All of Richard_Kulisz's Comments + Replies

Yeah, but physicists have had plenty to do other than enforce doctrine. We were busy discovering and elaborating on relativity, quantum mechanics and its implications such as superconductivity and nonlinear optics; phase transitions, fluid dynamics, chaos... Depends on what is meant by 'Major Shakeup', doesn't it? I think it encompasses any significant advance that lets people move on to new subjects. It doesn't mean that the old stuff needs to become false, just that the topic has shifted.
Guardians of the Gene Pool

It has nothing to do with poverty of imagination and everything to do with black propaganda. The Soviets were simply never evil enough. And we know that looking forward into the future is evil, therefore the Nazis must have been guilty of that crime. If the Soviets had done it, why it may even have rehabilitated that concept. Can't have that, can we?

The problem isn't that Westerners can't imagine themselves in the shoes of the Romantic Nazis. All to the contrary, the problem is that elite conservative Westerners find it ALL TOO EASY to imagine themselves i... (read more)

Semantic Stopsigns

Before the Big Bang is beyond the universe. Beyond the universe are other laws of physics. Which laws? All self-consistent laws. What are sets of laws of physics? They're mathematics. What is mathematics? Arbitrary symbol manipulation. And there you've reached a final stopping point. Because it isn't even intelligible to ask why there are symbols or why there is mathematical existence. They are meta-axiomatic, and there is nothing beyond or beneath them. More importantly, there is no meta-level above them because they are their own meta-level.

This looks like equivocation between the math-like structure of the universe and mathematics itself - mathematics proper is something invented by humans, which happens to resemble the structure of the universe. Whatever is outside the universe is unknown, but probably can be discovered with considerable difficulty (and will probably be describable by mathematics, but will not be mathematics itself).

This is merely a semantic stop-sign; it appears wise because it uses modern vocabulary. The structure of the argument is identical to the structure of a neo-Platonist argument that most LW readers would instantly reject:

Before God's Creation is beyond the universe. Beyond the universe are other Creations. Which Creations? All Creations that God created. What are God's Creations? They are instantiations of God's will. What is God's will? Arbitrary manipulation of Form. And there you've reached a final stopping point. Because it isn't even intelligible to as... (read more)