Comments on “The function and structure of the eggplant”


Meaningness e-book

Alex's picture

Hi David, I’m afraid this is a bit off-topic but I couldn’t find another way to reach you without a Twitter account.

I wanted to read Meaningness on my e-reader, and thus whipped up a quick script to download it and turn it into an EPUB file (with copyright information intact). Is it alright with you if I post this script to GitHub? If you’re not comfortable with that I can keep it to myself for purely personal use.

Ontology: Where are the verbs?

Somewhere recently I ran across a statement that both traditional philosophical and AI (or other computer-inspired) concepts of ontology rarely get beyond nouns.


If you want words to do something as opposed to represent something, you have to think differently.

I'm pretty excited about this new-ish sub-project

Kenny Evitt's picture

But, to continue my campaign to understand how exactly LW-EY-2008 was definitely not meta-rationality, I found another example to discuss:

Maybe all the ‘Bayes’ stuff inclines you to write-off or approximate whatever it is EY is writing about to ‘pick a formal model and use Bayes’s rule to update on new formal evidence’.

Anyways, I had immediately thought of EY exhorting ‘rationalists’ to be ‘better at thinking than science’ when I read this part of this page:

Too much R&D is mechanical by-the-book crank-turning, within a fixed framework, without reflection on whether it makes any sense in context. STEM can be “bad” not because it’s wrong, but because it’s trivial or irrelevant. Only a meta-rational view can help with that.

And the example he uses seems pretty good for use in explaining or describing meta-rationality too – the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics.

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This page is in the section Introduction: Because rationality matters,
      which is in In the cells of the eggplant,
      which is in ⚒ Fluid understanding: meta-rationality,
      which is in ⚒ Sailing the seas of meaningness,
      which is in Meaningness and Time: past, present, future.

This is the last page in its section.

The next page in book-reading order is Part One: Taking rationalism seriously.

The previous page is Introducing the central concepts.

This page’s topic is Rationalism.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2020 David Chapman. Some links are part of Amazon Affiliate Program.