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David Miller Doesn't Want To Discuss

I contacted Critical Rationalist philosopher David Miller about my improvement on Critical Rationalism. I sent him this material explaining it. His entire reply was:

May invite you to look at §4 of Chapter 5 of my Out of Error?

I replied:

Sure, but I'm unclear on why. I don't see that it replies to me or refutes something I said. And you intentionally omit discussion of the case involving "comparisons of verisimilitude", which is important to this discussion. You also focus on scientific testing and deduction, whereas I deal with thinking in general. And in ch. 4.1, you write:

Indeed, [science] may also allow falsified hypotheses to be retained, provided that there is some weight of negative evidence that would eventually cause them to be banished.

So my criticism does apply to your position, since you think arguments can have an amount of weight. Similarly:

In Critical Rationalism: A Restatement and Defence you write (ch. 10.1):

A minimal objective theory of truthlikeness does indeed seem to be possible. Whether an objective theory of scientific progress can be built on its back I do not know.

The truthlikeness approach is an example of an amount of goodness approach. This attempt to evaluate an epistemological amount, like the amount of weight of arguments mentioned above, contrasts with my refuted or non-refuted approach. Because criticisms are decisive or false, and there's no medium strength or weight arguments, there's no way to differentiate ideas on a truthlikeness continuum – there's no way to get an idea to any of the middle positions via argument (rather than arbitrarily) because arguments either put ideas to the very bottom (refuted) or don't move them at all.

Scientific progress (and non-scientific progress) is saved, however, by the binary approach I explain in my Yes or No Philosophy. (In case you missed the link at the bottom of the essay with further info: http://fallibleideas.com/essays/yes-no-argument If price is a problem, name your price, including free, and I'll send you a code.)

PS in Out of Error ch. 5.4 you bring up O'Hear on induction. You may be interested in my criticism of his position:

http://curi.us/2012-anthony-ohear-on-popper


David Miller's full reply was:

Thank you for replying.

So I asked:

Does that mean you aren't interested?

Do you know anyone who would be interested in discussing an improvement to Critical Rationalism?

His entire reply was:

Truth to tell, I am not at present interested in entering into any more discussions. You could join the critical rationalism Facebook group https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/criticalrationalism/.

So, he initially tried to hide it, but he doesn't want to discuss philosophy and doesn't know anyone who does. (That Facebook group is low quality, as I think he already knows. I've tried discussing there already. Miller didn't have a good recommendation to give, such as the name of even one person who would want a serious discussion of my philosophical breakthrough.)

Miller isn't interested in a way to improve the philosophy his books are about. He's not interested in criticism of his beliefs, even when it comes with an already-developed solution. He's not interested in thinking, learning, progress or truth-seeking. And he doesn't know of anyone who would be interested. Very sad!

I share this as important evidence about what the world is like. People think there are smart, serious intellectuals out there somewhere having great discussions, figuring important stuff out. But I've contacted many of them and consistently find they don't want to think and don't know anyone who does. (Excepting David Deutsch and Thomas Szasz.)

I wrote back to say:

But then, if you're mistaken, how will the error get corrected?

Miller didn't reply.


Elliot Temple on August 1, 2017

Comments (73)

BTW I sent the criticism of O'Hear's philosophy writing to O'Hear. No reply so far.

curi at 3:35 PM on August 1, 2017 | #8890
"Critical Rationalism says ideas are criticized using evidence and argument. The better an idea survives criticism, the more preferred it is over competing ideas"

This claim of yours is refuted in the chapter.

I have had much interesting conversations with Miller, he has never been so curt.

Andrew Crawshaw at 11:30 AM on October 10, 2017 | #9114
> This claim of yours is refuted in the chapter.

Which chapter? Can you provide a quote or some indication of what you're talking about? I'm guessing I would read it and disagree (or I already did) and be unable to guess which part you meant and why.

> I have had much interesting conversations with Miller, he has never been so curt.

