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Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 03 September 2015 06:57:29PM 0 points [-]

If it meant something, semioticians could take actual sentences, and then show how the two opposing views provide different interpretations of those sentences

Is that fair?

Everyone agrees that 2+2=4, but people disagree about what that statement is about. Within the foundations of mathematics, logicists and formalists can have a substantive disagreement even while agreeing on the truth-value of every particular mathematical statement.

Analogously, couldn't semioticians agree about the interpretation of every text, but disagree about the nature of the relationship between the text and its correct interpretation? Granted that X is the correct interpretation of Y, what exactly is it about X and Y that makes this the case? Or is there some third thing Z that makes X the correct interpretation of Y? Or is Z not a thing in its own right, but rather a relation among things? And, if so, what is the nature of that relation? Aren't those the kinds of questions that semioticians disagree about?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 03 September 2015 08:43:16PM 0 points [-]

Everyone agrees that 2+2=4, but people disagree about what that statement is about.

It's about numbers. Problem solved. :)

Does the disagreement, whatever it is, have any more impact on anything outside itself than semiotics does?

Comment author: SquaredError 02 September 2015 09:03:48AM *  2 points [-]

Do western civilizations owe something to those civilizations that were disadvantaged as a result of imperialism? A common reaction of national conservatives to this idea is that what happened during imperialism is time-barred and each country is responsible for their citizens.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 03 September 2015 09:39:43AM 0 points [-]

Is anywhere on Earth inhabited by the descendants of the humans who first moved in?

Comment author: calamondin 02 September 2015 11:58:35PM *  2 points [-]

"They are ways of passing off ignorance as truth" Wrong, the author used the example of Shakespeare being true. That is not ignorance, that is understanding the importance of a priceless work of art. Not just it's nature as an artifact of history of drama/literature/psychology/etc, but the stories and poetry themselves are "true" in pretty much every sense that matters. Maybe there wasn't really a Romeo and Juliet tween blood sacrifice that helped solidify the postfeudalistic sociopolitical strucuture in Verona, but that play is still an excellent portrayal of that time and place.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 03 September 2015 09:10:29AM 1 point [-]

Maybe there wasn't really a Romeo and Juliet tween blood sacrifice that helped solidify the postfeudalistic sociopolitical strucuture in Verona, but that play is still an excellent portrayal of that time and place.

You are talking there about simple truth, "empirical" truth, not the stuff I criticised as passing off ignorance.

BTW, the relationship of the play to historical Veronese politics is at best indirect. Tenuous, even. Shakespeare's major source was Arthur Brooke's poem "The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet" (1562), which was a free paraphrase of Matteo Bandello's "Giuletta e Romeo" (1551), which was based on Luigi da Porto’s "Giulietta e Romeo" (1530), which was an adaptation of Masuccio Salernitano's "Mariotto and Ganozza" (1476), the earliest known source for the tale. All of these were written as fiction.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 September 2015 03:41:06PM 4 points [-]

Could a moderator please nuke the swidon account and all of its posts?

Comment author: SilentCal 02 September 2015 03:15:36PM 0 points [-]

You can think "turn left" and without any other conscious input your body executes a successful left turn on the bicycle. Something is happening in between; the common name for this something is 'muscle memory'. It's not necessarily a great name.

We don't know exactly how muscle memory works, but we can make observations about its functioning. For instance, that it cannot consist solely of exact repetition of motions, and that it must be able incorporate real-time sensory feedback (or else biking would be impossible).

Do we disagree on anything?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 September 2015 03:37:37PM 0 points [-]

Do we disagree on anything?

Only the usefulness of the name. "Stuff" would more clearly capture what we know about it. :) I think we can leave it there.

Comment author: SquaredError 02 September 2015 12:43:08PM -3 points [-]

How can I convince a national conservative of utilitarianism?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 September 2015 01:02:04PM 1 point [-]

How can I convince a national conservative of utilitarianism?

The same way that they would convince you of their own views.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 August 2015 04:21:28PM 4 points [-]

I have an impression that conscientiousness feels like an outside force. Instead of "I choose to tidy up/proofread my writing/tip the server", it's more like "the situation requires that I do the right thing".

Does this match other people's experience? Does conscientiousness feel more like an outside force than other behaviors?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 September 2015 07:42:48AM 0 points [-]

To me these are much the same thing. I am one with the situation. When I clearly see what is necessary, the action follows.

At least, that's the ideal, which I don't claim to always achieve.

Comment author: MattG 02 September 2015 04:05:33AM 0 points [-]

While true, this misses the point of his post, which is that muscle memory is the unconscious mastery of a complex abstraction.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 September 2015 06:52:31AM 0 points [-]

That brings it back to dormitive principles again. What would it mean for muscle memory to not be "the unconscious mastery of a complex abstraction"?

Comment author: SilentCal 01 September 2015 10:09:59PM 0 points [-]

Based on my own experience, it seems like 'muscle memory' means your brain learning abstractions of motion. So when you know how to ride a bike, you only have to consciously think 'turn left' rather than 'move my right hand forward and pull my left hand back and lean a little bit to the left'. These abstractions are not just recordings, as they can vary along one or more dimensions: you can turn sharply left or gently left, and your 'muscle memory' knows how to implement that.

'Sit in my desk chair' might also be a learned abstraction that involves navigating the slippery mat.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 01 September 2015 11:47:01PM 0 points [-]

you only have to consciously think 'turn left' rather than 'move my right hand forward and pull my left hand back and lean a little bit to the left'.

That isn't how you turn left on a bicycle, consciously or otherwise. If you do that you will fall off to the right. What you actually have to do is control your rate of falling over at close to zero while also controlling the rate of turning at a desired value. This cannot be done by memorising any mapping from desired turn rate to anything that you do with your muscles. A bicycle is an unstable system that the rider must continuously maintain his balance on.

Comment author: calef 01 September 2015 07:52:07PM *  1 point [-]

I never said that determining the sincerity of criticism would be easy. I can step through the argument with links, I'd you'd like!

Comment author: RichardKennaway 01 September 2015 08:31:20PM 2 points [-]

Your dedication to the cause of discerning who has rightly discerned who has rightly discerned errors in HPMOR greatly exceeds mine. I shall leave it there.

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