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Virtual Reality as Moral Ideal - The New Atlantis
When the choosing will is sealed off from the fuzzy, hard-to-master contingencies of the empirical world, it becomes more “free” in a sense: free for the kind of neurotic dissociation from reality that opens the door wide for others to leap in on our behalf, and present options that are available to us without the world-disclosing effort of skillful engagement. For the Mousekedoer, choosing (from a menu of ready-made solutions) replaces doing, and it follows that such a person should be more pliable to the “choice architectures” presented to us in mass culture.

The absence of the real from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse — indeed the dissociative or abstract quality of children’s television in general these days — makes it an ideal vehicle for psychological adjustment; for constructing and managing the kind of selves that society requires, without meddling interference from the nature of things. The particular adjustments to be carried out will have to be determined by a Disney script supervisor, or some other functionary of the modern self.
philosophy  tv  children 
yesterday by campion1581
Paradox of tolerance - Wikipedia
Philosopher Karl Popper defined the paradox in 1945 in The Open Society and Its Enemies Vol. 1.[1]"Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them."
He concluded that we are warranted in refusing to tolerate intolerance: "We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant."
philosophy  tolerance  karl-popper 
yesterday by jchris
CNN IS FAKE NEWS | Best Images Collections HD For Gadget windows Mac Android
CNN IS Fake News MP3: Soundcloud: Immediately after CNN’s Senior White Residence Correspondent Jim Acosta had an embarrassing trade President Trump, CNN New Year’s Eve host Kathy Griffin printed her presidential assassination porn, CNN host Reza Aslan identified as President Trump a “piece of $h!t” and the organization was pressured to retract a […]
IFTTT  WordPress  News  alex  jones  ayn  rand  cnn  free  market  freedomain  Radio  infowars  libertarian  objectivism  objectivist  Paul  Joseph  Wa...  Philosophy  Stefan  Molyneux 
yesterday by wotek
Julia Galef with Ezra Klein Show
Very clear and well-spoken. Expresses the things that a person may aspire to. A bit scary to realize one's biases.
ezraklein  rationality  philosophy 
yesterday by gideonite
Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat, and Political Correctness in Philosophy | HTML
"contends that fashionable views in the profession concerning implicit bias and stereotype threat are weakly supported, that philosophers often fail to report the empirical work responsibly, and that the standards for evidence are set very low—so long as you take a certain viewpoint."
social-justice  sociology  philosophy 
yesterday by alexbecker
Thoughts on chess and life from Harry, NYC chess hustler and crack aficionado : AnarchyChess
*originally from although I can't find it there anymore* --- “Tell me about chess,” I told him. - “Well...
chess  philosophy 
yesterday by creditcardnumber
The Function of Reason |
How Social Is Reason?:
Reading The Enigma of Reason. Pretty good so far. Not incredibly surprising to me so far. To be clear, their argument is somewhat orthogonal to the whole ‘rationality’ debate you may be familiar with from Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s work (e.g., see Heuristics and Biases).

One of the major problems in analysis is that rationality, reflection and ratiocination, are slow and error prone. To get a sense of that, just read ancient Greek science. Eratosthenes may have calculated to within 1% of the true circumference of the world, but Aristotle’s speculations on the nature of reproduction were rather off.

You may be as clever as Eratosthenes, but most people are not. But you probably accept that the world is round and 24,901 miles around. If you are not American you probably are vague on miles anyway. But you know what the social consensus is, and you accept it because it seems reasonable.

One of the points in cultural evolution work is that a lot of the time rather than relying on your own intuition and or reason, it is far more effective and cognitively cheaper to follow social norms of your ingroup. I only bring this up because unfortunately many pathologies of our political and intellectual world today are not really pathologies. That is, they’re not bugs, but features.
Finished The Enigma of Reason. The basic thesis that reasoning is a way to convince people after you’ve already come to a conclusion, that is, rationalization, was already one I shared. That makes sense since one of the coauthors, Dan Sperber, has been influential in the “naturalistic” school of anthropology. If you’ve read books like In Gods We Trust The Enigma of Reason goes fast. But it is important to note that the cognitive anthropology perspective is useful in things besides religion. I’m thinking in particular of politics.
My point here is that many of our beliefs are arrived at in an intuitive manner, and we find reasons to justify those beliefs. One of the core insights you’ll get from The Enigma of Reason is that rationalization isn’t that big of a misfire or abuse of our capacities. It’s probably just a natural outcome for what and how we use reason in our natural ecology.

