Saturday, October 29, 2011

An emergent approach trumps a traditional approach

When discussing ideas, we should use an emergent, systematic approach. This means that, as ideas emerge, we should tackle them case-by-case by addressing any apparent flaws in them, and then contrast those flaws -- or lack thereof -- with the flaws inherent in the alternatives available at that moment, per our existing knowledge base. This will allow us to determine the ideas' relative attractiveness, which is subject to change as new data -- and new alternatives -- emerge.

Further, our approach should be negative; we should arrive at logical vantage points by attacking all vantage points and subsequently determining which is least wrong. If you can manage to state all that is illogical, then what's left doesn't necessarily have to even be explicitly spoken of.

The alternative to this approach is tradition, which means deciding whether something makes sense based on one's own personal experiences and consumption of cultural values and customs. This latter approach promotes attachment and mental hoarding.

An example of the traditional approach would be someone making the claim that 2+2=5, and another person countering this claim by stating that our mathematicians have learned over the years that 2+2=4. This is a faulty way of addressing the new claim.

The emergent alternative would be to examine the claim that 2+2=5 prior to consulting past knowledge, then checking to see if there are any updates to past knowledge that contradict either the new claim, the old one, or both.

Make a claim

Keeping true to the direction that I recently proposed, I am going to issue you a request: Make at least one claim in the comments section, and we will work together to understand whether it's logically sturdy. The claim can be about any facet of the world in which we live.

The only rule is that each claim can only be one sentence in length. Of course, with this rule in mind, you are allowed to post as many claims as you want.