JoshuaMyer

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The Limits of My Rationality

An interesting response. I did not mean to imply that the feeling had implicit value, but rather that my discomfort interacted with a set of preexisting conditions in me and triggered many associated thoughts to arise.

I'm not familiar with this specific philosophy; are you suggesting I might benefit from this or would be interested in it from an academic perspective? Both perhaps?

Do you have any thoughts on the rest of the three page article? I'm beginning to feel like I brought an elephant into the room that no one wants to comment on.

The Limits of My Rationality

I think I must have explained myself poorly ... you don't have to take my subjective experience or my observations as proof of anything on the subject of parables or on cognition. I agree that double entendre can make complex arguments less defensible, but would caution that it may never be completely eliminated from natural language because of the way discourse communities are believed to function.

Specifically, what subject contains many claims for which there is little proof? Are we talking now about literary analysis?

If you also mean to refer to the many claims about the mechanisms of cognition that lack a well founded neuro-biological foundation, there are several source materials informing my opinion on the subject. I understand that the lack experimentally verifiable results in the field of cognition seems troubling at first glance. For the purposes of streamlining the essay, I assumed a relationship between cognition and intelligence by which intelligence can only be achieved through cognition. Whether this inherently cements the concept of intelligence into the unverifiable annals of natural language, I gladly leave up to each reader to decide. Based on my sense of how the concepts are used here on LW, intelligence and cognition are not completely well-defined in such a way that they could be implemented in strictly rational terms.

However, your thoughts on this are welcome.

The Limits of My Rationality

Thank you for your feedback. I am not sure what I think, but the general response so far seems to support the notion that I have tried to adapt the structure to a rhetorical position poorly suited for my writing style. I'm hearing a lot of "stream of consciousness" ... the first section specifically might require more argumentation regarding effective rhetorical structures. I attack parables without offering a replacement, which is at best rude but potentially deconstructive past the point of utility. I'm currently working on an introduction that might help generate more discussion based on content.

The Limits of My Rationality

I have added a short introductory abstract to clarify my intended purpose in writing. Hopefully it helps.

The Limits of My Rationality

That alone is not an obstacle necessarily. We must establish what these views have in common and how they differ in structure and content.

The Limits of My Rationality

Also, I'd like to steer away from a debate on the question of whether "deep parables" exist. Let's ask directly, "are the parables here on LW deep?" Are they effective?

The Limits of My Rationality

I've read both. Paul Graham's style is wonderful ... so long as he keeps himself from reducing all of history to a triangular diagram. I prefer Stanley Fish for clarity on linguistics.

The Limits of My Rationality

Why is it difficult to talk about parables directly? We have the word and the abstract concept. Seems like a good start.

I feel like you've pointed out what is at least a genuine inconsistency in purpose. The point of this article was not meant to subvert any discussion of economic rationality but rather to focus discussions of intelligence on more universally acceptable models of cognition.

The Limits of My Rationality

I give several reasons in the text as to why biases are necessary. Essentially, all generative cognitive processes are "biased" if we accept the LW concept of bias as an absolute. Here is an illustrated version -- it seems you aren't the only one uncertain as to how I warrant the claim that bias is necessary. I should have put more argument in the conclusion, and, if this is the consensus, I will edit in the following to amend the essay.

To clarify, there was a time in your life before you were probably even aware of cognition during which the process of cognition emerged organically. Sorting through thoughts and memories, optimizing according to variables such as time and calorie consumption, deferring to future selves ... these are all techniques that depend on a preexisting set of conditions by which cognition has ALREADY emerged from, existing in whomever is performing these complex tasks. While searching for bias is helpful in eliminating irrationality from cognitive processes, it does not generate the conditions from which cognition emerges nor explain the generative processes at the core of cognition.

I am critical of the LW parables because, from a standpoint of rhetorical analysis, parables get people to associate actions with outcomes. The parables LW use vary in some ways, but are united in that the search for bias is associated with traditionally positive outcomes, whereas the absence of a search for bias becomes associated with comparatively less desirable outcomes. While I expect some learn deeper truths, I find that the most consistent form of analysis being employed on the forums is clearly the ongoing search for bias.

There are, additionally, LW writings about how rationality is essentially generative and creative and should not be limited to bias searches. This essay was my first shot at an attempt to explain the existence of bias without relying on some evolutionary set of imperatives. If you have any questions feel free to ask; I hope this helps clarify at least what I should have written.

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