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A new episode of the Fluidity : "Reasonable Believings"

This episode is more than an hour long.   The epistemological categories—truth, belief, inference—are richer, more complex, diverse, and nebulous than rationalism supposes.   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon:   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: h

In this installment of the newsletter for my new event, Fluidity Forum, I wrote an essay about how to design groups.

Three ways for a rich textured social experience to collapse down to a sort of flat samey-ness.

A new episode of the Fluidity : "The Purpose Of Meaning"

Peculiar features of language make sense as tools to enable collaboration, rather than to express objective truths. You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee:

A new episode of the Fluidity : "Meaningful Perception"

We actively work to perceive aspects of the world as meaningful, in terms of our purposes, in context.   Here are the images mentioned in this episode:   In this episode is a mention of a perception test of tracking basketball players passing a ball: Also mentioned in this episode is a more advanced version of the percepti

A new episode of the Fluidity : "Accountability And Routine"

You are accountable for reasonableness: Accountability is the key concept in understanding mere reasonableness, as contrasted with systematic rationality.   Reasonableness is routine: Routine activity usually goes smoothly overall, despite frequent minor glitches, because we have methods for repairing trouble.   You can supp

A new episode of the Fluidity : "Aspects Of Reasonableness - and - Reasonableness Is Meaningful Activity"

Aspects of reasonableness: A summary explanation of everyday reasonable activity, with a tabular guide and a concrete example.   Reasonableness is meaningful activity: Understanding concrete, purposeful activity is a prerequisite to understanding the formal rationality that depends on it. https://metarationali

GIF created from the video here by barbarianbros, which includes all of the scenes as well as the music:

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A new episode of the Fluidity : "Part Two: Taking Reasonableness Seriously"

Everyday reasonableness is the foundation of technical, formal, and systematic rationality.   This is not cognitive science - The Eggplant is neither cognitive nor science, although it seeks a better understanding of some phenomena cognitive science has studied.   The ethnomethodological flip - A dram

Today Birdsite rolled out a feature in which every user can see how many times every tweet has been viewed. I created and shared a Tampermonkey userscript that hides this.

(Also, it hides the Trending Topics pane. Writing that part of the userscript was the first thing I did when I joined Twitter in 2021.)

My favorite static site generator, Spacebook, wouldn't build any of my websites ever since I got an M1 Mac with the new Apple chip. I did some digging; it took a couple of weeks of occasional work in my free time, but eventually I diagnosed where the problem was. As soon as I fixed it, I issued a pull request with a fix to the project.

I've benefited so much from that software over the years, that it's good to give back and contribute to open source.

You want to know the irony? I stayed away from Twitter from its inception until 2020, when I joined Twitter to engage in conversations with the authors I'm narrating in my audiobook. To my delight, I discovered Twitter's algorithm seems to work well to surround me with what I want.

Twitter is where I go to escape Mastodon.

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It's time I admitted this. Hell is half-empty & half the devils are here.

I've run this Mastodon instance since 2019. This server is lovely. Mastodon's Federated timeline has now become what I used to avoid Twitter for.

Ironically, I can't shut it off, because as an admin, stemming the toxic firehose is literally my job.

A new episode of the Fluidity : "Acting On The Truth, And Overcoming Post-Rationalist Nihilism"

The conclusion of Part One of In The Cells Of The Eggplant: Taking Rationalism Seriously.   Acting On The Truth   Rationalist theories of action try to deduce optimal choices from true beliefs. This is rarely possible in practice.   Overcoming Post-Rationalist Nihilism   Realizing rationalism is wrong can be devastatin

On the Fluidity Forum Newsletter, I wrote about community formation, & why we have an attendance application process.

I addressed 3 ways for a rich textured social experience to collapse down to a sort of flat samey-ness:

Decoherence: a collapse into, basically, nothing

Vibe Cascade: a collapse into one vibe

Tribalism: a collapse into a mutually-reinforcing conflict process

A new episode of the Fluidity : "Probabilism, Part Two"

The probability of green cheese: A thought experiment shows why probability theory and statistics cannot address uncertainty in general.   Statistics and the replication crisis: The mistaken belief that statistical methods can tell you what to believe drove the science replication crisis.   You can support the podcast a

A new episode of the Fluidity : Overdriving Approximation.

Approximation is a powerful technique, but is not applicable in all rational work, and so is not a good general theory of nebulosity.

A new episode of the Fluidity : "Probabilism, Part One"

Probability theory seems an attractive foundation for rationalism—but it is not up to the job.   Leaving the casino - Probabilistic rationalism encourages you to view the whole world as a gigantic casino—but mostly it is not like that.   What probability can’t do - If probability theory were an epistemology, we’d wan

On this episode of the Fluidity : When Will You Go Bald?

“Shades of gray” is sometimes a good way to think about nebulosity—the world’s inherent fuzziness—but not always.

On this episode of the Fluidity : Are Eggplants Fruits?

Formal methods formally require impossibly precise definitions of terms. How do we use them effectively without that?

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A way to access the Fediverse, for attendees of Penguicon, an annual convention of science fiction, open source software, and all geeky interests, in Southfield, Michigan, USA. Convention info: