28 January, 2016

Translating Alien Languages

Epistemic Status: Likely

Related: Three Worlds Collide

I'm learning Lojban sorta off and on, mostly off, and yesterday I was idly pondering whether the meanings of words in Lojban would be biased the words used in their English descriptions (I'm not considering this seriously, sense I doubt someone would make a conlang without knowing a few languages). It eventually lead to me thinking about languages in general, and how dictionaries create endless circularity of meaning.

25 January, 2016

You are a Pattern-Matching Agent

Or, "My (crude) model of human thought"

Epistemic Status: Plausible, but uncertain.


I sorta want to learn how to draw. Until recently, my feelings about drawing were (statistically speaking) probably similar to yours: it'd be cool to do, but it the type of thing other people are good at, not me. Naturally, my thoughts weren't so blunt, e.g. "I don't know how to draw because it wouldn't be useful to me". Right.

Then, I read Dennet's Consciousness Explained. I haven't finished it, of course, but that might be fixed in a few months (I'm a busy dude). It's not a drawing book, in case you're wondering, but something I read in it made me think that perusing basic competence in sketching stuffs would be something I'd like doing.

In the section I recently finished reading, Dennet argues against the idea of 'pictures in the mind' in a particularly persuasive way (to me, anyway): if we really did have 'pictures' in our heads, then everyone would know how to draw; it'd be as simple as transferring the internal pictures to an external medium, the only barrier to everyone being professional-quality (photorealistic) artists would be hand-eye coordination (which tends to be fairly good in humans).

But that isn't the case, which was to be demonstrated, thus completing the reductio ad absurdum.

The persuasive-ness likely doesn't carry-over in my blunt-force summary, but you just need the gist of it. This argument resonated with me when I first read it, partially because I had a superficially similar pet theory of my own. I'll try to explain it, though I'll stress the mental environment and train of thought which gave birth to this idea have long since dissolved, so I can't faithfully re-construct my exact thoughts anymore than you can.

Personally, I have no idea how other people mentally see their act of mentally seeing, but for me, it's always been a very los-res affair. Seeing a dog and visualizing a dog are utterly distinct things to me. One was 'high definition', with minuscule details and structural stability. The other was, in word, not. Which isn't to say that I lacked imagination, just lacked a vivid imagination, if such a thing exists (I doubt it does).

Now, my original hypothesis about "how visualizing works" is that we don't actually visualize.


24 January, 2016

A Statement of Intent

Errata: Made some fun edits.

This Intro post has been weltering in the cloud for weeks now, at this point I'm sure I'll have too force myself to start this.

Here we go.


A few months ago, I was writing this intro post to be some stupid self-aware rant about how insignificant this blog is, how no one will ever read it, etc. It blossomed into a some analysis of the Gödelian interaction between the implications of self-aware angst and any statement on the significance (or lack morelike) that typically get paired together.

Or at least that's what my second draft said my first draft said. The actual analysis is gone both from my mind and my computer, so we'll just have to take that draft on its word.

That kind of angsty prose has an unpleasant taste, so at least I had the self-restraint not to post it, avoid inflict those horrors on the world.

But I digress. This is a statement of intent, which I read blogs should probably start of with.

In an ideal world, this blog will be an outlet for my uninformed opinions and bad ideas, as well as a place to cut my teeth and improve my writing before moving on to meaningful things.

I mostly care about mathematics/logic and sometimes programming, with some occasional science and philosophy thrown the mix. At least, those are the things I care about and plan on using this blog to discuss.

In the real world, I lack the ability to commit to anything. I'll likely never write anything on this blog, and anything I do will be worth nothing more than a cringe as I delete my fourth google account some years down the line. Read by no one other than some poor sap who had impliedimplication.blogspot.com in their search space of domain names, and was curious what rag was occupying the rightful place of their blog.

Edit: Haha past self, I defeated your expectations!

But self-pitying aside,I have a few posts lined up, and if all goes well, they should be actually posted in a few days. Which translates to at least another week before the next post (probably "You are a pattern matching agent" or "Why your brain hates determinsm") gets here.



PS. If you happened upon this, and it's been more than a few days, try to leave a comment so I'll remember this exists. I don't put it past my future self to forget about this.

Edit: Haha, again.