[ExI] What can be said to be "wrong", and what is "Truth"

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Sat Oct 4 00:17:20 UTC 2008

On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 3:02 PM, Mike Dougherty <msd001 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 12:29 PM, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:

>> ..., or to *any* model of how things Really Work.  It's not just that
>> our language is necessarily imperfect, or that our measurements are
>> necessarily imperfect, but that fundamentally we lack any basis for
>> knowing how far up or down we are on the tree of subjective reality.
> How pervasive is the objective view- that you speak of "how far up or
> down" when the measurement can only be made subjectively.

My point was that we lack any objective reference for knowing the
relationship of our model of reality to absolute reality, so it's not
even meaningful to ask the question.  The scenario can't be modeled.
It has no answer, unless you like "mu".

> I believe I
> understand what you mean here.  I comment on it to illustrate that a
> complete deconstruction of "objective references" requires something
> better to replace its [incomplete|flawed] utility.

A pragmatic theory of an evolving model of truth provides all the
utility, without the incoherent assumption.

>> And that's perfectly all right.  Indeed -- and this is my point --
>> we're better off in practical terms to acknowledge this inherent
>> subjectivity, removing the unwarranted conceptual bump from our model,
>> to reduce the friction involved in further updating our model in a
>> world of accelerating change.
> That is perhaps the most succinctly you have stated your position of
> which I am aware.

I think I'm usually succinct, but characteristically shorted on
examples and the expansion necessary to fit the background of the
other party.  In any case, thanks.

>  You might appreciate that it contains zero
> occurrences of "increasingly".

But they were still part of the message.  Three in a row.  Apparently
caused you to <fnord>blank out<fnord> earlier.  ;-)

>> of the more general principle I'm trying to convey.)  Now, in an
>> environment of accelerating change, focus must shift from "solving
>> problems" specified explicitly or implicitly within a seldom changing
>> or punctuated but slowly changing model of reality, to "improving our
>> problem solvers" applicable to staying in the Red Queen's Race.
> Yes.  I accept your proposition.  I am convinced.  No doubt many of us
> have felt this way without being able to express it as you have.  What
> now?

Glad you asked.  In practical terms:  Shift the focus of attention and
resources away from obtaining expected consequences, and applying an
improving model of instrumental methods in principle to an improving
model of our evolving values, thus discovering an increasingly [sorry]
preferred future by creating it.

Sorry, that's rough and probably easily subject to misinterpreatation
and criticism as it stands.  No time to proofread or reword as Lizbeth
just called and is expecting me to meet her for drinks.  Gotta run.

- Jef

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