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pnrjulius comments on Applause Lights - Less Wrong

89 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 September 2007 06:31PM

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Comment author: pnrjulius 19 May 2012 05:48:42AM 0 points [-]

It's interesting; with the connotations and associations in our discourse, I can actually make some predictions about planned policies from those two supposedly "empty" statements.

The former is probably going to spend more money on math and science education.

The latter is probably going to fund "faith-based initiatives" or something similarly silly and religious (but I repeat myself), because "values" in American politics is almost always code for "conservative Evangelical Christianity".

So does this mean that they really aren't empty at all?

Comment author: TheOtherDave 19 May 2012 02:47:11PM 0 points [-]

Well, yes, I chose those statements precisely because of their connotative affiliations.

As for whether they're really empty... (shrug).

In ordinary conversation I would consider "I like likable things!" an empty statement, but of course it conveys an enormous amount of information: that I am capable of constructing a grammatical English sentence, for example, which the Vast majority of equivalent-mass aggregations of particles in the universe are not. I can use a different term to describe that category of statement if this one is too ambiguous.