only so stunning

burn you up.
burn you down.

thinking about the keynesian beauty contest, as well as the party game, i find it a bit odd that i see a real-world solution to the first, but not the second. it only sort of makes sense. i suppose, isnt that how it always is? this might help too (though probably not).

at this distance ill never be touched.

so im becoming fairly certain that i am a moral relativist, and that i practice moral skepticism, not to be confused with moral nihilism, which i do not agree with. how nice, that i can categorize and label all my beliefs, eh? pretty soon ill be nothing more than a list of ideas.

also, i dont completely subscribe to moral skepticism: i believe that while our morals are relative, they can be useful guides. i feel like this has always been how i think, though i am only aware of discussing it outright for the last year or two probably. can any older friend of mine recall past conversations concerning the relative nature of right and wrong?

okay, cool. im also a metaphysical naturalist.

i feel like im untying a knot. the knot is all the conflict among humanity, and the string is the individual views. as if all conflict arises from simple differences of view, and inability to communicate and detect the differences. moral realists, it is beginning to appear, are probably identical to my view of moral relativism, only they have started one step in front of me. i have taken the step back to see where the morals first must start, which is no where. once ive established that, the next step results in the morals that they want, and the use of them they want. or i might be kind of tired and making all this up, i dont yet know. ill need to find a moral realist with whom i might discuss these ideas.

but in the meantime... the arguments against moral relativism are really more arguments that it fails to provide a moral framework, which is true. because what moral relativism is really saying is that such a framework cannot really exist. its as if the non-relativists say "this exists, therefore moral relativism is wrong", and the relativists say, "no, that does not exist."

there was plenty of trouble.

this is an article by Larry Sanger, co-founder of wikipedia. i dont really agree with a lot (most) of what he says, but some of it is very interesting. i think im going to write to him.

i should feel sick. but im feeling fine.

so how about this as a model of public education: the first few years are general ed stuff, as they are now, but then instead of switching to the current style of 'well rounded' education based on periodic standardized testing, we switch to a discussion based testing of personal exploration of the interested subjects. holy crap thats a mouth full. im not really paying attention, but i feel like these ideas are important, and must be explored more.

dear Mirah, i have written to Paul Simon to inquire about the additional 38 ways to leave a lover. i know that youre a lesbian, but i was hoping i could sway you, and thus provide one of Paul's 'fifty ways' for you to leave any current girlfriend (assuming you are seeing someone, pardon my obtrusion).

is it possible that a sufficiently intelligent person can (by accident), convince people of incorrect things? could i have convinced my professor that wikipedia is better than he should think?

right now im reading about daniell integrals, and im starting to feel like im way too fucking smart. this despite consuming wine concurrently.

a mighty mustache.

to Larry Sanger:
with regards to epistemic egalitarianism and "wikipedians" in general, my view is that although we (the wikipedians) are all on equal ground when it comes to our online presence, we are not all equal when it comes to our ability to articulate and argue a point, and so the nobel laureate, though visibly indistinguishable (online) from the physics illiterate, they can explain themselves, not just without external references and examples, but also citing (internally) other articles and experiments which explain the reasons that physical theories are the way they are. at which point i believe ive abandoned the concept of epistemic egalitarianism.
also, i really enjoyed your mind/body problem papers that you contributed to wikipedia years ago, i think thats how i found the project, and though i have 'at heart' always been a physicalist, it was very interesting to see these views stated explicitly and clearly.

Sanger says: "Experts know particular topics particularly well.  By paying closer attention to experts, we improve our chances of getting the truth; by ignoring them, we throw our chances to the wind.  Thus, if we reduce experts to the level of the rest of us, even when they speak about their areas of knowledge, we reduce society's collective grasp of the truth."

my response is: im not really interested in ignoring the experts, nor reducing them to my level of credibility, but i do think it is important that the experts be able to explain themselves and their understanding, that they be as open to questioning as anyone else, which is the main difference between wikipedia and the reason we all hate authority so much. i dont hate authority because they are given more credibility than me, or because they can do their job better than i can do it, i hate them because they tend not to explain themselves.

"It is not just what we know that's important, it is what we don't. We not only need an encyclopedia of knowledge, we need an encyclopedia of ignorance, too. If our ignorance is not mislabeled, cataloging it in one place can be a useful tool."
-George Dyson
...this gives me an idea: we need an anti-encyclopedia. though wikipedia already stores open questions, itd be nice to have a database of open questions that anyone could contribute to, that was completely open. though maybe not. it seems itd be nice to have one in which it was very easy to find such questions. as if itd promote research.

all i want is to fall madly in love. what do you want?

burn me up.
burn me down.

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