oh wait, i thought of something, i thought of something! yay me!

at low-precision the NAP and non-coercion are not misleading. they are right-leading. it's generally a good idea not to attack people outside self defense, and generally not a good idea to coerce your children. duh. they hold at low precision easy.

what about at high precision? well, at high precision I think they're true (well non-coercion moreso, the NAP has to be reworded and stuff). high precision defense of the truth of the statements, involves various points that one might think misleading, and involves so many catches and subtle little stuff, that one might wonder how they can be useful things to say. well, i deny that misleading is a meanful criticism at high-precision. i think at high precision the claim "how can the truth be misleading?" holds. am not purporting to be saying more than the truth; am not purporting to lead ya anywhere.

btw it's possible to use truisms misleadingly, if you answer a question with a truism about one side of the issue and scorn the other. but that misleadingness is not inherent in the truism.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)
everyone organises their room. just some people use different organisational schemes. it's a travesty that one particular type of scheme (empty floor, stuff in rows where it's nice to look at and hard to use, not much dust, etc) has a monopoly on being called organised or orderly. esp when it's not even all that great a setup. it's pretty impractical.

on the flipside of the coin, a lot of children could have better-organised rooms, and would enjoy it that way. but the solution isn't to go in there and move stuff around (mess it up even more), it's to not instill cleaning hangups in your kids.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (2)
In armies, it used to be that almost the entire army was fighters, with only a few support people like dedicated cooks, squires, medics, hunters or whores. Soldiers could cook and hunt themselves, and there barely were any medics. And only a few people got squires. I suppose horse troops got some servants to take care of horses and stuff, and leaders got some, but the vast majority of footmen had like no support. Oh I forgot supply lines, which are support. But still a small number of people compared to the army.

Over the years, this has changed. A smaller and smaller proportion of armies does the fighting, and a larger and larger proportion does support work. Now we have supply lines, medics, coordinator people in headquarters with radios (or maybe satellite communicators or whatever), trainers (used to be the trainers were all fighters too), advisors, mechanics, translators, etc etc etc

Anyway, the point is combat troops down, support troops up, and this makes the combat troops way more effective, makes them take lower casualty rates, and works better.

OK, this morning I was lying in bed, thinking about stuff, fairly randomly, and it occurred to me that I have a relatively (very) high amount of time into structure, support, and organisational stuff of my WV, and (relatively) low amount into doing actual content. And I believe this is a really, really good thing.

A few random examples, besides time relaxing/thinking, are that I've spent way more time reading war3 strategy and watching replays than playing the game. Spent more time reading Magic strategy than playing magic. spend very high amounts of time planning how to make my character/party in computer games. and if the game is dull, i'll quit and not consider it time wasted. I even start over if I mess up, often, to get it right. not because I think I can't win with an imperfect party (most games are designed so someone not very good can win eventually, and someone really good could win with a large handicap). but because it's important to test my conjectures of what the right party is by actually using it. and it's boring to play with a refuted party. (though if you get too far, re-doing stuff too often is boring, so it can be better to press on, for the sake of seeing the later parts of the game, which can be cool).

another example is i'll often spend a bunch of time deciding what to do, instead of doing something. other people might say, "you have three good-enough ideas, roll some dice and do one". and if I took their approach, a while later I'd have done something ok, or maybe even the right thing for a while. my way, what'll I have to show for my time? well, I'll have learned about how to decided what to do, and every time in the future i'll be better able to decide. there's less point doing an activity before you have a conjecture about which to do to test. and the activity will be richer when it has the two-fold meaning of the activity, and of testing the conjecture about what to do.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)
my fucking god. lookat this:

"Which, I finally have to inform you, I've decided not to do. I'm sick of being your whipping-boy, the lightning conductor for all your self-disgust. It's like having a million teenage children, all sulking and slamming their bedroom doors, and Cherie and I have had enough. It's Gordon's turn. Good luck to him." (source)

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so i've been reading A Song of Ice and Fire, which is totally TEH r0xx0r. but anyhow, I've got a morality question:

Arya is a highborn girl; an important person. And not just any highborn girl, but one of the most important half dozen houses in the realm. She ends up captured by enemies, but is dirty enough to be mistaken for a boy. Even cleaned, she isn't recognised. She's put to work cleaning on the cleaning staff at a castle, basically slave labor until the war is over (and after, the ones who really are lowborn won't have anywhere to go or anyway to leave, so they'll stay, and work, to keep getting fed).

After a while a hundred prisoner's from Arya's brother's army (her father died) come to the castle dungeons, and the enemy army leaves, except for maybe a hundred guards and some hired mercenaries. Arya manages to free the prisoners who take over the castle (the hired people all change sides). However, Arya doesn't trust anyone, so she doesn't tell them who she is, and keeps doing work. One day it is announced her brother's bannermen will soon leave, and she discovers she would remain and the hired mercenaries would rule the castle. They are *nasty* people. Really fucking nasty. Arya does *not* want to be in their power. So she decides to escape. She steals some horses and swords (two friends come with her) and food. The stealing seems perfectly moral to me. But anyway, after that, there's one thing standing between her and escape: the man at the gate. (She goes to a small gate with only one guard.) Arya kills him. One of her brother's soldiers, who did no wrong. Was this murder wrong?