He didn't want to face a major intellectual challenge.

curi at 11:36 AM on October 10, 2017 | #9115
It was not major. You are misunderstanding his view of CR.

"This is what leads Popper to say that, since we prefer truth to falsehood, we prefer the refuted theory to the one that is not. But this preference is not a logical consequence, since it goes beyond a summary of the state of the discussion; and if that is what Popper meant by saying that there can be good arguments for 'preferring -- if only for the time being then T2 to T1 with respect to verisimilitude', then he overstated his case. All that may be derived from the empirical report that T1 is refuted and T2 is not (together with a statement of the preference of truth over falsehood) is that T2 should not be preferred to T1"

And

"[T] he combination of evidence and deductive logic offers no advice concerning [...] what theory or course of action we should prefer."

Miller, Out of Error, p127.

Anonymous at 11:48 AM on October 10, 2017 | #9116
Neither quote you give matches my copy of the book, and the first quote appears to have a typo in the first sentence. If you choose not to use an ebook and copy/paste, it's your responsibility to get quotes 100% exactly right.

And you aren't being responsive to e.g. what I already said in the blog post. Nor are you writing out any argument about how these quotes you give would refute my claims.

curi at 11:53 AM on October 10, 2017 | #9117
Also please use ">" for quoting here so quotes are colored. It's way more readable.

Anonymous at 11:55 AM on October 10, 2017 | #9118
Sorry, the quote in the above is wrong. Let me quote the last part again.

"All that may be derived from the empirical report that T1 is refuted and T2 is not refuted (together with a statement of our preference of truth over falshood) is not that T2 should be preferred to T1 but that T1 should not be preferred to T2"

This does not stop us from accepting T2, it does follow that if we try to accept T1 we are open to criticism. Accepting T2 is not compulsory given just the evidence and argument.

Anonymous at 11:59 AM on October 10, 2017 | #9119
You're omitting the italics and you didn't fix the second quote. You don't see to care about scholarship. You're still marking quotes wrong.

How about you respond to the blog post:

> > Indeed, [science] may also allow falsified hypotheses to be retained, provided that there is some weight of negative evidence that would eventually cause them to be banished.

> So my criticism does apply to your position, since you think arguments can have an amount of weight.

So Miller thinks a thing ET has a criticism of. So you should speak to the issues (who is right in the disagreement?) instead of pretending there is no issue.

Anonymous at 12:02 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9120
You're saying: not all of ET's arguments apply, with their exact wording, to Miller's revision of CR. So what? The main point applies.

Anonymous at 12:05 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9121
You say that critical rationalism states

> "The better an idea survives criticism, the more preferred it is over competing ideas"

This does not apply to Miller since accepts that that is wrong.

He claims

...[T]he combination of evidence and deductive logic offers no advice concerning [...] what theory or course of action we should prefer"

The quote is truncated, because the rest is unimportant.

Your claim and his claim are at odds. Deductive logic, although you might disagree, is for Miller, the primary means we investigate claims and it's use is always negative ie critical.

Anonymous at 12:06 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9122
> > Indeed, [science] may also allow falsified hypotheses to be retained, provided that there is some weight of negative evidence that would eventually cause them to be banished.

I am not sure this links up with prefererences. You would have to explain why you think this.

Anonymous at 12:09 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9123
Why did you open a new debate with ET when you have an open one pending your reply?

The text "combination of evidence and deductive logic" does not exist in *Out of Error*. You're literally repeated a misquote after being told it's a misquote.

Why did you double quote the first quote in your new message, and not quote the second one at all? You seem deeply confused about how to do quoting. Given you can't even deal with quoting, why do you think you have the skills to deal with scholarship? Scholarship is much, much, much harder than doing quoting correctly. You need to be way more detail oriented and precise to do a scholarly debate like you're attempting than to do quoting.

You have not addressed the "weight of negative evidence" issue.

