The important graphs are the ones where some things are not connected to some other things. When the unenlightened ones try to be profound, they draw endless verbal comparisons between this topic, and that topic, which is like this, which is like that; until their graph is fully connected and also totally useless.
Part of the rationalist ethos is binding yourself emotionally to an absolutely lawful reductionistic universe a universe containing no ontologically basic mental things such as souls or magic and pouring all your hope and all your care into that merely real universe and its possibilities, without disappointment.
part quotesrationalist quotesethos quotesbinding quotesemotionally quotesabsolutely quoteslawful quotesreductionistic quotesuniverse quotesontologically quotesbasic quotesmental quotesthings quotessouls quotesmagic quotespouring quoteshope quotescare quotesreal quotespossibilities quotesdisappointment quotes
Do not flinch from experiences that might destroy your beliefs. The thought you cannot think controls you more than thoughts you speak aloud. Submit yourself to ordeals and test yourself in fire. Relinquish the emotion which rests upon a mistaken belief, and seek to feel fully that emotion which fits the facts.
flinch quotesexperiences quotesdestroy quotesbeliefs quotesthought quotescontrols quotesthoughts quotesspeak quotesaloud quotessubmit quotesordeals quotestest quotesfire quotesrelinquish quotesemotion quotesrests quotesmistaken quotesbelief quotesseek quotesfeel quotesfully quotesfits quotesfacts quotes
The human brain cannot release enough neurotransmitters to feel emotion a thousand times as strong as the grief of one funeral. A prospective risk going from 10,000,000 deaths to 100,000,000 deaths does not multiply by ten the strength of our determination to stop it. It adds one more zero on paper for our eyes to glaze over.
human quotesbrain quotesrelease quotesneurotransmitters quotesfeel quotesemotion quotesthousand quotestimes quotesstrong quotesgrief quotesfuneral quotesprospective quotesrisk quotes10000000 quotesdeaths quotes100000000 quotesmultiply quotesten quotesstrength quotesdetermination quotesstop quotesadds quotespaper quoteseyes quotesglaze quotes
You will find ambiguity a great ally on your road to power. Give a sign of Slytherin on one day, and contradict it with a sign of Gryffindor the next; and the Slytherins will be enabled to believe what they wish, while the Gryffindors argue themselves into supporting you as well. So long as there is uncertainty, people can believe whatever seems to be to their own advantage. And so long as you appear strong, so long as you appear to be winning, their instincts will tell them that their advantage lies with you. Walk always in the shadow, and light and darkness both will follow.
find quotesambiguity quotesgreat quotesally quotesroad quotespower quotesgive quotessign quotesslytherin quotesday quotescontradict quotesgryffindor quotesslytherins quotesenabled quotesgryffindors quotesargue quotessupporting quoteslong quotesuncertainty quotespeople quotesadvantage quotesstrong quoteswinning quotesinstincts quotesadvantage quoteslies quoteswalk quotesshadow quoteslight quotesdarkness quotesfollow quotes
If I'm teaching deep things, then I view it as important to make people feel like they're learning deep things, because otherwise, they will still have a hole in their mind for "deep truths" that needs filling, and they will go off and fill their heads with complete nonsense that has been written in a more satisfying style.
[... ] intelligent people only have a certain amount of time (measured in subjective time spent thinking about religion) to become atheists. After a certain point, if you're smart, have spent time thinking about and defending your religion, and still haven't escaped the grip of Dark Side Epistemology, the inside of your mind ends up as an Escher painting.
