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

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 4 02:53:13 UTC 2008

On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 8:17 PM, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
> 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".

Ineffable.  Too right.

>> 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.

"an evolving model of truth without incoherent assumption."  My
assumptions are only incoherent to you in the way your assumptions are
incoherent to me.  I believe the purpose of discourse is to find
coherence between these assumptions to the extent that we share
membership in the same "model of truth"  We can discuss physical laws,
we can discuss observed trends - we probably would not attempt to
discuss ethics or try to convince each other of the merits of our
favorite TV shows (or of merits of TV at all)

this is a good place to answer your first question from an earlier
reply re: redefine the objective point of view.
  In this example there is sufficiently large corroborative authority
to verify the subjective measure to the physical laws of (for example)
gravity that I am entitled to share the consensus understanding of
what is repeatedly observable or I can be excluded from the
normal-thinking group to make unprovable claims about why objects fall
to earth.  There is not enough consensus authority by repeatable
observation of miracle healing.  To those who claim it has happened to
them there is no amount of "rational" explanation to make them
renounce their believe.  Is there subjective experience of a miracle
an incoherent assumption?  To you and I perhaps, to their internal
model it's valid and we are the incoherent ones.  I digress into

I asked for you to explain from the position you have espoused to
date, how the belief in an objective point of view became the crutch
that so many lean upon for their stance on X issues.  You have
suggested that I cling to ideal Truth.  I have tried to prove that
objective "Truth" is one of many tools for exchanging ideas- no
different (imo) than understanding the proper use of "heaven/savior"
when conversing with Christians or "Samsara/Nirvana" with Buddhists or
"Singularity" with Extropians and Transhumanists.  I sought your
insight into the how and why objective truth was ever perceived to
have utility despite your claim that it has no inherent validity.
With that established, I assumed we could replace the structural
underpinnings of objective conclusions with an increasingly coherent
foundation.  A foundation that would be capable of providing greater
support to the accelerating rate of change we're seeing.  A rate of
change that threatens to overwhelm an establishment founded on
precariously incoherent principles such as objective truth.

> 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.  ;-)

Hey, I wasn't the one to draw attention to the increasing frequency of
your use of 'increasingly.'  :)  I intentionally avoid using it now
because it has such specific meaning to you that I will likely be
misunderstood if/when I use it "incorrectly"

>>> <snipped>"improving our problem solvers" <snipped>
>> 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?
* in your first reply you asked, "Of what?" - to which I laughed.
Hyperrational, huh?  I thought it amusing (fwiw)

> 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.

I'm not going to criticize.  I have a difficult time wrapping my head
around it.  If you have already written a a thesis or something, I
would certainly read it.  (email, or post URL)  Can you break that
statement down into chunks, explain each piece then build back up to
the level of clarity you're trying to express?  I feel your words were
chosen for deliberate contexts that I do not share completely enough.
I think there is value in what you are saying.  I think this exercise
is illustrative of the framework-building that we need to exchange
idea-dense concepts.  I've been interested in this kind of analysis
for 15 years.  Few people I have met possess both the patience to
build that bridge and the persistence to firmly hold an idea until the
bridge is usable.  Whether you ever feel anyone else deeply
understands the point you are making, I feel the attempt at
communication helps us refine our content delivery methods.  Maybe
that's what you mean about shifting away from expected consequences to
focus on improving methods?  I don't mind being told that I am
mistaken, but I also don't know what understanding is correct if it is
never acknowledged.  Sorry; drifting off-topic again, which means I
should stop now.

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