Anonymous at 12:09 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9124
> > > Indeed, [science] may also allow falsified hypotheses to be retained, provided that there is some weight of negative evidence that would eventually cause them to be banished.

> I am not sure this links up with prefererences. You would have to explain why you think this.

ET criticized the idea of weight of evidence. Are you unfamiliar with ET's position and point?

Anonymous at 12:10 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9125
It does exist.

I will quote it in full.

>"Given our aims and abstract predilections (for truth over falsehood, for truthlikeness and >accuracy over inaccuracy, for success over failure) the combination of empirical >evidence and deductive logic offers no advice concerning what we should accept or >believe or do, or even what theory or course of action we should prefer"

Anonymous at 12:13 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9126
Andrew, I developed my standards and methods of arguments in thousands of hours of one-on-one discussions with David Deutsch. I find your standards and methods for discussion are inadequate to the task at hand. The truth requires better methodology to reach. Are you interested in talking about how you developed your skillset, background knowledge, etc, and trying to improve it? I am open to criticism and discussion on points like that, which I think are important. Or do you just want to debate in what I regard as a too-sloppy-to-get-anywhere way, while not being very interested in the constant stream of mistakes you make which are pointed out?

Here you are pushing back for the third time on your misquoting. You've badly mangled this new quote by quoting a quote for no reason and then inserting 3 extra quote markers in the middle. And anyway, if you actually look at it, it doesn't have the text "combination of evidence and deductive logic". Why are you unable to read accurately? I think that's a huge problem. But I guess you'll think it's a minor problem which should be ignored? If so, do you have arguments about methodology, or are you just going by intuition? I have arguments e.g. http://fallibleideas.com/overreach

curi at 12:17 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9127
I missed out "empirical". Sorry. Your claim about Miller remains criticised.

Anonymous at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9128
You need to figure out how to stop making mistakes so issues can get sorted out, and progress can be made. When you pile mistake on mistake, outstanding issues build up and become overwhelming instead of being resolved. In order to do this, you need to stop being overly ambitious relative to your discussion skills so that some success can occur.

I know this isn't how people usually think about discussion. I'm willing to be patient and forgiving. However, I don't know how to ignore this problem productively. I think it has to be faced.

curi at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9129
Actually, I did not quote it wrong. That's exactly what it says in my copy.

Anonymous at 12:21 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9130
> I missed out "empirical". Sorry. Your claim about Miller remains criticised.

Have you actually read all the comments? You've been answered already.

Also tripling down on misquoting is not a "Sorry." and move on matter, it's a big deal. Being highly persistent with mistakes is important and gets in the way of correcting mistakes. Your disinterest in self-improvement – combined with not already being a world class scholar (100% of whom *are* interested in self-improvement, btw) – seems incompatible with a productive discussion.

Anonymous at 12:21 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9131
> Actually, I did not quote it wrong. That's exactly what it says in my copy.

This is unclear. You wrote it two different ways. So you have two copies, which you refer to as "my copy"?

Anonymous at 12:22 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9132
If you look at my quote it says "empirical evidence". It is you who is failing to read it properly.

Anonymous at 12:24 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9133
> If you look at my quote it says "empirical evidence". It is you who is failing to read it properly.

What you first posted was:

> "[T] he combination of evidence and deductive logic offers no advice concerning [...] what theory or course of action we should prefer."

You followed up with:

> ...[T]he combination of evidence and deductive logic offers no advice concerning [...] what theory or course of action we should prefer"

(Mismatched quote marks in original).

Now you claim that your original quote says "empirical evidence"? What is wrong with you? What?

Do you know how to do a text search on a webpage? Try searching for "empirical evidence".

Spooky Ghost at 12:27 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9134
maybe he’s upset and flailing badly as you puncture his self-image

Mysterious Jabroni at 12:29 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9135
The quote in #9126 is accurate wording. Your claim remains criticised.

