Joshua Porter


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Wiki Contributions


You write about using forms of arguments and hampering the ability to communicate and how it can hamper understanding. I think there are many ways of getting at a truth but to get attached to one form of attaining just makes it harder to attain it. In this case, analogies would be an example of an argument I believe, so I'd disagree with what you say at the beginning about it being unrelated to AI risk analogies.

I think analogies are a great way to introduce new ideas to people who are hearing an idea for the first time. Analogies helps you learn from what you already know, when it becomes a problem, I think, is when you get attached to the analogy and try to make it fit your argument in a way that the analogy obscures the truth. 

Ultimately, we are aiming to seek out truth so it's important to see what an analogy may be trying to portray, and as you learn about a topic more, you can let go of the idea of the analogy. I think learning about anything follows this formula of emptying your cup so that it can become full once again. Being able to let go of previous understandings in exchange for a more accurate one.

The blog post you link for inconveniences also makes sense, since if I am learning about a new topic, I am much more likely to continue learning if it is made initially easy, with the difficulty and complexity of the topic scaling with my understanding. 

If we are to not use analogies as a convenient way to get introduced into a new topic, what would be a good alternative that is somewhat simple to understand for a novice?