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Predestination Was Doomed From The Start - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Fri, Dec. 17th, 2004 03:29 pm
Predestination Was Doomed From The Start

11CommentReply

sirroxton
sirroxton
Adam Augusta
Fri, Dec. 17th, 2004 03:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Is it worth it

1)
A: Inconsistency
Yes, if a person's reasoning process demonstrates an unacknowledged inconsistency, it is flawed.

B: Highly Localized Analysis
If a person's reasoning process unduly gravitates towards a single conclusion or set of assumptions, it is flawed.
You see, John, while our brains are massively parallel, our reasoning process is not; a single mental model morphs in useful ways, and we hope it will start giving us intelligible answers. If we allow our preferences to unduly influence our reasoning process, then our mental model will conveniently morph into a shape we desire. It's highly analogous to having an algorithm that is only capable of finding a local optimum while "solving" the traveling salesman problem.
The desire to be right is something any serious academic must seek to purge from his being. Sure, you can choose to operate within a set of useful assumptions, (e.g. objects fall at 9.8m/s^2, sturdy-looking chairs will support your weight, stabbing people is not something I should do), but that's wholly divorced from the desire to be right. People tend to miss that distinction. It's an artifact, not just of modern education, but of our evolutionary heritage.

2) In the case where I mentioned spinelessness, I'm referring to an instance where a person has engaged you on this topic. The general implication is that the person is interested in your thoughts. However, if the notion that you find incorrect is secondary to the topic discussion, then letting the correction go unsaid is often the only appropriate thing to do. So yeah, my blanket statement wasn't strictly correct.
Spinelessness comes into play when you know that the person is interested in your thoughts, but you don't want to share them for fear that they might not be liked.


ReplyThread Parent
bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Fri, Dec. 17th, 2004 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Is it worth it

So let me see if I can encapsulate your statements:

1) A person's beliefs are only valid if they are connected in a web of logic that contains no directly or indirectly contradictory statements.

2) People tend to come up with a theory as to how something works, then attempt to fit the available data to their theory.

3) It is a matter of [moral|ethical|absolutist] principle to state your view point if you are asked for it, regardless of how it might be accepted.

Do you feel this accurately summarizes what you were trying to communicate?


ReplyThread Parent
sirroxton
sirroxton
Adam Augusta
Sat, Dec. 18th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC)
Re: Is it worth it

You've got the right ideas.

Contradictions are acceptable if acknowledged.

#2 is a symptom of the flawed mental paradigm I described. The desire to be right can cause more problems than that, I think.

#3: All other things being equal, in my favored model of human relationships, yes.


ReplyThread Parent