I do have my own answer, but I won't give it until enough people comment. I do have one piece of advice though: I would suggest considering morality to be that which helps promote human flourishing, whether it's true or not in the limit, won't help at all here. Killing the guard is good for Arya's flourishing and bad for the guard's flourishing. Ho hum.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)
wow a whole post, go me!

curi42 (6:42:25 PM): hmm i think there is an attitude where people make some choices, in effect about what values to have and about vast swathes of future choices. (and make most of these choices based on what they're supposed to do, etc)
curi42 (6:42:58 PM): then sort of coast along, being little more than a robot enacting these pre-decided things, and making trivial choices (what should i eat today?)
curi42 (6:43:13 PM): ok, technically, they still keep making big choices all the time, but it's so ingrained to make them one way, they never even notice
curi42 (6:43:42 PM): 2 points: A) telling them they must stop and think, could be rather disturbing
curi42 (6:44:04 PM): B) our view, where we are constantly making choices, could be rather foreign and not understandable
curi42 (6:44:05 PM): like
curi42 (6:44:50 PM): in relationships, ppl seem to think 'ok, i'm jack's gf now, so i'll do that' and the only real choices are 'keep going' and 'quit'. as long as it's keep-going mode they just coast coast coast.
curi42 (6:45:09 PM): whereas, a better view is, every day.....every hour, we must keep deciding what we want to do next, and next, and next. the future isn't set
curi42 (6:45:24 PM): under the second view, multiple friends becomes a non-issue
curi42 (6:45:51 PM): that sound good? should i change much b4 posting?
curi42 (6:46:17 PM): [mwahahaha, you can't read what I said here]
Other_Person (6:48:06 PM): seems ok, though it is perhaps too harsh a judgement on people
curi42 (6:48:25 PM): on ppl in general?
Other_Person (6:48:31 PM): yes
curi42 (6:48:39 PM): they don't do it WRT all things
Other_Person (6:49:00 PM): being conservative is a good policy in general, since the world is very complex and innovation is risky
Other_Person (6:49:24 PM): coasting = pejorative word for 'being conservative'
curi42 (6:49:43 PM): no
curi42 (6:49:53 PM): it's a perjorative word for not noticing ur making choices
curi42 (6:49:59 PM): being conservative *on purpose* is one thing
Other_Person (6:52:28 PM): ok
Other_Person (6:52:32 PM): well, say that too
curi42 (6:52:37 PM): k

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (9)
IMAO has the bestest set of readers ever. I wish mine were as cool as his. Look at this poll he ran:

What is the best way to defeat terrorism?
By living our lives as normal - 6 votes (1%)
By attacking the root causes that breeds terrorism - 35 votes (6%)
By being more engaged in the world and better respecting the opinions of other countries - 12 votes (2%)
Kill all terrorists; if people complain about our harsh tactics, kill them too - 535 votes (91%)

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)
i don't usually bother linking IMAO posts, because basically they are all so good i figure you must already read them all. and it'd get boring to be like "here's an IMAO post, read it" and then like "here's another" and then like "look, IMAO posted again." i mean i already tried that with virtue pure and eh it got boring, and IMAO posts waaaaaaaay more often too.

however, fuck it. here's an IMAO post to read

and read this one too

and look, another one. (here's part 2 of that one)

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Messages (0)
so i was just reading from The Myth of the Framework (by Karl Popper), and what struck me is that Popper will go on for pages and pages to make some point that seems to me to be very simple. he is careful to answer all sorts of objections someone might have, that I would assume my reader will not have, because the objections are stupid. he repeats himself over and over and over. also, he repeats himself, which is really annoying. i wish he wouldn't repeat himself so much. (actually a real objection is i didn't encounter a single joke yet) *ahem* anywayz,

so he goes on for pages about what seems to me a sentence or two of content. so it's kinda dull to read cause it's all like "duh, i've been taking that practically for granted long as i remember".

ok, but anyway, here's the point. i happen to know Popper's work is in large part not understood or accepted. get it?

to put it more plainly: imagine you read the works of some scientist from the 1500's or some similarly old work, and he was going "wow, i have this new idea, maybe the world is like a sphere" or maybe you read "i posit that really big stuff attracts other stuff with a pull. i'll call this gravity." now imagine that the author of this book you were reading was a heretic, and his ideas were generally rejected. dear god, how you would scream, and pull out your hair, and grind your teeth into dust.

(i'm aware if people had the wrong idea of *physics* that might not be so terrible to live with (depends on details), but my example was just meant to illustrate the concept. the subjects Popper wrote on had to do with how to have a discussion, and how to argue, and basic epistemology and morality. if people do *that* wrong, WRT to the things Popper speaks of, it *is* extremely frustrating and bad and stuff.)

update:

oh yeah and i forgot to mention: so even if i learned to write more like Popper: to be more thorough and make everything obvious, and even if i found the patience to be much less telegraphed, well even then would it be wise to expect to be understood or liked much? no.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Message (1)
i've read most of chapters 2 and 3 of The Myth of the Framework by Karl Popper. a few things that struck me are:

- Popper's writing is extremely clear and simple. and if you open up to practically any page, and start reading in the middle of a paragraph, what he's saying will still make sense.

- Popper uses a lot of examples from history. esp old philosophers.

- Popper puts a lot of effort into refuting common misconceptions, often repetitively

the thesis of the book is basically about this:

the myth of the framework, in one sentence says "A rational and fruitful discussion is impossible unless the participants share a common framework of basic assumptions or, at least, unless they have agreed on such a framework for the purpose of the discussion." this is the myth popper criticises in the book.

here's another example of the myth: "Those who believe this, and those who do not, have no common ground of discussion, but in view of their opinions must of necessity scorn each other." - Plato


UPDATE:

in the author's note at the start, it says the essays in the book were mostly collected from various lectures to non-specialist audiences. that's why they repeat lots of Popper's main philosophical ideas so often.

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