Twitter cuts (#89)

This is so wrong it’s seriously interesting.

September 25, 2016admin 55 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Philosophy

TAGGED WITH : , ,

55 Responses to this entry

  • atavisionary Says:

    Well, we have seen that numbers are very manipulable in a lot of these studies relying on statistics as “proof” of a found correlation. You could dismiss vast portions of peer reviewed psychology and sociology without losing anything true.

    Even in physics, equations are often used which are only good under a subset of real life conditions. Newtonian motion is only good at slow speed. Ideal gas law is based on assumptions which don’t actually represent reality (hence why it is called “ideal”). Both work well enough under a lot of conditions, though, and make calculations easier.

    Mathematics is proof and would be true if done right without bias and without assumptions, but that isn’t what happens in too many cases.

    [Reply]

    tsk Reply:

    The context of the conversation must be important for conveying your point. I see nothing incorrect about the above distinction of definitons.

    [Reply]

    Michael Rothblatt Reply:

    Statistics cannot establish truths, but logic can. That’s why every mathematical theorem requires proof, to establish it as true. You don’t need to do empirical measurements in order to check validity of, for example, Pythagorean theorem, it’ll always be hold, because it’s proven true.

    [Reply]

    Michael Rothblatt Reply:

    @admin

    Please delete this.

    [Reply]

    Michael Rothblatt Reply:

    Statistics cannot establish truths, but logic can. That’s why every mathematical theorem requires proof. You don’t need to do empirical measurements in order to check validity of, for example, Pythagorean theorem, it’ll always hold, because it’s true.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 3:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • luxoria Says:

    Why is this guys twitter handle NickLand7.. slightly confusing at first look.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Vaguely annoying, I agree. Guess it’s an Internet thing.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 3:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    In the same way sophistry is wrong, but also interesting?

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Doolittle doesn’t actually believe this, he’s attempting a common trick. Seem smart, then say counter-intuitive things: your audience will assume you have an understandable reason they can gain status by grasping. Hence I have little patience for those who won’t tender mundane explanations.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    He means logical consistency of the model by ‘proof’. It is not enough. You need

    + empirical confirmation
    + operational construction
    + falsification
    + full accounting

    for testimonial truth.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    > empirical confirmation
    > operational construction
    > falsification

    Those three points are just different ways of saying the same thing. (You’ll either get empirical confirmation or falsification, but never both at once, and in either case operational construction is a given.)
    Your four points can be reduced to one.

    Alrenous Reply:

    Properly constructed proofs are empirical experiments.
    Of course I’ll be taken to mean you can design a car purely on paper, which is not what I’m saying. Frankly what I do mean is logic 101, revealing the highly…Pontic…state of education even among the smart set.

    Erebus Reply:

    Right. Doolittle should lay off the schoolboy profundities.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    Erebus,

    There are theories of physics that fit all past empirical data that at the same time are not falsifiable (in practice). Hence, unfalsifiable but empirical.

    Operationalism is not empiricism. Praxeology uses operational construction a priori.

    Also, ‘parsimony’ should be added to the list.

    Alrenous,

    All this means is that ‘proof’ has a different meaning in your lexicon and Doolittle’s lexicon.

    I stopped caring if people use words in the canonical way (because usually people have very different ideas about the canonical way, which means there isn’t any). Instead I read their corpus, infer the function of the word, and see if it’s consistent.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    Btw, I hail from a Pontic province, so the situation might not be as revealing as you think it is.

    Erebus Reply:

    Ah, I see. So your four points refer to those theories which are not amenable to simple experimental confirmation. In other cases, rigorous empirical analysis should be enough, and “falsification” is, for instance, redundant.

    I’d add that “hey, this looks like it fits some of our old data” is generally poor empiricism. It fits the definition of the word, but it so often leads to bad science. You’re right, though, in noting that such inferences are sometimes unavoidable, and are common enough in certain scientific fields.

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 5:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • 118 Says:

    Does he mean religious dogma?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 5:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Gödel restated?

    [Reply]

    Mike in Boston Reply:

    This! Also, doesn’t matter how correct your math is if you start by assuming a spherical cow.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 6:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Saradin Says:

    Anybody rocking a portrait sketch as an avi should automatically be suspected of being a poseur and not particularly interested in much besides self-aggrandizement.

    [Reply]

    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    Avatar doesn’t have any i’s in it. How has Avi become an accepted abbreviation?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 8:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    LIES DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 9:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • slumlord Says:

    Beat me to it. But to be more precise: Proof only captures some truth.

    [Reply]

    rxferret Reply:

    Proof, rather than capturing truth, confirms it(or rejects it, if disproven).

