Comment by ron_hardin on Heat vs. Motion · 2008-04-01T10:23:39.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Heat has to do more with equilibrium than kinetics.

Comment by ron_hardin on Righting a Wrong Question · 2008-03-10T01:14:45.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A=A is not a tautology.

Usually the first A is taken broadly and the second A narrowly.

The second, as they say, carries a pregnancy.

Comment by ron_hardin on Righting a Wrong Question · 2008-03-09T15:44:50.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

``Why do I think I can avoid literary effects and reason directly instead?''

Comment by ron_hardin on Wrong Questions · 2008-03-08T18:36:33.000Z · score: -7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The AI hallucination, peculiar to males, would be another example.

As for the regular questions, Wittenstein was aiming to show the way out of the fly-bottle, as he put it; by showing what the words in the question ordinarily mean, and how they come to seem profound exactly when they go empty, ``on holiday'' as he put it.

As for reading Philosophical Investigations, Stanley Cavell The Claim of Reason makes it interesting by elaborating it further.

Comment by ron_hardin on Dissolving the Question · 2008-03-08T16:54:05.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Then there's Edmond Jabes, on freedom and how words come to mean anything.

Comment by ron_hardin on Dissolving the Question · 2008-03-08T10:31:22.000Z · score: -8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

You will find that the need to nail things down is mostly a male thing. Women are more driven to add complexity, as more interesting to them.

And ``algorithm'' is a picture in Wittgenstein's sense.

Comment by ron_hardin on Gary Gygax Annihilated at 69 · 2008-03-07T00:06:53.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It must be a Princess Diana effect.

Comment by ron_hardin on Rationality Quotes 11 · 2008-03-04T13:04:03.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"If we let ethical considerations get in the way of scientific hubris, then the feminists have won!"

Back when science was fun :

Watson, repeating similar experiments [to Pavlov], noted thetransference'' aspect of such conditioning. Having found that the violent striking of an iron bar produced fear in an infant, he noted that he could give a ``fear'' character to some hitherto neutral object, such as a rabbit, by placing it before the child each time the iron bar was struck; he next demonstrated that this conditioned fear of the rabbit was transferred with varying degrees of intensity to other things having similar properties(such as fur coats or cotton blankets).''

  • Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change p.11
Comment by ron_hardin on Words as Mental Paintbrush Handles · 2008-03-03T00:01:17.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Apple(X) <==> [ Green(X) or Red(X) ] and Edible(X) and Size(X, medium), etc.

The criteria for ordinary language making something count, or fit the case, are ordinary language criteria, not mathematical criteria, of counting or fitting.

That is, ordinary language rules the operation of ordinary language, using the ordinary meanings of count and fit, not the mathematical ones.

Ordinary concepts (nice red apple) are not less precise than mathematical concepts ; but they give precision a certain shape.

The philosopher (not the mathematician!) wants to say that ordinary langauge lacks something that mathematics has. The philosopher however is not curious about why he thinks this.

Comment by ron_hardin on Words as Mental Paintbrush Handles · 2008-03-02T11:43:21.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What does a word point to? See an essay on words as labels in Stanley Cavell The Claim of Reason p.175

In the background is always : what is this fantasy about? Meaning in this context the AI fantasy.

Actual robot fantasies begin around p.403

Comment by ron_hardin on The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition · 2008-02-29T21:36:02.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But the more important point: Suppose you've got an iron flywheel that's spinning very rapidly. That's definitely kinetic energy, so the average kinetic energy per molecule is high. Is it heat? That particular kinetic energy, of a spinning flywheel, doesn't look to you like heat, because you know how to extract most of it as useful work, and leave behind something colder (that is, with less mean kinetic energy per degree of freedom).

Systems in thermal contact (by radiation of nothing else) come to the same temperature. That makes it pretty objective if one of the systems is a thermometer, whether it's heat or not.

Comment by ron_hardin on Perpetual Motion Beliefs · 2008-02-29T21:27:39.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


That was actually a joke. Though people would be hard-pressed to guess what happens if you try it.

Gyroscopes are very unintuitive, because people intuitively but incorrectly think that pushing on something changes its position, a mistake that gyroscopes bring out.

Comment by ron_hardin on The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition · 2008-02-28T10:22:44.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

two systems in thermal contact trade energy to maximize the net entropy of the ensemble.

Actually the assumption is that two systems in thermal contact come to some equilibrium state.

Let this equilibrium state maximize something, call it S, and use calculus.

Energy is conserved.

Therefore the energy change in on system equals minus the energy change in the other, and the change in S wrt the energy change in each system has to be equal in both systems at the maximum of total S.

Call that change wrt energy the (inverse) temperature. Two systems in thermal contact come to the same temperature, is then what the assumption of some equilibrium of something comes to, after you rename the derivatives.

Only the assumption of an equilibrium has been introduced to get this.