intelligent quotespeople quotesamount quotestime quotesmeasured quotessubjective quotesspent quotesthinking quotesreligion quotesatheists quotespoint quotessmart quotesdefending quotesreligion quotesescaped quotesgrip quotesdark quotesside quotesepistemology quotesinside quotesmind quotesends quotesescher quotespainting quotes
Wow, " the empty air finally said. "Wow. That puts a pretty different perspective on things, I have to say. I'm going to remember this the next time I feel an impulse to blame myself for something. Neville, the term in the literature for this is 'egocentric bias', it means that you experience everything about your own life but you don't get to experience everything else that happens in the world. There was way, way more going on than you running in front of me. You're going to spend weeks remembering that thing you did there for six seconds, I can tell, but nobody else is going to bother thinking about it. Other people spend a lot less time thinking about your past mistakes than you do, just because you're not the center of their worlds. I guarantee to you that nobody except you has even considered blaming Neville Longbottom for what happened to Hermione. Not for a fraction of a second. You are being, if you will pardon the phrase, a silly-dilly. Now shut up and say goodbye.
wow quotesempty quotesair quotesfinally quoteswow quotesputs quotespretty quotesperspective quotesthings quotesremember quotestime quotesfeel quotesimpulse quotesblame quotesneville quotesterm quotesliterature quotesegocentric quotesbias quotesmeans quotesexperience quoteslife quotesworld quotesrunning quotesfront quotesspend quotesweeks quotesremembering quotesthing quotesseconds quotesbother quotesthinking quotespeople quoteslot quotespast quotesmistakes quotescenter quotesworlds quotesguarantee quotesconsidered quotesblaming quotesneville quoteslongbottom quoteshappened quoteshermione quotesfraction quotespardon quotesphrase quotessillydilly quotesshut quotesgoodbye quotes
You can only arrive at mastery by practicing the techniques you have learned, facing challenges and apprehending them, using to the fullest the tools you have been taught, until they shatter in your hands and you are left in the midst of wreckage absolute... I cannot create masters. I have never known how to create masters. Go, then, and fail... You have been shaped into something that may emerge from the wreckage, determined to remake your Art. I cannot create masters, but if you had not been taught, your chances would be less. The higher road begins after the Art seems to fail you; though the reality will be that it was you who failed your Art.
arrive quotesmastery quotespracticing quotestechniques quoteslearned quotesfacing quoteschallenges quotesapprehending quotesfullest quotestools quotestaught quotesshatter quoteshands quotesleft quotesmidst quoteswreckage quotesabsolute quotescreate quotesmasters quotesfail quotesshaped quotesemerge quoteswreckage quotesdetermined quotesremake quotesart quotesmasters quoteschances quoteshigher quotesroad quotesbegins quotesart quotesfail quotesreality quotesfailed quotes
It's a most peculiar psychology-this business of 'Science is based on faith too, so there!' Typically this is said by people who claim that faith is a good thing. Then why do they say 'Science is based on faith too!' in that angry-triumphal tone, rather than as a compliment? And a rather dangerous compliment to give, one would think, from their perspective. If science is based on 'faith', then science is of the same kind as religion-directly comparable. If science is a religion, it is the religion that heals the sick and reveals the secrets of the stars. It would make sense to say, 'The priests of science can blatantly, publicly, verifiably walk on the Moon as a faith-based miracle, and your priests' faith can't do the same.' Are you sure you wish to go there, oh faithist? Perhaps, on further reflection, you would prefer to retract this whole business of 'Science is a religion too!
peculiar quotespsychologythis quotesbusiness quotesscience quotesbased quotesfaith quotesthere quotestypically quotespeople quotesclaim quotesgood quotesthing quotestoo quotesangrytriumphal quotestone quotescompliment quotesdangerous quotescompliment quotesgive quotesperspective quotesscience quotesfaith quoteskind quotesreligiondirectly quotescomparable quotesreligion quotesreligion quotesheals quotessick quotesreveals quotessecrets quotesstars quotesmake quotessense quotesthe quotespriests quotesblatantly quotespublicly quotesverifiably quoteswalk quotesmoon quotesfaithbased quotesmiracle quotespriests quotessame quotesfaithist quotesreflection quotesprefer quotesretract quotes
Most Muggles lived in a world defined by the limits of what you could do with cars and telephones. Even though Muggle physics explicitly permitted possibilities like molecular nanotechnology or the Penrose process for extracting energy from black holes, most people filed that away in the same section of their brain that stored fairy tales and history books, well away from their personal realities: Long ago and far away, ever so long ago.
