[ExI] The Importance of Clear Writing (was Explaining Unusual Beliefs)
lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Oct 8 06:27:25 UTC 2007
> > I think that you're saying something like "there can be too much
> > theory with too little adaptation to realities"?
(My feeble attempt to conjecture just what you were getting at.)
> I don't think that's implied by what I wrote.
> I described a fairly common example of naïve lack of accounting, not
> just for surrounding culture [your claim], but for a complex, dynamic,
> social-technological structure constructed via eons of adaptation.
Sorry, Jef, but this is just unclear. Accounting of what? Accounting
by whom? Which structure? Yes, I'll grant that the structure you
probably mean is *society*, and that the actor you probably mean is
*libertarianism*, but my last conjecture as to what you meant failed
Suggestion: every time you unload such an abstract sentence,
immediately follow it up with an ambiguity-decreaser, another
sentence that says essentially the same thing only using different
words. (And a good trick is to throw in, in this follow-up sentence,
just a tad of new information, so that the redundancy isn't exact
and isn't obvious.)
All readers make conjectures of what is meant every single
time that they read, (a tenet of evolutionary epistemology).
And no prose itself perfectly carries meaning, especially to all
readers. So anything that enables the reader to parse back
the tree of possible conjectures greatly simplifies his task,
and makes the writing lucid.
> That pure radiant ideal of maximizing personal freedom in "politics"
> is akin to the elegant and ineffective ideal of Solomonoff induction
> in machine intelligence. Each is like a hair on a pimple on the hiney
> of a much higher-dimensional beast, and the nature of that beast,
> however arbitrary, imposes computationally irreducible constraints on
> the possibility-space of that hair. Would-be extenders tend to ignore
> the beast.
Perhaps others enjoy parsing such paragraphs, but I sure don't.
"Each [ideal?] is like a hair on a pimple on the hiney
of a much higher-dimensional beast [whose] nature,
however arbitrary, imposes computationally irreducible
constraints on the possibility-space of that hair..."
I trust that you are not having a big joke here, and are not just
trying out a talk-bot. At least I *think* that I can read more
meaning into paragraphs like that than any talk-bot can today
But is it really necessary to try to *communicate* that way?
Why can't you try writing without all the potential ambiguity?
I hope that you're not afraid of appearing dumb just because
your writing is transparent.
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