Anonymous at 12:29 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9136

Anonymous at 12:30 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9137
> Actually, I did not quote it wrong. That's exactly what it says in my copy.

By which you meant you didn't quote wrong on your third attempt (and no one said you did)?

Anonymous at 12:32 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9138
See also #9120 #9121 and the open question:

> Why did you open a new debate with ET when you have an open one pending your reply?

Anonymous at 12:44 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9139
the argumentative visitor was emotionally caught up in the chat and now he stopped replying entirely

literally couldn’t sort out quoting issue b4 RIP

let alone sort out the actual topic

partly b/c he *didn’t want* to sort out quoting issue!

nor did he want to discuss methodology – does it matter if ur quoting wrong and making other mistakes, or can u just ignore that and get stuff right anyway?

bystander at 12:53 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9140
there were on-topic non-meta replies to him which he also ignored...

Anonymous at 12:55 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9141
> there were on-topic non-meta replies to him which he also ignored...

well, let's be real. there were on-topic non-meta points *in the original blog post* which he ignored the entire time!

Anonymous at 12:57 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9142
> well, let's be real. there were on-topic non-meta points *in the original blog post* which he ignored the entire time!

right. his inability to meaningfully engage with the material was one of the reasons the conversation developed a meta part.

Anonymous at 12:58 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9143
Andrew was constantly ignoring things that were said to him. e.g. early on:

> And you aren't being responsive to e.g. what I already said in the blog post.

He apparently didn't understand that (based on him never doing it) and didn't ask. He just ignored it. When you don't understand what the other guy is saying and ignore it, the discussion falls apart. By ignoring sections of text as if they weren't written, you're introducing large semi-random communication errors into the discussion.

It's hard to talk to someone if they just sorta delete some passages before reading what you said.

Anonymous at 1:07 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9144
> Why did you open a new debate with ET when you have an open one pending your reply?

Andrew has at least two previous open discussions with ET pending Andrew's reply. Now, with this one, he has three. See:

http://curi.us/2054-discussion-about-the-importance-of-explanations-with-andrew-crawshaw

http://curi.us/2053-yes-or-no-philosophy-discussion-with-andrew-crawshaw

Anonymous at 1:12 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9145
do u think AC got mad at the implication that he isn't a threat or challenge to Miller, and that frustration informed the rest of the discussion from there?

Or maybe he got mad at the very first thing said to him:

> Which chapter?

He never actually answered that question, and he really didn't like having to deal with the precision of actually saying what he meant.

Anonymous at 1:25 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9146
When you ask "Which chapter?" people think you're being pedantic and looking for a word lawyer fight, regardless of whether it's a reasonable question. So they go into fighting mode (if they weren't already – some people just show up in that mode, or get into it when they see something related to their heroes Popper and Miller is being criticized).

Anonymous at 1:42 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9147
A friend and I went for food. I am not upset. The presumption that pointing out my errors makes me upset is incorrect.

Furthermore, it seems to me that you are mistaking the task that a theory of verisimiltude would carry out; it woild for instance allow you to determine which theory is closer to the truth. But, whether any such theory can be formulated is a different matter. Miller accepts that such a hope might be misguided. Which he repeatedly stresses in his books. I don't see that Temple has criticised it, much less addressed any of the paper's Miller has written on the subject of deductive dependence. He seems to conflate what would be a logical property with an epistemological one and says that both are mistaken for the same reason. But since verisimiltude has not been generally criticised, but epistemological weight has, there seems to me a difference between the two. Miller sees that there is an open problem. Temple denies this.

Anonymous at 1:46 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9148
> Furthermore, it seems to me that you are mistaking [...]

who is "you"?

me???? at 1:48 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9149
ET criticized all weight of evidence (and "epistemological weight" as you now bring up). Are you familiar with his argument? Do you agree that if ET is right about that then Miller is mistaken?

Anonymous at 1:51 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9150
Is mistaken to believe that a theory of verisimiltude might not be possible?

