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Mixed Reference: The Great Reductionist Project

Well, I was specifically thinking of this passage

The Great Reductionist Project can be seen as figuring out how to express meaningful sentences in terms of a >combination of physical references (statements whose truth-value is determined by a truth-condition directly >correspnding to the real universe we're embedded in) and logical references (valid implications of premises, >or elements of models pinned down by axioms); where both physical references and logical references are to >be described 'effectively' or 'formally', in computable or logical form. (I haven't had time to go into this last part >but it's an already-popular idea in philosophy of computation.)

And the Great Reductionist Thesis can be seen as the proposition that everything meaningful can be >expressed this way eventually.

Which, to my admittedly rusty knowledge of mid 20th century philosophy, sounds extremely similar to the anti-metaphysics position of Carnap circa 1950. His work on Ramsey sentences, if I recall, was an attempt to reduce mixed statements including theoretical concepts ("appleness") to a statement consisting purely of Logical and Observational Terms. I'm fairly sure I saw something very similar to your writings in his late work regarding Modal Logic, but I'm clearly going to have to dig up the specific passage.

Mixed Reference: The Great Reductionist Project

Isn't this, essentially, a mild departure from late Logical Empiricism to allow for a wider definition of Physical and a more specific definition of Logical references?

2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

But who self-identifies as a reactionary? That said, there are a number of large holes in the political question. A Left Anarchist is going to feel severely pissed off with having to choose between state socialism and anarcho capitalism.

Action and habit

I agree, most personality traits can be aquired, even if they are heavily selected against genetically. But it isn't always desirable to do so, even if these habits are considered socially useful.

For instance, I'm naturally a night person, but I developed through self discipline, over the course of holding down a standard 9-5 job, a habit of 'early rising', even on weekends. This had, over a period of time, a seriously negative effect on my health and cognitive ability. Switching to a job that allowed me to revert to a more natural sleep cycle was a much better solution for me and my employers.

It's important to do a cost-benefit analysis when attempting to change behaviour, sometimes a change of environment is more feasible.

Less Wrong Rationality and Mainstream Philosophy

I believe Carnap is also primarily listed as a philosopher in wikipiedia, and he certainly counts as a major contributor to modern logic (although, of course, much of his work relates to mathamatics as well).

Write It Like A Poem

There is, of course, Tolkien. Though he gained fame for his prose rather than for, say, 'The lay of Earendil'

Best career models for doing research?

Simple! Tell them they too can follow the way of Lu-Tze, The Sweeper! For is it not said, "Don't knock a place you've never been to"

Rationality quotes: June 2010

Perhaps it's due to the fact that TV Tropes' mission is essentially to perform inference on the entire body of human fiction, and create generalised models (tropes or trope complexes) from that data. In many ways, it's science applied to things that are made up!

Rationality quotes: June 2010

speak for yourself Sir, I intend to live forever

-Jonathan Frakes, as William T Riker

Abnormal Cryonics

Um, isn't the knowledge of many spurious arguments and no strong ones over a period of time weak evidence that no better argument exists (or at least, has currently been discovered?)

I do agree with the second part of your post about argument matching, though. The problem becomes even more serious when it is often not an argument against X from someone who takes the position, but a strawman argument they have been taught by others for the specific purposes of matching up more sophisticated arguments to.

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