Re: Re[2]: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 - 08:24:02 MDT

On Sunday, August 25, 2002, at 07:12 AM, Cliff Stabbert wrote:

> What is being pointed out is that the mind is a rich and complex
> system of which the verbalizing, symbol-manipulating "rational" level
> is merely the surface. It evolved from and arises from a complex of
> other processes. These other processes are arational or non-rational
> (language consistently used by Goertzel and others here), not
> _irrational_ (language incorrectly implicitly attributed to them).
> "Where" do new ideas come from? Take the scientific process. A naive
> view would see this as purely rational. But there are aspects of the
> scientific process that are creative, generative, and not easily
> amenable to rational analysis. For instance, *what* data -- out of an
> infinity of data -- do you select for inspection? *What* hypotheses
> do you put forward?

You must decide by some process. In general, you are going to be using
the Bayes' Probability Theorem whether you like it or not. The
difference between a normative human and me is that the normative human
would assign weights based upon evolutionary bias (do X because it will
make me more likely to pass on my DNA) whereas I will decide on another
basis (is this moral? What priors suggest which choice is most likely
to yield a correct answer). Of course, the normative human includes
factors that I do, too, but emotions play a much bigger role for him.
So long as someone allows evolved biases to interfere with his decision
making, he are being irrational. Even after removing evolutionary bias
it is still possible to be irrational if you haven't learned what to use
other than emotions.

So, there is no reason that I can't be creative. In fact, I'm plenty
creative. And not once do I have to stoop to using emotional or
`random' weightings.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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