Comment by ryanw on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-11T01:22:42.119Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my yogurt"

Comment by ryanw on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-11T01:19:55.608Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

“Complexity is a symptom of confusion, not a cause.” - Jeff Hawkins

Comment by ryanw on A Fable of Science and Politics · 2010-12-10T02:29:18.372Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Other possibilities; reconcilement. Some modern Chinese look to Mao's "little red book" for leadership advice to run their business, for example. Or people arguing that the sky used to be green before the cataclysm and that some aspect since then changed things (which is where the blue legends might have come from.)

Also, it's worth remembering that ancient political texts (religious texts most certainly included) were often written without the freedom of speech that we enjoy today. By necessity, they were indirect. To interpret them literally, which some followers did (and which this fable might even imply should be done), of course, was a mistake. And those who were persuaded to change their mind because of their mistakenly literal interpretation might very well consider those who still valued the old stories to be obstinate fools, not those who believed in the value of some esoteric statement.

Or sometimes people make the opposite assertion, and take something which is supposed to be literal and make it metaphorical.

The Greek Gods were said to reside on mount Olympus, and as people started to climb to the top of that mountain the myths got moved to a mythical mountain somewhere else. (Or so I was once told.)