muggles quoteslived quotesworld quotesdefined quoteslimits quotescars quotestelephones quotesmuggle quotesphysics quotesexplicitly quotespermitted quotespossibilities quotesmolecular quotesnanotechnology quotespenrose quotesprocess quotesextracting quotesenergy quotesblack quotesholes quotespeople quotesfiled quotessection quotesbrain quotesstored quotesfairy quotestales quoteshistory quotesbooks quotespersonal quotesrealities quoteslong quotesago quoteslong quotesago quotes
We underestimate the power of science, and overestimate the power of personal observation. A peer-reviewed, journal-published, replicated report is worth far more than what you see with your own eyes. Our own eyes can deceive us. People can fool themselves, hallucinate, and even go insane. The controls on publication in major journals are more trustworthy than the very fabric of your brain. If you see with your own eyes that the sky is blue, and Science says it is green, then sir, I advise that you trust in Science. This is not what most scientists will tell you, of course; but I think it is pragmatically true. Because in real life, what happens is that your eyes have a little malfunction and decide that the sky is green, and science will tell you that the sky is blue.
underestimate quotespower quotesscience quotesoverestimate quotespersonal quotesobservation quotespeerreviewed quotesjournalpublished quotesreplicated quotesreport quotesworth quoteseyes quoteseyes quotesdeceive quotespeople quotesfool quoteshallucinate quotesinsane quotescontrols quotespublication quotesmajor quotesjournals quotestrustworthy quotesfabric quotesbrain quotessky quotesblue quotesscience quotesgreen quotessir quotesadvise quotestrust quotesscience quotesscientists quotespragmatically quotestrue quotesreal quoteslife quotesmalfunction quotesdecide quotesscience quotesblue quotes
Like that's the only reason anyone would ever buy a first-aid kit? Don't take this the wrong way, Professor McGonagall, but what sort of crazy children are you used to dealing with?" "Gryffindors, " spat Professor McGonagall, the word carrying a freight of bitterness and despair that fell like an eternal curse on all youthful heroism and high spirits.
reason quotesbuy quotesfirstaid quoteskit quoteswrong quotesprofessor quotesmcgonagall quotessort quotescrazy quoteschildren quotesdealing quotesgryffindors quotesspat quotesword quotescarrying quotesfreight quotesbitterness quotesdespair quotesfell quoteseternal quotescurse quotesyouthful quotesheroism quoteshigh quotesspirits quotes
The Headmaster told Professor Flitwick that this was, indeed, a secret and delicate matter of which he had already been informed, and that he did not think pressing it at this time would help me or anyone. Professor Flitwick started to say something about the Headmaster's usual plotting going much too far, and I had to interrupt at that point and explain that it had been my own idea and not anything the Headmaster forced me into, so Professor Flitwick spun around and started lecturing me, and the Headmaster interrupted him and said that as the Boy-Who-Lived I was doomed to have weird and dangerous adventures so I was safer if I got into them on purpose instead of waiting for them to happen by accident, and that was when Professor Flitwick threw up his little hands and started shrieking in a high-pitched voice at both of us about how he didn't care what we were cooking up together, but this wasn't ever to happen again for as long as I was in Ravenclaw House or he would have me thrown out and I could go to Gryffindor which was where all this Dumbledoring belonged -
headmaster quotestold quotesprofessor quotesflitwick quotessecret quotesdelicate quotesmatter quotesinformed quotespressing quotestime quotesstarted quotesheadmasters quotesusual quotesplotting quotesinterrupt quotespoint quotesexplain quotesidea quotesforced quotesspun quoteslecturing quotesinterrupted quotesboywholived quotesdoomed quotesweird quotesdangerous quotesadventures quotessafer quotespurpose quoteswaiting quoteshappen quotesaccident quotesthrew quoteshands quotesshrieking quoteshighpitched quotesvoice quotescare quotescooking quoteslong quotesravenclaw quoteshouse quotesthrown quotesgryffindor quotesdumbledoring quotesbelonged quotes
Ending up with that gigantic outsized brain must have taken some sort of runaway evolutionary process, something that would push and push without limits. And today's scientists had a pretty good guess at what that runaway evolutionary process had been. Harry had once read a famous book called Chimpanzee Politics. The book had described how an adult chimpanzee named Luit had confronted the aging alpha, Yeroen, with the help of a young, recently matured chimpanzee named Nikkie. Nikkie had not intervened directly in the fights between Luit and Yeroen, but had prevented Yeroen's other supporters in the tribe from coming to his aid, distracting them whenever a confrontation developed between Luit and Yeroen. And in time Luit had won, and become the new alpha, with Nikkie as the second most powerful... though it hadn't taken very long after that for Nikkie to form an alliance with the defeated Yeroen, overthrow Luit, and become the new new alpha. It really made you appreciate what millions of years of hominids trying to outwit each other - an evolutionary arms race without limit - had led to in the way of increased mental capacity. 'Cause, y'know, a human would have totally seen that one coming.
