What’s the difference between epistemology and ontology? epistemological claims are statements about belief, about your map, about what we can say about reality and ontological claims are statements about reality, about the territory, about how things are
Sagan scale 🎨
A tool to gauging weather somebody is too skeptical or too open to ideas from.
Many mechanisms in the world are very specific. If explanations are too "round" or too generic this might mean it's not real. i.e. There is a woman in the State of Washington with large following, who claims to make contact with a 35,000-year-old somebody. Why exactly 35,000 and not 34,365 years ago? Sagan talks about Ramtha in
Bad explanation: Easy to vary.
Good explanation: Hard to vary (that is every detail plays a functional role)
- Different cross-influencing nodes are in a way locking the answer in more and more rigid (aka hard to vary) position
- if one detail of the theory would change all other would need to change or be tweaked e.g. 23 degree tilt of the earth, more exposed surfaces of earth heat more
i.e. Demether mythical explanation of seasons vs. current one: the earth is tilted 23 degrees and circling sun (every detail plays a role)
People who exhibits
In a group setting I asked a bunch of ecologist and bio-philosophers what they think about nuclear energy. It wasn’t a surprise to me that I heard a bunch of skeptical attitudes. I asked what they are worried specifically. One philosopher on a phd level said about dangers of the nuclear storage. She said that we always postpone answers to the future. We don’t know if in future we will find a technology that will utilize the nuclear waste. Currently there are no good places to store becaues because we cannot foresee forces that can shape earth in the long span of time. She stopped at this. This stroke me as too round theory. Theory with to little specificity. Why there wasn’t more details for example something mentioning that the places in the world are equally bad. Most of the attributes of the physical world vary. I would expect that there should be some places that are more prefferable than other. Is it true even though geological surface of earth vary a lot there are no perfect conditions that would lock nuclear waste in place?
Law of the Instrument
People who even are really good at some local area of knowledge that are thinking their expertise transcends the boundaries of the disciplines and it can explain surpassingly high volume of subjects. (Read more on Law of the Instrument here)
Below is the the image of paths of the planets in the solar system before and after the realization of heliocentrism. Whenever there is a trace of dogmatism in the way people treat ideas it might mean that these ideas might be propagated by a force of preserving position the group hierarchy. Examples:
Mainstream evolutionary biologist fight with a view that there might be a parallel process to natural selection. Would proving that aesthetic selection is true undermine findings and status of majority of experts? Read More:
In Voltaire’s classic novel Candide, Dr. Pangloss is a teacher of “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology” who believes he lives in the best of all possible worlds. “It is clear,” he said, “that things cannot be other than the way they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. For instance, noses were made to support spectacles, hence we wear spectacles. Legs, as anyone can see, were made for breeches, and so we wear breeches. Stones were made to be shaped into castles; thus My Lord has a fine castle because the greatest baron in the province ought to have the finest house. And because pigs were made to be eaten, we eat pork all year round. So those who say that everything is well are speaking foolishly; they should say that everything is best.” from
If you can invent an equally persuasive explanation for any outcome, you have zero knowledge.
Alas, belief is easier than disbelief; we believe instinctively, but disbelief requires a conscious effort. So instead, by dint of mighty straining, I forced my model of reality to explain an anomaly that never actually happened. And I knew how embarrassing this was. I knew that the usefulness of a model is not what it can explain, but what it can’t. A hypothesis that forbids nothing, permits everything, and thereby fails to constrain anticipation.Your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be more confused by fiction than by reality. If you are equally good at explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge. from
Things can have disproportionate effects. Sometimes introducing a very small of agent can have a really large effect and vice versa – sometimes introducing a vary large agent can have really little effect.
List things that are:
- Fringe that may be truth e.g. Some contemporary heresis
- Fringe that may be not truth
- Mainstream that may be truth
- Mainstream that may not be truth