Old man 1: Life is one trouble after another. I'd be better off dead, better yet, I wish I was never born

Old man 2: True, true, but who has such luck ?.. maybe one in a thousand.

My blog:

I'm also building an open source generic ML library: & .... which I guess might be of interest to some people here

Wiki Contributions


Ok, I think I better see your point, one thing I'm not sure you are on board with is that unique language can come from:

  • Direct experience of the world -- or linguistic thinking about a memory (sky here has green~ish tint before a storm)
  • Linguistic thinking  -- with several nested layers of recursion (what is <abstract concept>)

Ultimately there's no hard line between the two but in practice, this seems quite relevant. Statements that come from 1) seem usually ok , and statements that come from 2) usually seem maladaptive.

Just a gradient, math is not logically consistent either, nor are there any formal languages which are (again, one might claim, even provably so) -- besides maybe a very limited set of languages that have so many constraints as to be irrelevant (e.g. the logic required for a finite PD game might be self-consistent) -- regardless, any system of any real use isn't so I don't see much point in differentiating (as mentioned even in the post)

All this nonsense is actually ourselves

The difference in proxies for brain activity when speaking or doing nothing is marginal. 

Non-conceptual acts from parachuting and sex to running and climbing likely result in more activation than speaking, they also tend to be more memorable and most people find them more desirable than talking to others, let alone to themselves.

Ultimately, this is subjective, of course, and if you tell me that your conceptual maps and word ladened narratives are important for who you are, I will of course grant that to you.

My personal impression is that they aren't, they are quite important for what I do to be useful in society but that is like saying that, as a taxi driver, my car is a core part of who I am, which is also fair, but you know what they say, it's sometimes good to just get out of the car.

For reference, this post was motivated by failure modes I see among capital R rationalists, scientists, philosophers, and other "many word many symbol" people -- I don't think the issues I point to would affect "normal" people as much. Normal people have reasonably good mechanisms to decouple from conceptual thinking, they might have a conceptual issue or two, but usually nothing that affects their quality of life that much.

Of course, you can interpret it the other way around too

Well, I perfectly agree with you then. This is why I've never written anything I'd intend to publish in an academic setting nor anything I'd consider to be pure philosophy.

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