Not being able to name birds for an ornithologist would be like a physicist not being able to say whether an electron and a positron are the same thing or not.

Did you deliberately pick this example, where Feynman speculated that they might be the same thing?

Names are useful as shorthand for a bundle of properties - but only once you know the actual bundle of properties. I sometimes think science should be taught with the examples first, and only given the name once students have identified the concept.

Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015

by Vaniver 1 min read2nd Mar 2015235 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The 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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.