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Silas comments on Taboo Your Words - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 February 2008 10:53PM

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Comment author: Silas 16 February 2008 05:09:28PM 3 points [-]

Three separate comments here:

1) Eliezer_Yudkowsky: Why wouldn't you just say "An artificial group conflict in which you use a long wooden cylinder to whack a thrown spheroid, and then run between four safe positions"?

To phrase brent's objection a little more precisely: Because people don't normally think of baseball in those terms, and you're constrained on time, so you have to say something that makes them think of baseball *quickly*. Tom_Crispin's idea is much more effective at that. Or were you just trying to criticize baseball fans for not seeing the game that way?

2) Barry: "A tree falling in a deserted forest does not match [membership test: this event generates auditory experiences]."

But that doesn't help either as a scientific test, since you reference qualia. Er, I mean, that doesn't help either as a scientific test, since you use reference something that [membership test: incommunicable except by experience, non-interpersonally-comparable].

3) I've used the taboo method recently. On a libertarian mailing list, I claimed the economic calculation argument favors intellectual property because its absence creates a kind of calculational chaos. Because the debate devolved very quickly into multiple definitional arguments, I said something like, "Okay, argue your position without using the terms '[economic] good, scarce, or property.' I'll start [...]" No takers =-(