Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Justin comments on Joy in the Merely Real - Less Wrong

63 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 March 2008 06:18AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (42)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Justin 21 March 2008 04:54:10AM 1 point [-]

I look at Keats' quotation in almost the exact opposite way that you do. I think the greatest, or at least most efficient scientific minds are the ones that delight the most in mystery, and are most dulled by the explained.

If our brains are a limited resource, and what we deem "interesting" is where we devote the bulk of our mental processing power, then it would be optimal for the brain to dull-ify anything once we have fully explained it. Once we know everything about rainbows, we should immediately cease thinking about rainbows. We are then free to redirect our reasoning powers against the remainder of the mysteries in our world.

I think our brains' wiring to find mystery "interesting" and the explained "dull" is the engine that directs scientific progress.