Proof by example is unscientific

Suppose I place a blindfold over my eyes, walk across Yonge Street, and reach the other side without having been struck by a car. I could say, "It is safe to walk across Yonge Street wearing a blindfold." (I could even say, "It is safe to cross any street wearing a blindfold.") But this is faulty logic. This is not proof by example, but by counterexample. The only conclusion you can draw from the experiment is this: "If you walk across a street wearing a blindfold, you will not necessarily be struck by a car." Proof by example is not scientific.

You can disprove by example! If you are struck by a car [sorry about the violent analogy], then you can say, in the general case, it is unsafe to cross the street wearing a blindfold. But you cannot prove by example.

I claim that I can prove that 8-bit linear-light intensity coding cannot work in the general case. I invite you to draw your conclusions from science. Simply consider the Weber fraction, and 8-bit linear-light intensity coding. Can it work?

Timo offers proof by example, not proof by science.

See also: Gamma FAQ - Linear and nonlinear coding

Charles Poynton
Copyright © 1998-07-27