tcepsa: (Computation Suspended)
I'm currently enjoying The Little Schemer as a way to attempt to learn more of the Lisp/Scheme programming paradigm. It's been a useful book for me so far, in that I'm 30 pages in and haven't yet had to stop and go, "Wait, WTF?!"*

Cut for rambling )

*Actually, looking at it that way, I should try to pick it up and read a single page each day. I'd be farther along now if I had done it that way... ~wry grin~

**Obligatory reference to Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It's been awhile since I read it, but I think that he was trying to take it one step further: that the physical world we observe is due to something else, like the two-dimensional shadows cast on a cave wall by three-dimensional objects with a light behind them. Whether he explicitly said so or not, the physical world that we perceive might well be such a shadow of what we call mathematics.

***L-mode is what I'm using to refer to the more logical/linguistic operations of the brain (also known as "left brained", though my understanding is that term contains implications that aren't entirely accurate).

****~blink~ I think I just reduced Understanding to Graph Theory. Or at least I made a claim of some kind of analog between the two.
tcepsa: (PoiArcBlue)
Semi-random thoughts on our political process. Many of our politicians seem to like trying to convince people of a certain thing (often that something-or-other unpleasant was because of someone other than them).

I'm pretty sure that we don't have a good enough grasp of the principles of causality to actually say how much impact any one factor has, and so pretty much anyone can spin an event to support their position. See, for example, "The economy is collapsing because we didn't have enough government regulation" vs. "The economy is collapsing because we had too much government regulation"

So I suspect that it is less about how many people they can convince to come over to their position as it is about how many people they can find who want to believe the same thing and are looking for facts to support those beliefs.

Wanting to believe (or believing) something is an incredibly powerful thing. It's also a dangerous thing, I think, because it seems that people are often willing to suspend their powers of critical thinking when offered some bit of evidence--either for or against--whatever thing they want to believe. If offered something flimsy that supports their belief, they won't poke at it too hard for fear of causing it to fall down and their beliefs to be dashed. If offered something sturdy that undermines their belief, they won't poke at it too hard for fear of discovering how sturdy it really is, and instead look for ways to denounce it as fraud, phony, untrue--again, because they want so badly for their beliefs not to be dashed.

This is certainly not true for all people all of the time. I suspect it is not even true for any person all of the time. But at the same time, I also suspect that it is true for most people most of the time, and also that it is true for all people at least now and then.

... This has the potential to be a very twisty road to pursue.
tcepsa: (Default)
Honestly, I'm not really sure. The way that information is stored in the brain, especially when it comes to something as complicated as beliefs, is a mystery to me--and that's assuming that it's actually stored in the brain to begin with.

I guess you have to be exposed to information that--to you--seems superior to and/or compatible with the information that you already have )

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tcepsa

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