given the same goals. This is
a fundamental difference with pRA/RV-logic. You might say that the players
simulated by the solver in his head, are completely different characters
from the players of the proof games. Not because they play different games,
but because they cannot be seen to share the same objectives - analytically!

3. And therefore, we must accept that sometimes an RS poblem has two
solutions while there is no proof game which delivers more than one,
sometimes an RS solution exists where none can be proven in pRA, sometimes
a shortest solution takes 7 moves while no proof game exists in which the
shortest solution takes 7 moves.

.The only reason that all this may seem awkward is because you have a hard
time to think non-analytically. Many "a posteriri" games manifest the same
phenomena without anyone thinking much of it. Example: In bridge is a play
known as the "safety play". This card play loses a trick but eliminates the
risk of losing more tricks. It evens out the results of the best and worst
case distribution in the cards of the opponents. Knowing the distribution a
priori, the leader of the game could have made an extra trick.but he could
only find out by taking an inbearable risk. And this is to some degree the
way to look at an RS solution. It is literally a game strategy for
optimizing output in relation to a stated goal. As in the bridge example
and some more to be provided.

Best wishes, Guus Rol.
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