    [Reply]

    Axel Mckibbin Reply:

    Why did you take down your website RX ferret? Just curious.

    [Reply]

    rxferret Reply:

    Personal life got busier; lost interest in sharing my thoughts (very introverted); a bit of creative difference with direction community has taken (nothing personal, nor that I really want to get into – don’t want to unnecessarily ruffle any feathers). I just don’t feel it anymore. That, and when I quit something, I have a bad habit of doing it in a “scorched earth” way and throw the baby out with the bathwater; obviously I didn’t need to delete my page in order to quit, but I did it anyway. However, I’ve discovered some html code of my page floating around out there, thanks to Free Northerner (he may not even know). https://rxferret.wordpress.com/feed/

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 9:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • rxferret Says:

    I suppose through some rhetorical/dialectical jiutitsu, Curt could be right in technicalities. Proof is not, in an of itself, the truth one wishes to discover, but the means of discovering whether your idea is true. However, I wonder if this nitpicking is what he is doing, or is he just trying to promote the superiority of philosophy over mathematics. For this reason, I tend not to like the loaded term “truth” anyway, and prefer “fact”, or “data”.

    [Reply]

    Dick Wagner Reply:

    That reminds me of Plato’s Theaetetus where it is deduced that a belief counts as knowledge if it is posited with an *account* of how it is true, which is translated as “logos”. The dialogue ends in an aporia however as the logos needs a logos ad infinitum. Proofs need proofs need proofs, therefore proofs are not truths.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 11:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • rxferret Says:

    Regardless, such “truths” are meaningless without the “proof” to back them up.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 11:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • rxferret Says:

    You on gab.ai yet? I’ve sitting around waiting for you there.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 11:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kwisatz Haderach Says:

    I always suspected that guy was a pompous windbag. Now he’s opened his mouth and removed all doubt.

    [Reply]

    Cryptogenic Reply:

    What Land needs is a pencil sketch of himself looking avuncular. Maybe with a terminator eye.

    [Reply]

    Dick Wagner Reply:

    Trigger-happy sectarianism is dangerous at this juncture. The Antiversity will have a diversity of professors. So far Doolittle is one of the astutest. Don’t let your favoritism toward Land obscure that. Granted… the Antiversity will need a Dean…

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 25th, 2016 at 11:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • illegal Says:

    @Kwisatz HaderachThat pissy wink smiley at the end says it all

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 26th, 2016 at 12:00 am Reply | Quote
  • Y. Ilan Says:

    He writes interesting stuff but peppered throughout are many baseless ideas and some outright hisotrical falsehoods. I’ve long ago given up on his “Propertarianism” as something worthwhile.

    [Reply]

    justpointingitout Reply:

    >He writes interesting stuff but peppered throughout are many baseless ideas and some outright hisotrical falsehoods.

    So, exactly like neoreaction?

    [Reply]

    Y. Ilan Reply:

    Whose neoreaction? Not Moldbug’s. But it’s still a vague concept (as much as many people try to make it not so) and thus judging neoreaction is not as simple as judging Doolittle’s work.

    [Reply]

    The Cryptogen Affair Reply:

    Which baseless ideas and which outright historical falsehoods?

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    You’d better enumerate those ‘historical falsehoods’ Mr. Ilan, lest you commit libel.

    [Reply]

    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    I got really irritated with how he blows off Austrian economics despite using no detailed analysis, much less alternative, to it. He’s completely up his own ass and I see no evidence he is any smarter than Molyneux. Special Snowflake autiste libertarians are a dime a dozen.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 26th, 2016 at 12:07 am Reply | Quote
  • Tom Says:

    Is the distinction he’s trying to make the one between describing the state of the system at a given time and describing its timeless laws?

    If so, it’s very poorly expressed, but that’s the most charitable way I can see of reading it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 26th, 2016 at 4:18 am Reply | Quote
  • Ur-mail Says:

    It is quite interesting that everyone in the comments here jumped to statistics rather than to geometry/algebra/calculus/set theory/etc.

    I tend to associate mathematics with pure mathematics, and in pure mathematics proof is exactly truth. Furthermore, there’s a deep connection between discoveries in pure mathematics and actual phenomena. Many pure mathematical fields seem completely devoid of practical applications until one is found decades or centuries later (think number theory and its modern applications to cryptography). Truths contained in pure mathematics are simply so unintuitive that they initially appear to be imaginary constructs. This would seem to suggest that the “truth” Doolittle is concerned with here is something easily reconcilable with human intuition – “common sense” – the fallibility of which is well demonstrated.

    As admin points out later in the twitter thread, appeals to common sense, truth, and proof are all part of the production and consumption of trust. Suggesting part of the political difference between progressive and conservative lies in their trust economics.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    >This would seem to suggest that the “truth” Doolittle is concerned with here is something easily reconcilable with human intuition – “common sense” – the fallibility of which is well demonstrated.

