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Kal comments on Why is Mencius Moldbug so popular on Less Wrong? [Answer: He's not.] - Less Wrong Discussion

9 Post author: arborealhominid 16 November 2012 06:37PM

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Comment author: Kal 26 November 2012 02:23:20PM -2 points [-]

Re Physics, please correct me as required but in the way I use the phrase "first principles" here, Physics does not have any first principles. Physics is observation, hypothesis, experimentation and repeat. After a certain hypothesis has sufficient amount of experimental proof behind it, it becomes a theory and thus the foundation for further work. And occasionally, we find that there is a variable missing in the theory as the experiments did not test the situations that that variable speaks to. Then we test to tease out the nuances of that aspect of reality. And so on.

Economics has first principles, in the sense I use the phrase. Thus the Q: What is an economy? It leads to those first principles and then deduction covers the rest. But one can of course get the first principles wrong and the deduction is then useless.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 26 November 2012 11:28:12PM 2 points [-]

Re Physics, please correct me as required but in the way I use the phrase "first principles" here, Physics does not have any first principles.

Yes it does. They're just so implicit in our intuition about how the world works that we don't notice them. For example, consider all the implicit assumptions necessary for statements like "these two sticks have the same length" to be meaningful.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 26 November 2012 04:12:43PM 0 points [-]

So, why does physics have no such first principles but economics does?