All of ravedon's Comments + Replies

The Industrial Revolution seems largely the result of a particular positive feedback singularity, that the steam engine, which converts iron, coal and water into mechanical energy that can be used to pump water, was concocted in England, where high quality veins of coal and iron ore happened to be located deep underground beneath the prevailing water table. The steam engine pumping out mines, with steadily increasing power and efficiency, facilitated access to more iron ore and coal, which could be more efficiently transported by steam locomotives riding i... (read more)

1Rofel Wodring9mo
I disagree heavily with a technological perspective to the Industrial Revolution. For a few reasons: * It ignores how the Industrial Revolution wasn't just late to and concurrent with the Scientific Revolution -- it specifically fueled its existence. Without the surpluses enabled by the Industrial Revolution, you couldn't support a large enough middle class to draw future waves of engineers and scientists from. Military officers and noblemen are overrepresented in pre-industrial sciences for a reason. The Scientific Revolution would straight up not have happened without a huge middle class. What allowed the creation of the Middle Class? So, there's a problem with your feedback loop right there. It has the relationship backwards in my opinion. * The technological prerequisites for an Industrial Revolution have been in place for centuries. Why didn't it happen? You say it was a feedback loop, how could the feedback loop sustain itself to begin with? Or even get started? What was the nature of this trigger, and how could it be replicated?

Excellent and thank-you! I'd somehow forgotten about Nerst and would have linked to his work directly.  I think the additional value Hahn's ontology brings to erisology is an explicitly positive gradient, in a hill-climbing sense. For any disagreement, Hahn's ontology allows the parties to accept some level of agreement (Where are we on the agreement landscape?) and have an objective target for improvement, assuming good faith on everyone's part. I'm inclined to try to communicate it to Nert based upon your linking the two! 

Why is there no Section IV? It's a delicious irony of reading a book review of Gödel, Escher, Bach on LessWrong that upon noticing that the Latin-numbered sections jump from 3 to 5 (III, V) I'm left wondering if that's simply a silly mistake or if the omission of section IV is some profound meta-self-referential in-joke on the part of the reviewer that I'm just not clever enough to see. 

1Sam Marks1y
I wish I could say that there was some sort of hilarious self-referential joke here, but actually I'm just bad at counting, oops. At this point I probably won't fix it for fear of ruining in-text section references.