    Actually he has a rather strict conception of ‘truth’ through ‘testimonialism’. It’s a strict subset of scientific method, understood in its usual meaning.

    He remarks that scientific method comes from the martial epistemology of the Aryans. Briefly, Aryan horse riding raiders depended on truth telling, so it became their evolutionary strategy. Over millennia, they perfected truth telling by first inventing reason, then empiricism, and finally the scientific method — which is a distillation of the method by which common law functions. Yet, scientific method as we know it is not enough to fully warranty testimony.

    Curt mentions how Brouwer, Bridgman, Popper, and Mises all noticed the deficiencies in their respective fields, but were not able to fix this. Curt’s program is to fix the problem of truth telling, i.e. to formalize it.

    He adds operational construction and full accounting to the scientific method.

    Curt’s testimonialism includes ‘proof’ but is not exhausted by it, so he declares ‘proof ≠ truth’.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 26th, 2016 at 3:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    Perhaps the “truth” he has in mind here is truth in Heidegger’s sense of that prior unconcealment (aletheia) without which there could be no maths – i.e., truth, not as correspondence, but as the original disclosure of essents prior to correspondence.
    Anyone interested enough to ask him?

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Just seen frank’s comment above confirming that Doolittle is not a Heideggerian.
    Is anyone these days?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 26th, 2016 at 5:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2016/09/25) - Social Matter Says:

    […] Nick Land finds Doolittle being “so wrong it’s seriously interesting”. […]

    Posted on September 28th, 2016 at 8:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Bob Says:

    Doolittle is not very intelligent or interesting. He’s also not very well read and doesn’t have a good grasp of intellectual history. He basically just reproduces garbled internet libertarianism and pop social science.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    ^ Not even trying.

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    I’m not really interested in slamming the guy. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He just regurgitates a lot of mediocre libertarian and right wing secondary literature and blogs. He throws around a lot of the terminology he picks up from them in a confused mish mash. He started using “Aristocratic Egalitarianism” for example after Duchesne’s book came out, without any attribution. He also usually doesn’t understand these concepts and misuses them.

    [Reply]

    G. Eiríksson Reply:

    You haven´t given an example of anything you´re complaining about.

    Bob Reply:

    I gave an example. He pilfered the term “Aristocratic Egalitarianism” and started throwing it around without attribution, shoehorning it into his word salads.

    I’m surprised that someone familiar with Thomas777 can tolerate this hack.

    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    I have tried to engage him on the actual philosophy behind Austrian economics, and all I got was some crap about ‘Jewish sophistry’. It’s one thing to criticize Mises, but some Facebook Philosopher dismissing someone of that caliber while not being willing of able to engage the actual discussion of the material just stinks of Rand. But at least Rand was a successful fiction author, I’ve seen nothing especially insightful from him.

    Nicean Necropolitical Reply:

    There´s a lot of pseudo-criticism on the “‘Right”.

    Resenters are amusing.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 29th, 2016 at 2:57 am Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    The conversation doesn’t make sense without the original context and your comment about Cantor’s infinities being methodologically accessible even if not realizable in some existential way that is otherwise not a description. Also the one guy on your twitter feed talking about diagonal method as a non-terminating proof/method was pretty informative.

    Anyone who didn’t see the original conversation doesn’t get what the discussion was over, which was over the relevance/immorality of Cantor’s work, and admin didn’t imply Curt was dumb, he just thought Curt is honestly wrong about his criticism on Cantor/misguided/not being fair.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2016 at 6:26 am Reply | Quote
  • Worm Says:

    Both Ecce Homo and the Anti-Christ were written during the latter half of 1888, the last year of Friedrich Nietzsche’s sane life.

    In Ecce Homo, the highly eccentric autobiography which he wrote immediately after The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche remarks at the end of the short chapter he devotes to Twilight:

    “I have never experienced such an autumn, nor have I thought anything of the sort possible on earth – a Claude Lorraine thought on to infinity, every day of the same excessive perfection”.

    And the following lines are from the epigraph to Ecce Homo, which Nietzsche wrote himself:

    “On this perfect day, when everything has become ripe and not only the grapes are growing brown, a ray of sunlight has fallen on to my life … The first book of the Revaluation of all Values (by which Nietzsche means The Anti-Christ), the Songs of Zarathustra … my attempt to philosophize with a hammer (an allusion to the subtitle of Twilight) – all of them gifts of this year, of its last quarter even! How should I not be grateful to my whole life?”

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 2nd, 2016 at 3:02 am Reply | Quote

Leave a comment