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Comment author: 27chaos 20 March 2017 03:36:32AM 0 points [-]

Disasters and miracles follow similar rules. Charles Babbage, in his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise of 1837, considered the nature of miracles (which, as a computer scientist, he viewed as pre-determined but rarely-called subroutines) and urged us "to look upon miracles not as deviations from the laws assigned by the Almighty for the government of matter and of mind; but as the exact fulfilment of much more extensive laws than those we suppose to exist." It's that question of characteristic scale.

George Dyson, comment on Taleb's "The Fourth Quadrant".

Comment author: [deleted] 16 April 2016 02:32:17PM 0 points [-]

‘High neuroticism scorers will always be vulnerable to negative thoughts and feelings. That they cannot change. However, there are techniques in which they can train themselves that seem to have quite a marked effect on how they deal with this vulnerability, which can make a great deal of difference to their being in the world'

-‘Happiness’, 2005: 113

In response to comment by [deleted] on Rationality Quotes April 2016
Comment author: 27chaos 25 April 2016 06:10:29PM 0 points [-]

Like what?

Comment author: 27chaos 25 April 2016 06:09:27PM 3 points [-]

But the thought is one thing, the deed is another, and another yet is the image of the deed. The wheel of causality does not roll between them.

Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 30 March 2016 02:56:19PM *  1 point [-]

How about SJM? I want a noun, not a long noun phrase.

Why did the description change from "civil rights" to "social justice"?

Comment author: 27chaos 12 April 2016 10:22:45AM 2 points [-]

Social justice is about culture, not just legal rights.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 19 March 2016 06:27:30PM *  4 points [-]

The failures to grasp the meaning which are the impressive feature of our third set of protocols are, therefore, not easy to range in order. Inability to construe may have countless causes. Distractions, preconceptions, inhibitions of all kinds have their part, and putting our finger on the obstructing item is always largely guesswork. The assumption, however, that stupidity is not a simple quality, such as weight or impenetrability were once thought to be, but an effect of complex inhibitions is a long stride in a hopeful direction. The most leaden-witted blockhead thereby becomes an object of interest.

― I. A Richard, Practical Criticism- A study of literature

Comment author: 27chaos 23 March 2016 07:07:25PM 0 points [-]

I feel like general stupidity does exist, in the same way that general intelligence does? Not sure what you like about this quote. The idea that biases are diverse, maybe?

Comment author: Brillyant 21 March 2016 09:17:16PM *  0 points [-]

Hm. Not worth getting into a line-by-line breakdown, but I'd argue anything said about hell in the Gospels (or the NT) could be read purely metaphorically without much strain.

A couple of the examples you've mentioned:

Jesus tells his listeners on one occasion: don't fear men who can throw your body into prison; rather fear God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Seems to me he could just be saying something like: "They can take our lives and destroy our flesh, but we must not betray the Spirit of the movement; the Truth of God's kingdom."

This is a pretty common sentiment among revolutionaries.

And that stuff in Revelation about a lake of burning sulphur, which again seems clearly to be for destruction and/or punishment. And so on.

I think it's a fairly common view that the author of Revelation was writing about recent events in Jerusalem (Roman/Jewish wars) using apocalyptic, highly figurative language. I'm no expert, but this is my understanding.

The Greek for hell used often in the NT is "gehenna" and (from my recall) refers to a garbage dump that was kept outside the walls of the city. Jesus might have been using this as a literal direct comparison to the hell that awaited sinners... but it seems more likely to me he just meant it as symbolic.

Anyway, tough to know what original authors/speakers believed. It is admittedly my pet theory that a lot of western religion is the erection of concrete literal dogmas from what was only intended as metaphors, teaching fables, etc. Low probability I'm right.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

This was just a joke funny to only former fundamentalists like me. :)

Comment author: 27chaos 21 March 2016 09:48:03PM 0 points [-]

I think there's a joke to the effect that if you're bad in life then when you die God will send you to New Jersey, and I don't know anything about translations of earlier versions of the bible but I kind of hope that it's possible for us to interpret the Gehenna comparison as parallel to that.

Comment author: 27chaos 19 March 2016 06:43:02AM 5 points [-]

"Oh, but I only detest the mouth of the lion, where its fangs are kept; I do not detest the ear of the lion, nor its tail."

But the ear is how he found your brother, and when he leapt on your sister, the tail kept him straight.

Tycho of Penny Arcade, on the importance of systems thinking.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 28 February 2016 01:36:10AM 0 points [-]

Don't be distracted by the question of whether Democrats are Marxist. That's not the issue. My implication was that a survey would show much greater faith in the free market among Republicans than among Democrats. I expect that's true.

Comment author: 27chaos 28 February 2016 06:40:30AM 0 points [-]

I couldn't help but be distracted, sorry.

Comment author: 27chaos 27 February 2016 09:52:24PM 4 points [-]

A consequence of this observation is that we should expect Marxists, who believe the free market doesn't work, to lie much more often than capitalists, who think it does. Empirically, however, Democrats seem to lie much less than Republicans (see, e.g., a recent NY Times report on PolitiFact checking of the Presidential candidates), even though Republicans have much more faith in the free market.

This is an extremely terrible proxy for the question you're interested in.

Comment author: 27chaos 10 February 2016 07:18:14PM 18 points [-]

The truth comes as conqueror only because we have lost the art of receiving it as guest.

Rabindranath Tagore in The Fourfold Way of India (1924)

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