Hofstadter on the necessary strangeness of scientific explanations:

It is no accident, I would maintain, that quantum mechanics is so wildly counterintuitive. Part of the nature of explanation is that it must eventually hit some point where further probing only increases opacity rather than decreasing it. Consider the problem of understanding the nature of solids. You might wonder where solidity comes form. What if someone said to you, "The ultimate basis of this brick's solidity is that it is composed of a stupendous number of eensy weensy bricklike

... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

"greeness" -> "greenness"

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
0NancyLebovitz6y Does this imply that there's no bottom level, just layer after layer of explanations with each layer being very different from the ones above? If there is a bottom level below which no further explanation is possible, can you tell whether you've reached it?
10fburnaby6y Moliere, Le Malade Imaginere (1673), Act III, sc. iii.

Rationality Quotes June 2013

by Thomas 6y3rd Jun 20131 min read791 comments


Another month has passed and here is a new rationality quotes thread. The usual rules are:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, Overcoming Bias, or HPMoR.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.