That's where

Comment by ron_hardin on Perpetual Motion Beliefs · 2008-02-28T09:55:59.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I favor taking energy from earth rotation. Put a horizontal gyroscope across a circular track around the North Pole, and let the earth rotate under it. Take energy from the relative motion.

Comment by ron_hardin on Mutual Information, and Density in Thingspace · 2008-02-24T00:06:24.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We have a thousand words for sorrow

I don't know if that affects the theory.

(computer clustering a short distance down paths of a thesaurus)

Comment by ron_hardin on Entropy, and Short Codes · 2008-02-23T10:45:30.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's called entropy because somebody told Shannon that the same mathematical quantity already existed in thermodynamics, when the question what to call it came up.

I don't know that there's any other operational connection.

Like there's no entropy gradient giving the arrow of time, or system-wide increase.

Comment by ron_hardin on Replace the Symbol with the Substance · 2008-02-17T00:34:29.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Consider Cavell on baseball

Comment by ron_hardin on Disputing Definitions · 2008-02-12T10:46:51.000Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

People can agree about all the facts but argue about what the word means, which question is an empirical one. People don't know what their criteria are for something being a sound, and can only offer aspects that seem to count for it or against it. You have to try the argument and see if you can see it that way.

Perhaps in the end you can bring out what a sound is.

See Cavell on chairs, op cit. and derivatively Wittgenstein.

The people arguing are not making a mistake; the cognitive scientist is.

Comment by ron_hardin on How An Algorithm Feels From Inside · 2008-02-11T09:52:16.000Z · score: -9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Are vibrations in the air that nobody hears, sound? That's the question.

It's not, curiously, a matter of definition.

See Stanley Cavell's discussion of what is a chair in The Claim of Reason p.71

Wittgenstein goes a little deeper than is imagined.

Comment by ron_hardin on Extensions and Intensions · 2008-02-05T22:29:50.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's easy to teach a dog what words mean, provided the dog has some interest you can quickly show in the thing meant.

I wrote out on a napkin, one day when she was two, all the words and phrases that my Doberman Susie definitely knew in context, and came up with 200.

All of them were for things that involved her somehow. The most direct naming of things was for toys ; but commands and so forth, and the ever-versitile ``fetch the ...'' where ... is something fetchable, provided a link to lots of items you could name. Her interest was then in fetching, and indirectly to the name of the thing.

People are no different. To teach what red is, you need some interest in red.

Comment by ron_hardin on Buy Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace · 2008-02-05T10:52:33.000Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I remember a cold call from a stockbroker years ago, wherein he argued that if I didn't believe that the market was going to go down, then I must believe that the market is going to go up.

Leaving aside the stay-the-same option, that isn't A or not A.

``Believe'' has its own grammar.

Wittgenstein : 575. When I sat down on this chair, of course I believed it would bear me. I had no thought of its possibly collapsing.

Comment by ron_hardin on Rationality Quotes 5 · 2008-01-23T19:04:42.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Check out Stanley Cavell's The Claim of Reason if you like Wittgenstein ; lots on intelligent and empathetic robots too, in looking at what forms skepticism takes in people.

It's likely to affect your understanding of what Wittgenstein was up to, as well.

Comment by ron_hardin on Beautiful Probability · 2008-01-14T09:02:54.000Z · score: -2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

95% confidence means that if you repeat the experiment you get the right answer 95% of the time.

That depends on your thoughts because what counts as a success comes up in the repeats.

The experiment itself does not tell you what would have counted as a success. It simply is. No confidence concept applies.

Comment by ron_hardin on Beautiful Math · 2008-01-11T10:49:07.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Carl Linderholm notes in Mathematics Made Difficult that the next number in 1 2 4 8 16 ? has to be 31, based on just those differences.

Lautreamont on mathematical objects.

Comment by ron_hardin on Affective Death Spirals · 2007-12-02T23:34:57.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Death spiral comes from airplanes and pilot disorientation leading to corrective action making a descending turn progressively worse. Without the disorientation, it doesn't happen.

Flying blind without instruments leads to disorientation very fast, if you're doing the flying. If you're just a passenger, you reorient from what the pilot does; but it's fatal if the pilot does that, without instruments to reorient himself from.

Disorientation is the key to take away.

Comment by ron_hardin on Affective Death Spirals · 2007-12-02T17:52:41.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Phlogiston was the cause of fire. It's a reification error, is all. Like ``power'' in political discourse, which is supposed to be a thing you can acquire, or lose, or contest. Whole analyses depend on it.

Comment by ron_hardin on Unbounded Scales, Huge Jury Awards, & Futurism · 2007-11-29T13:03:35.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Derrida must have done a thousand essays on how an author trying to be very precise about how language could possibly work, winds up in an infinte loop clarifying a final point that amounts to in effect starting over.

This contributes a lot to an indefinite future, whatever the modulus problem, if you take AI as just such a project.