ending quotesgigantic quotesoutsized quotesbrain quotessort quotesrunaway quotesevolutionary quotesprocess quotespush quoteslimits quotestodays quotesscientists quotespretty quotesgood quotesguess quotesprocess quotesharry quotesread quotesfamous quotesbook quotescalled quoteschimpanzee quotespolitics quotesadult quoteschimpanzee quotesnamed quotesluit quotesconfronted quotesaging quotesalpha quotesyeroen quotesyoung quotesrecently quotesmatured quotesnikkie quotesnikkie quotesintervened quotesdirectly quotesfights quotesprevented quotesyeroens quotessupporters quotestribe quotescoming quotesaid quotesdistracting quotesconfrontation quotesdeveloped quotesyeroen quotestime quoteswon quotespowerful quoteslong quotesform quotesalliance quotesdefeated quotesoverthrow quotesluit quotesalpha quotesmade quotesmillions quotesyears quoteshominids quotesoutwit quotesarms quotesrace quoteslimit quotesled quotesincreased quotesmental quotescapacity quotescause quotesyknow quoteshuman quotestotally quotescoming quotes
Then you get the wrong answer and you can't go to the Moon that way! Nature isn't a person, you can't trick them into believing something else, if you try to tell the Moon it's made of cheese you can argue for days and it won't change the Moon! What you're talking about is rationalization, like starting with a sheet of paper, moving straight down to the bottom line, using ink to write 'and therefore, the Moon is made of cheese', and then moving back up to write all sorts of clever arguments above. But either the Moon is made of cheese or it isn't. The moment you wrote the bottom line, it was already true or already false. Whether or not the whole sheet of paper ends up with the right conclusion or the wrong conclusion is fixed the instant you write down the bottom line.
wrong quotesanswer quotesmoon quotesnature quotesperson quotestrick quotesbelieving quotesmade quotescheese quotesargue quotesdays quoteschange quotesmoon quotestalking quotesrationalization quotesstarting quotessheet quotespaper quotesmoving quotesstraight quotesbottom quotesline quotesink quoteswrite quotesand quotescheese quotesback quotessorts quotesclever quotesarguments quotesmoment quoteswrote quotestrue quotesfalse quotespaper quotesends quotesconclusion quotesfixed quotesinstant quotesline quotes
Lies propagate, that's what I'm saying. You've got to tell more lies to cover them up, lie about every fact that's connected to the first lie. And if you kept on lying, and you kept on trying to cover it up, sooner or later you'd even have to start lying about the general laws of thought. Like, someone is selling you some kind of alternative medicine that doesn't work, and any double-blind experimental study will confirm that it doesn't work. So if someone wants to go on defending the lie, they've got to get you to disbelieve in the experimental method. Like, the experimental method is just for merely scientific kinds of medicine, not amazing alternative medicine like theirs. Or a good and virtuous person should believe as strongly as they can, no matter what the evidence says. Or truth doesn't exist and there's no such thing as objective reality. A lot of common wisdom like that isn't just mistaken, it's anti-epistemology, it's systematically wrong. Every rule of rationality that tells you how to find the truth, there's someone out there who needs you to believe the opposite. If you once tell a lie, the truth is ever after your enemy; and there's a lot of people out there telling lies.