Anonymous at 1:55 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9151
It's not Miller's burden to locate how Temple's criticism applies to his theory. It is up to temple to draw on Miller's work. Represent it properly and explain how his criticism applies. Elliot needs to do the hard work here. Until that is done, then Temple is shouting in the dark.

Anonymous at 2:39 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9152
Temple already did that. The third paragraph of his article reads:

> These views share a mistake. They both attempt to judge which non-refuted idea is better using an amount (support or criticism-survival). I'll call that amount epistemological goodness. The amount of goodness approach has no objective way to determine the sizes of the amounts, so it leads to subjective bias instead of objective knowledge, and it creates unresolvable disagreements between people.

This applies to CA's "epistemological weight" (which is an *amount of epistemological goodness*) and to Miller's "weight of negative evidence" (also an amount of goodness. being below zero doesn't change that).

Temple literally gave Miller a short quote from Miller's book in which Miller advocates the exact thing Temple's essay focuses on criticizing.

Temple clearly says (paragraph 4) that such amounts, whatever you call them, are a myth. Miller clearly thinks they exist and are used in CR thinking.

Anonymous at 3:43 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9153

correction

> This applies to CA's "epistemological weight"

AC's not CA's.

Anonymous at 3:43 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9154
> Is mistaken to believe that a theory of verisimiltude might not be possible?

Can you rephrase without a double negative?

Or, better, don't open a new can of worms and instead, for the first time in the whole conversation, reply to the main issue from the original blog post: ET's claim that arguments and evidence don't have weights.

Anonymous at 3:48 PM on October 10, 2017 | #9155
If it was possible to measure verisimiltude, then it would be possible to see which theories are closer to the truth. The weight that Miller was talking about was not epistemological but logical. It is not an amount of epistemological "goodness". Notice he links weight of negative evidence to verisimilitude. He also claims that science should not weaken the demand for true theories unless there is s working theory of verisimilitude. Elliot's denial that it's possible to do this is not a criticism of the possibility of measuring which theories are closer to the truth.

The can of worms I am opening is to get Elliot to state exactly his criticism. Not just to conflate it with something else like epistemological goodness.

Elliot also gives context by stating the two positions. He is linking epistemological goodness with the claim that we can increase the preference of one idea over another through evidence and argument. Miller is not doing this, which I have pointed out.

Anonymous at 2:36 AM on October 11, 2017 | #9156
>being below zero doesn't change that.

Miller does not state because a theory has been criticised that it is worse. He states it should not be preferred. It logically follows from the the state of the discussion, that you could have a stance of indifference between the two. There is no claim of being below or negative. One is refuted one is not. That is all, nothing other than the refuted one should not be preferred follows. It does not follow that the refuted one should be preferred less. Which is logically the same as the unrefuted one should be preferred more. Neither of those statements follow from the state of the evidence or logic.

Anonymous at 2:44 AM on October 11, 2017 | #9157
The first claim can also be made more precise by stating that just because there is more evidence against a theory it does not follow that it is worse, it just follows that it should not be preferred over the one with less evidence against it.

Anonymous at 2:48 AM on October 11, 2017 | #9158
Andrew,

Do you think arguments or evidence have weights or amounts?

Do you think Miller thinks arguments or evidence have weights or amounts?

Do you think Popper thinks arguments or evidence have weights or amounts?

I'm saying arguments and evidence don't have weights or amounts.

curi at 11:12 AM on October 11, 2017 | #9159
I do not think arguments have weights or amounts.

Yes, Popper did think that there was a way to positively weigh things. And Miller corrects him in that very passage he cited.

