Re: Interesting post on hacking the self

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Tue Oct 11 2005 - 08:04:15 MDT

> Phil Eby is an all-around keen guy, but I found today's post
> really interesting. Reminded me of Cory Doctorow's short story
> "0wnz0red" [1].
> <>

Eby's essay is a perfect demonstration of technical explanation akrasia.

He begins by noting that he's discovered a secret that is only a
secret by virtue of poor explanation. People read explanations of
the secret and then proceed to misinterpret the explanations to fit
what they already know. He seems aware of this, but then fails to
provide an explanation that is any better. Rather than tell us the
secret in technical language (semitechnically, the experience of
being you is not the same thing as the process that controls the
behavior you experience), he just chooses an alternative metaphor to
Buddha-nature and talks about the brain in terms of computer
operating systems.

Yet Eby is aware that his explanation will be misinterpreted, not for
lack of intelligence, but for lack of explanation that cannot be
misinterpreted by intelligent people. So we find he hasn't managed
to discover all of his own secret or take it all to heart: he
ironically suffers from acute technical explanation akrasia.

(I'm reading the archives and found this. Sorry if reviving an old
thread messes with your mail client.)

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
                Gordon Worley
             Phone: 352-875-5808
e-mail: PGP: 0xBBD3B003

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