Mercier and Sperber contrast their “interactionist” model of what reason is for with an “intellectualist: model. The intellecutalist model is rather straightforward. It is one where individual reasoning capacities exist so that one may make correct inferences about the world around us, often using methods that mimic those in abstract elucidated systems such as formal logic or Bayesian reasoning. When reasoning doesn’t work right, it’s because people aren’t using it for it’s right reasons. It can be entirely solitary because the tools don’t rely on social input or opinion.

The interactionist model holds that reasoning exists because it is a method of persuasion within social contexts. It is important here to note that the authors do not believe that reasoning is simply a tool for winning debates. That is, increasing your status in a social game. Rather, their overall thesis seems to be in alignment with the idea that cognition of reasoning properly understood is a social process. In this vein they offer evidence of how juries may be superior to judges, and the general examples you find in the “wisdom of the crowds” literature. Overall the authors make a strong case for the importance of diversity of good-faith viewpoints, because they believe that the truth on the whole tends to win out in dialogic formats (that is, if there is a truth; they are rather unclear and muddy about normative disagreements and how those can be resolved).

The major issues tend to crop up when reasoning is used outside of its proper context. One of the literature examples, which you are surely familiar with, in The Enigma of Reason is a psychological experiment where there are two conditions, and the researchers vary the conditions and note wide differences in behavior. In particular, the experiment where psychologists put subjects into a room where someone out of view is screaming for help. When they are alone, they quite often go to see what is wrong immediately. In contrast, when there is a confederate of the psychologists in the room who ignores the screaming, people also tend to ignore the screaming.

The researchers know the cause of the change in behavior. It’s the introduction of the confederate and that person’s behavior. But the subjects when interviewed give a wide range of plausible and possible answers. In other words, they are rationalizing their behavior when called to justify it in some way. This is entirely unexpected, we all know that people are very good at coming up with answers to explain their behavior (often in the best light possible). But that doesn’t mean they truly understanding their internal reasons, which seem to be more about intuition.

But much of The Enigma of Reason also recounts how bad people are at coming up with coherent and well thought out rationalizations. That is, their “reasons” tend to be ad hoc and weak. We’re not very good at formal logic or even simple syllogistic reasoning. The explanation for this seems to be two-fold.


At this point we need to address the elephant in the room: some humans seem extremely good at reasoning in a classical sense. I’m talking about individuals such as Blaise Pascal, Carl Friedrich Gauss, and John von Neumann. Early on in The Enigma of Reason the authors point out the power of reason by alluding to Eratosthenes’s calculation of the circumference of the earth, which was only off by one percent. Myself, I would have mentioned Archimedes, who I suspect was a genius on the same level as the ones mentioned above.

Mercier and Sperber state near the end of the book that math in particular is special and a powerful way to reason. We all know this. In math the axioms are clear, and agreed upon. And one can inspect the chain of propositions in a very transparent manner. Mathematics has guard-rails for any human who attempts to engage in reasoning. By reducing the ability of humans to enter into unforced errors math is the ideal avenue for solitary individual reasoning. But it is exceptional.

Second, though it is not discussed in The Enigma of Reason there does seem to be variation in general and domain specific intelligence within the human population. People who flourish in mathematics usually have high general intelligences, but they also often exhibit a tendency to be able to engage in high levels of visual-spatial conceptualization.