Miller is undecided and is still trying to investigate deductive dependence and how this impacts on critical evaluation. The idea is that things can be deduced from evidence and the more evidence there is, the more can be deduced from it. This is a logical truism. Furthermore, evidence can be what Miller calls complete, in the sense that there might be a bunch of evidence which measures how far we have investigated and then we get a poece of evidence which refutes the theory. If we wish, we could keep investigating the theory by trying to find other things it gets wrong, the more, and varied counter evidence we collect can point out further errors in the already refuted theory. A refuted theory can be milked for more errors which will help us in our search for new theories by pre-empting and offering criticism for future guesses.

Anonymous at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9804
What I am trying to say is this. Evidence tells us what parts of the theory we have investigated and whether those parts have stood up to tests. The difference between evidence in comfirmation is that it tries to measure how close we are to a goal, and deductive dependence measures how far we have gone from our, tentatively made, of course, starting point.

Doesn't this fit in nicely with your idea that we should collect criticism and even enhances it..

Andrew at 12:26 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9805
Miller makes the main error I criticize, as I quoted to him from his books. You didn't reply to that, and you haven't quoted anything from his books that I missed.

Much of what you write is unclear, e.g.:

> The difference between evidence in comfirmation is that it

Issues include:

- what "it" refers to

- what two(?) things are having their difference compared. one expects to read about a "difference between" X *and* Y (and perhaps Z too). But there's just the one thing, and guessing "in" is a typo for "and" doesn't make much sense here.

- why "the" difference instead of "a" difference

- what "in comfirmation" means (like does it mean in a particular pro-confirmation epistemology which isn't specified, or does it mean while doing an unspecified confirming process, or what. neither the preposition nor the main word are clear)

- the intended word "confirmation" is typoed

- the "it" suggests there's only one thing being talked about, contrary to the "difference between" that requires multiple things

- too complicated for just a sentence intro

These are just examples which ought to get the point across. I'm not interested in taking the time to point out the other issues with this part or to go through the other parts.

To discuss complex, advanced issues, an extra effort is required to write in a simple, clear way. The harder the topic, the more effort needs to go into communication organization and quality. Intellectual clarity is an important skill our culture is hostile to, and our educational institutions don't teach, but which is nevertheless required to be an effective philosopher.

I hope your takeaway will be interest in learning to be a better philosopher and writer so that you can understand and contribute to these topics. I hope you'll appreciate the criticism and be inspired to learn more in an active, vigorous way. The world needs more philosophers. You could have potential if you don't get defensive or try to sweep this problem under the rug or dismiss it in some way.

curi at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9806
Yes, I agree with what you say here. I should have explained in more detail. I am fully aware that my philsophical excursions are not as deep as they should be. I don't get much time to do philosophy. I engage when I can to keep abreast, while I make myself more financially independent. Thanks for the feedback.

Confirmationism in general is just the idea that we can measure how close a theory is to being acceptable by using evidence. All confirmationist theories have this trait, so I did not think I needed to specify.

Miller's theory says that evidence is used to measure how far we have gone in investigating a theory, given that we have already accepted it as worthy of testing.

Anonymous at 2:48 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9816
> I engage when I can to keep abreast, while I make myself more financially independent.

that's good. i suggest reading my material about overreaching. there are lots of life organization issues besides money, and i've been developing some general ideas about it.

https://rationalessays.com/life-overreaching-correcting-error

http://fallibleideas.com/overreach

(that first link is new, i just put it online so i could link it. though i sent it out in my newsletter recently so subscribers could see it first as a bonus.)

there's been discussion on FI list too. Alisa in particular has taken to the idea of managing one's error rate.

more writing on these topics is in progress.


> Miller's theory says that evidence is used to measure how far we have gone in investigating a theory, given that we have already accepted it as worthy of testing.

I think we're talking with different purposes. I did not identify or discuss "Miller's theory". I identified specific text which my Yes or No Philosophy contradicts. i was not attempting to judge what Miller's main point(s) was or how my philosophy fits with that; i simply found text indicating he makes the mistake i criticize and therefore my material is relevant to him. i think you're trying to look at the bigger picture. i'm not. Miller wrote things he would not have written if he understood and agreed with my yes/no position. that's all. i pointed this out because he didn't acknowledge our disagreement, so my reply focused on the point that we really do disagree (similar to how i have quoted Popper's comment on weighty arguments to show there's a disagreement there, regardless of what Popper's broader point was in whatever chapter that was from).

