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Sophivorus comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: orthonormal 12 August 2010 01:08AM

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Comment author: Sophivorus 05 November 2011 11:21:24PM *  5 points [-]

Hi everyone!

My name is Felipe, from Argentina. I've been studying philosophy for the last five years or so, especially logic and philosophy of science, but this last year I also started learning web programming, and before that I was a very active editor in the spanish Wikipedia.

I learned about Less Wrong because I had just finished an experimental website, and I posted it on the imageboard of science and mathematics /sci/ (which some of you probably know), and there someone mentioned that people on Less Wrong would probably like it. So I came here, and I must say that after browsing for a while, I will definitely join the community! I also read above that "If you've come to Less Wrong to discuss a particular topic, this thread would be a great place to start the conversation.", so I guess it wouldn't be out of place to share my site here. Here goes:

http://formalforum.com/ is the address of FormalForum, a website designed to structure debates in a rational way. There are two basic types of posts you can submit (for now): propositions and objections. Propositions are things that may be true or false (like "There is no retroactive causation"), while objections are defined as a special kind of argument: an argument which concludes either that a certain proposition is false, or that a certain objection is invalid. For each type of post, there is only one rule governing its behavior:

  1. Every proposition will be considered true, unless there is a sound objection to it.
  2. Every objection will be considered valid, unless there is a sound objection to it.

A sound objection is a valid objection with true premises. As every premise is considered a separate proposition, the rule 1 aplies to each of them. Thus, an objection will be considered sound exactly when there are no sound objections to its validity, nor to any of its premises. Some consequences of these rules are:

  1. New propositions will be considered true by default, as they start with no sound objections (indeed, with no objections at all).
  2. New objections will be considered valid by default, as they start with no sound objections (indeed, with no objections at all).
  3. Not every new objection will be considered sound by default, as it may have among its premises one or more old propositions that are currently considered false.
  4. As the site grows, some propositions will tend to get re-used more than others, which will rise their importance, for the soundness of more and more objections will depend on them being true. Eventually, some propositions will come to light as of key importance, while many others will sink into oblivion.

The system draws from the ideas of Austro-British philosopher Karl Popper (and others), who in his work The Logic of Scientific Discovery, argued that our acceptance of propositions such as "that crow is black", although "inspired" by experience, ultimately depend on a convention: the convention of accepting as true those propositions which nobody cares to doubt. When someone does doubt a proposition, then s/he will have to extract one or more consequences from it that can be tested empircally, and if any of those consequences does not occur (that is, if nobody doubts that one or more of those consequences does not occur), then the proposition is falsified, and must be considered false. Else, the proposition remains true.

The website is new, and has many flaws and shortcomings, but the essence is there. I hope you find it interesting. In any case, I find Less Wrong very related to my interests, so formalforum or not, you will definitely see me around.

Comment author: Sophivorus 25 August 2014 03:32:30AM *  0 points [-]

I just uploaded the evolution of FormalForum: http://ergoforum.org/

Any feedback appreciated!