One the whole the more intelligent you are the better you are able to reason. But that does not mean that those with high intelligence are immune from the traps of motivated reasoning or faulty logic. Mercier and Sperber give many examples. There are two. Linus Pauling was indisputably brilliant, but by the end of his life he was consistently pushing Vitamin C quackery (in part through a very selective interpretation of the scientific literature).* They also point out that much of Isaac Newton’s prodigious intellectual output turns out to have been focused on alchemy and esoteric exegesis which is totally impenetrable. Newton undoubtedly had a first class mind, but if the domain it was applied to was garbage, then the output was also garbage.


Overall, the take-homes are:

Reasoning exists to persuade in a group context through dialogue, not individual ratiocination.
Reasoning can give rise to storytelling when prompted, even if the reasons have no relationship to the underlying causality.
Motivated reasoning emerges because we are not skeptical of the reasons we proffer, but highly skeptical of reasons which refute our own.
The “wisdom of the crowds” is not just a curious phenomenon, but one of the primary reasons that humans have become more socially complex and our brains have larger.
Ultimately, if you want to argue someone out of their beliefs…well, good luck with that. But you should read The Enigma of Reason to understand the best strategies (many of them are common sense, and I’ve come to them independently simply through 15 years of having to engage with people of diverse viewpoints).

* R. A. Fisher, who was one of the pioneers of both evolutionary genetics and statistics, famously did not believe there was a connection between smoking and cancer. He himself smoked a pipe regularly.

** From what we know about Blaise Pascal and Isaac Newton, their personalities were such that they’d probably be killed or expelled from a hunter-gatherer band.
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yesterday by nhaliday
Жан Бодрийяр, «Дух терроризма»
Система не может расти беспрепятственно, она начинает себя ненавидеть и привлекать ненависть извне; терроризм — крайнее проявление такой ненависти, заложенное в систему. Терроризм как исполнительная форма Зла набирает обороты именно потому, что зависимость Зла и Добра — прямая (а увеличение Добра не ведёт к уменьшению Зла).
События 11 сентября стали ударом по гегемонии Запада. Западная мораль отрицает такое разрушение, но оно было желаемым до того, как произошло.
>В конечном счете, они это сделали, но мы этого хотели.

Благодаря этому тайному желанию 9/11 вызвало такой отклик.
>символическая стратегия террористов, несомненно, была рассчитана на это наше постыдное соучастие
>вполне логично и неизбежно, что неимоверное усиление могущества усиливает и желание его уничтожить

>стремление отрицания всякой системы становится тем сильнее, чем больше она приближается к совершенству и всемогуществу

>Терроризм — акт восстановления непокорной единичности в самом сердце системы обобщенного обмена. Все сингулярности (племена, отдельные личности, культуры), которые заплатили смертью за установление глобального оборота всего и вся, управляемого единственной властью, сегодня мстят за себя с помощью террористического разворота.

Терроризм — единственная возможность противопоставить себя поднимающейся системе, главный противник глобализации.
>это не столкновение цивилизаций или религиозных убеждений, и это выходит далеко за рамки ислама и Америки

С каждой мировой войной враг системы извне уничтожался: победа над колониализмом в ПМВ, над нацизмом во ВМВ, над коммунизмом в Холодной. К четвёртой мировой система подошла к единому мировому порядку и враг стал рассеиваться внутри самой системы.

>В этом головокружительном цикле невозможного обмена смерти, смерть террориста — микроскопическая пробоина, но через нее все засасывается, образуется полость и гигантская воронка. Вокруг этой незначительной пробоины реального и власти вся система собирается, скручивается, зацикливается на себе и разрушается своей собственной сверхэффективностью.

Терроризм работает, потому что умело сочитает своё символическое оружие (жертвенную смерть) с оружием системы, против которой борется. Используя что–то одно, терроризм не выжил бы.
>Чудо состоит в том, что им удалось адаптироваться к глобальной сети и техническому протоколу, нисколько не теряя этого соучастия в жизни и в смерти.
>совершенно неправильно видеть в террористической акции чисто деструктивную логику
terrorism  essay  philosophy 
yesterday by denis_by_sea

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