Describing things: parsimony, fruitfulness, and adaptability

post by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) · 2019-02-05T20:59:01.345Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW · None comments

This time we shall have a guest lecturer, Mr. Ihor Dzeverin from the Institute of Zoology. He specializes in morphology and evolution of vertebrates, and we shall mine his considerable experience for heuristics of scientific description - its pre-mathematical language. How does one describe something in such a way that particular aspects of it come into sharper relief? And yet have the very choice of aspects be nameable, consistent, and contestable? And yet choose such aspects that the description yields something new and itself fruitful? And yet load the words to the utmost capacity, without overstraining them? And also keep in mind the big open world, probably holding undiscovered things related to this one?

Bearing in mind how easily the discussion diverges from the original plan, I'm thinking pizza & tea. Something should tether us to reality, and to the topic at hand.

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