Crisp Or Fuzzy

One of the things that annoyed me about the 2000 George Bush (remember him? He was a uniter who didn’t believe in nation-building. He turned out to be a fictional character concocted by Karl Rove) was the way he kept using the term “Fuzzy Math” as if it meant inaccurate math.

There really is such a thing as “fuzzy” math and logic, though, and it’s anything but inaccurate.

Categorizing things using fuzzy set membership is actually much more accurate than crisp set membership, and gives you a better, less distorted picture of reality.

For example, this map reduces the votes in the 2004 election to membership in crisp sets (Republican-won or Democratic-won).

This map uses gradations of color based on fuzzy membership in those sets according to the number of votes cast for each party.

Which one do you think gives a better picture of American reality?

What would our politics be like if we were allowed to think more fuzzily on the political plane?