And the issue – my issue that i'm focusing on – is not confirmation or the role of evidence or testing or whatever else you're talking about. It's my claim that ideas don't have amounts of goodness and shouldn't be judged that way (e.g. there are no strong or weak arguments, and no partial half-criticism).

Miller:

> weight of negative evidence

me:

evidence and arguments don't have weights, degrees, amounts of power/goodness/impact. in each case, they are either decisive or nothing. it's black and white. it's binary. ideas should be categorized as either refuted or non-refuted, which doesn't involve weights. see https://yesornophilosophy.com

I think Miller is not familiar with my core claim here. It's a new idea I developed (building on Popper's general epistemology and especially on DD who wrote some great stuff about weighing in BoI) which Miller doesn't know, and which he contradicts occasionally in his writing (not as an intentional disagreement, but from ignorance, IMO). That's totally fine so far, the sad part is Miller didn't want to learn something new about CR, a substantial improvement on Popper (nor does he want to debate it – initial skepticism would be totally reasonable).

curi at 3:08 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9817
I have major difficulty in prioritising and keeping motivated. Overreaching is something that I often found myself doing. I also have a lot of things I would like to do that are often in conflict about which way I should go. hetting out of bad habits is super difficult. I have one that is super personal, but I can't help banging my head against it all the time.

Anonymous at 3:15 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9818
Then I suggest you try some practical discussions, which may be easier than philosophy discussions, and more motivational, and more helpful in the short term with your current problem situation. I guess there are some issues you could talk about publicly, and it may help with learning philosophy too b/c replies from FI ppl will try to use philosophy in their solutions (and sometimes even explicitly discuss how they did that).

curi at 3:20 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9819
Clarifying: either try some applied philosophy (to your practical problems), rather than abstract philosophy. Or if that's hard, no worries, just talk about the problems directly.

curi at 3:21 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9820
What makes Eli Goldratt's books better than others of their nature? Have you got a review of it?

Anonymous at 3:37 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9821
The "it" refers to this one
Goal - process of ongoing improvement.

Anonymous at 3:40 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9822
>Clarifying: either try some applied philosophy (to your practical problems), rather than abstract philosophy. Or if that's hard, no worries, just talk about the problems directly.

Yes, but most applied philosophy, these days, is nonsense peddled by the new fervour over stoicism, which has one or two good ideas, but is actually not good in general and is mainly about changing your internal state irrationally. Or there is a lot of self-help nonsense. Any recomendations?

Anonymous at 3:44 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9823
He's a great thinker and competitors range from bad to good. You learn a lot about how he did it in _The Choice_, his philosophy book (I don't know what other books of its nature even exist). He has great ideas, that's kinda all there is to say besides actually writing out what the ideas are.

If you read books in the field (business), just try them and see. If you don't care about the field much, just read a few chapters of The Choice and see that it's a wonderful philosophy book.

I have an upcoming product related to Goldratt. It has summary material (text) for his important ideas and videos analyzing some of his work (not his novels or The Choice, which are what i recommend people read first, the videos cover other stuff.)

curi at 3:45 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9824
> Any recomendations?

I had in mind doing your own applying using 1) whatever you know about philosophy 2) FI philosophy (including TCS, BoI, Objectivism, CR).

curi at 3:46 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9825
Shall I start with with Goal? it seems the right idea seing as itt seems more practical.