lies quotespropagate quoteslies quotescover quoteslie quotesfact quotesconnected quoteslie quoteslying quotessooner quotesstart quoteslying quotesgeneral quoteslaws quotesthought quotesselling quoteskind quotesalternative quotesmedicine quoteswork quotesdoubleblind quotesexperimental quotesstudy quotesconfirm quoteswork quotesdefending quoteslie quotesdisbelieve quotesmethod quotesmethod quotesscientific quoteskinds quotesmedicine quotesamazing quotesgood quotesvirtuous quotesperson quotesstrongly quotesmatter quotesevidence quotestruth quotesexist quotesthing quotesobjective quotesreality quoteslot quotescommon quoteswisdom quotesmistaken quotesantiepistemology quotessystematically quoteswrong quotesrule quotesrationality quotestells quotesfind quotestruth quotesopposite quotesenemy quotespeople quotestelling quoteslies quotes
In a moral dilemma where you lost something either way, making the choice would feel bad either way, so you could temporarily save yourself a little mental pain by refusing to decide. At the cost of not being able to plan anything in advance, and at the cost of incurring a huge bias toward inaction or waiting until too late...
And then Harry Potter had launched in to a speech that was inspiring, yet vague. A speech to the effect that Fred and George and Lee had tremendous potential if they could just learn to be weirder. To make people's live surreal, instead of just surprising them with the equivalents of buckets of water propped above doors. (Fred and George had exchanged interested looks, they'd never thought of that one.) Harry Potter had invoked a picture of the prank they'd pulled on Neville - which, Harry had mentioned with some remorse, the Sorting Hat had chewed him out on - but which must have made Neville doubt his own sanity. For Neville it would have felt like being suddendly transported into an alternate universe. The same way everyone else had felt when they'd seen Snape apologize. That was the true power of pranking.
harry quotespotter quoteslaunched quotesspeech quotesinspiring quotesvague quoteseffect quotesfred quotesgeorge quoteslee quotestremendous quotespotential quoteslearn quotesweirder quotesmake quotespeoples quoteslive quotessurreal quotessurprising quotesequivalents quotesbuckets quoteswater quotespropped quotesdoors quotesfred quotesexchanged quotesinterested quotesthought quotesinvoked quotespicture quotesprank quotespulled quotesneville quotesmentioned quotesremorse quotessorting quoteshat quoteschewed quotesmade quotesdoubt quotessanity quotesfelt quotessuddendly quotestransported quotesalternate quotesuniverse quotessnape quotesapologize quotestrue quotespower quotespranking quotes
What does it mean to call for a 'democratic' solution if you don't have a conflict-resolution mechanism in mind? I think it means that you have said the word 'democracy, ' so the audience is supposed to cheer. It's not so much a propositional statement, as the equivalent of the 'Applause' light that tells a studio audience when to clap.
If you want to win this argument with Dad, look in chapter two of the first book of the Feynman Lectures on Physics. There's a quote there about how philosophers say a great deal about what science absolutely requires, and it is all wrong, because the only rule in science is that the final arbiter is observation - that you just have to look at the world and report what you see. Um... off the top of my head I can't think of where to find something about how it's an ideal of science to settle things by experiment instead of arguments -
win quotesargument quotesdad quoteschapter quotesbook quotesfeynman quoteslectures quotesphysics quotesquote quotesphilosophers quotesgreat quotesdeal quotesscience quotesabsolutely quotesrequires quoteswrong quotesrule quotesfinal quotesarbiter quotesobservation quotesworld quotesreport quotesum quotestop quoteshead quotesfind quotesideal quotessettle quotesthings quotesexperiment quotesarguments quotes