Anonymous at 3:53 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9826
are you a business owner or manager? otherwise i don't know how you would use The Goal to improve your life in practical ways right now. it's a novel about a factory manager who makes improvements. it has philosophy ideas which can be used by other people, but if you aren't the target audience then it's harder. assuming you aren't the target audience, i'd suggest The Choice.

curi at 3:56 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9827
I mean i'd suggest The Choice of Goldratt's books. And I do think it's great and helpful with stuff about how to live and organize life and solve problems. But my actual suggestion was, and remains, to discuss some of your own actual problems, rather than to read more abstract philosophy. Your call but that's what I think (and recommend to most people).

curi at 3:58 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9828
No, I am not a business owner or manager. Okay, the choice it is then.

What do you think of the following idea. I have read a lot of self-help books and what is called in Waterstones (an english book store) smart thinking, the idea was to make a blog reviewing these In a critical rationalist spirit. I have a huge list of books about decisions, choice, cognitive biases and they all seem to be infected with the same error about what irrationalist is.

Anonymous at 4:03 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9829
> What do you think of the following idea. I have read a lot of self-help books and what is called in Waterstones (an english book store) smart thinking, the idea was to make a blog reviewing these In a critical rationalist spirit. I have a huge list of books about decisions, choice, cognitive biases and they all seem to be infected with the same error about what irrationalist is.

If the goal is to teach the world, I think it'd be overreaching. If the goal is to practice writing, to organize your thoughts about things you read, to think about issues, etc, then it sounds like a good project (but it'd take time, and you mentioned earlier lack of time and having some current problems in your life to address, and it's not a project which would directly solve your immediate problems).

curi at 4:06 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9830
>But my actual suggestion was, and remains, to discuss some of your own actual problems, rather than to read more abstract philosophy.

This is a good suggestion, but I think I would be too embarrassed and wouldn't know how to start.

Anonymous at 4:07 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9831
btw are you aware of my criticism of the idea of cognitive biases?

curi at 4:08 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9832
No, but imwoild be very interested in it.

I should sleep now, but I'll check back here tomorrow.

Anonymous at 4:12 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9833
> infected

i guess you aren't aware of Szasz's and my criticisms of medicalizing non-medical issues. see e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Medicalization-Everyday-Life-Selected-Essays-ebook/dp/B0051UA5NG/?tag=curi04-20

i have an essay on psychiatry at: https://gumroad.com/l/ezayH

this isn't urgent (unless you're seeing a therapist or on psych meds or something – then read Szasz ASAP), but you should at least be aware there's an issue there. i'd suggest that, prior to researching the matter, you try to avoid pro-pscyhiatry statements including statements which treat non-medical issues as medical issues. try to be neutral, instead of contributing to a particular side of a culture war, pending being ready to take sides.

curi at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9834
my cognitive biases essay is also included in https://gumroad.com/l/ezayH

curi at 4:16 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9835
Okay, I will reply to this, but it's a huge issue. Ahh, I used the word metaphorically. But I take your point. I have actually read a bit of Szasz and pretty much agree with him. I think a lot of what are called "mental illnesses" are either strategies that achieve a particular goal effectively, but cause other parts of people's lives to become problematic, and or people treating other people's thoughts as irrational and not taking them seriously and so don't cultivate an environment or habits for appropriate error correction

Anonymous at 4:22 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9836
> Ahh, I used the word metaphorically.

Yes, that's a standard part of the cultural movement and what's going on. Uses of such metaphors are frequent, and sometimes more ambiguous, and are eroding the real distinctions.

It's a bad metaphor, anyway, because being mistaken is a matter of choices and thoughts, not something that just happens to you (as infections and colds can). Part of the typical purpose of such metaphors is to push on this issue – to push against free will, personal responsibility, etc.

curi at 4:25 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9837
Yes! I think this can be likened to state intervention in regulating "unhealthy food", which bassically places the responsilbity away from individuals. Foos can't be healthy or unhealthy. People get pretty upset with me, when I say this, and say to me "but you know what I meant", but really they aren't entirely clear on it themselves.

Anonymous at 4:33 PM on June 14, 2018 | #9838

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)