User talk:Guidedog

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy -> Cognitive Linguistics (You're in my cult collective now just like Ayn Rand's, Muh ha ha ha!)[edit]

Kindly do not consider the Cognitive Behavior Therapy of Aaron Beck, as popularized by David Burns, to be equivalent to the embodied cognition studied by cognitive linguists, which has helped bring philosophy out of the realms of abstract symbol manipulation and armchair handwaving that can be so frustrating to outsiders. Although elle qui attend Godot may want to smack me up alongside the head for saying so, Lakoff's Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things is still a pretty fair introductory window to the way that has worked. I've seen one person liken reading the book to swimming through molasses, but I found it worth while. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 11:22, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

I'll keep that in mind when I look at the subject of Cognitive Behavior Therapy again. I like that you seem to know so much about this subject, but your too quick to jump ahead. As for abstract symbol manipulation, perhaps a dictionary would help (In relation to using language to get one's point across versus simply thinking). I have been toying with the idea of settling on just one dictionary and just using that to create precise meaning for my abstract concepts. Anyone trying to interpret my writing could then refer to the same dictionary. Since you've read Lakoff what do you think he would say about dictionaries? (I am asking a serious question in this polite conversation. I am genuinely curious and don't know.) Guidedog (talk) 12:16, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Somewhere he has said that it could be useful to have a "dictionary" which explains the different meanings words can take, when used by different people in different contexts for different purposes (and, in the context of public rhetoric, in the service of different agendas.)
We humans apprehend words by means of conceptual metaphors. Cognitive linguists such as Lakoff have spent time working with virtual shoeboxes full of index cards, mapping metaphors into source and target domains, where
  • The source domain is the conceptual domain from which we draw metaphorical expressions (e.g., love is a journey).
  • The target domain is the conceptual domain that we try to understand (e.g., love is a journey).
—[from WP:Conceptual_metaphor#Mappings]
I need to stay away from that Berserkely conceptual metaphor link until later this evening. I've got things to do, and I've got a feeling that I won't be able to just dip into it quickly and leave. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:30, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Interesting, such a dictionary would be vast. One could almost imagine a dictionary of all concepts ever thought by anyone, but then The Data Problem applies. I see an inability on the part of Cognitive Linguists to create a general conception of meaning. I would posit that they are getting bogged down by an a priori view, for instance valuing a constant polling of the vernacular uses of words, as if those uses represented some ideal form of a word. Instead one could carefully define words from concrete percepts and impose their personal definitions on the vernacular. So one question would be, why is it that cognitive linguists don't create such logical dictionaries? Philosophers of the past have often created entire artificial languages, to try and express higher concepts more accurately. Guidedog (talk) 15:00, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
"Proceeding from the premise that words (concepts) are created by whim, Linguistic Analysis offers us a choice of whims: individual or collective. It declares that there are two kinds of definitions: “stipulative,” which may be anything anyone chooses, and “reportive,” which are ascertained by polls of popular use." ~~Ayn Rand
If she is right then I guess the Cognitive Linguists would need a Kantian perspective to explain why the individual dictionary is whimsical and the collective one takes into account 'everyone's' percepts and is thus a superior integrative mode. Guidedog (talk) 15:08, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
The "premise that words (concepts) are created by whim" is deeply flawed, betraying a misunderstanding of language and its organic evolution. Again with the desire for crystalline logical purity... that's a non-starter.
Instead one could carefully define words from concrete percepts and impose their personal definitions on the vernacular. So one question would be, why is it that cognitive linguists don't create such logical dictionaries? Philosophers of the past have often created entire artificial languages, to try and express higher concepts more accurately.
Right. About as much chance of that happening as there is of two mutant lab mice taking over the world. As far as philosophers of the past go, have a look at this.
Cognitive linguists have made explicit efforts to eliminate a priori factors which, by their essential nature, contaminate and distort the results. It is not their job to create artificial languages, but to study the bases of natural language in vivo. In aid of that, they have examined the living daylights out of their assumptions, and taken great pains to devise neutral methods for their examination of the subject. In that investigation, they have found ways to explore the vast part (90% to 95%, by most accounts) of cognition that "operates unconsciously: too rapidly and too far below the threshold of awareness for us to notice." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:18, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Can you give an example of how they eliminate a priori knowledge? What if they have a preconceived notion from a contradiction? That would be a priori by false conception. Guidedog (talk) 16:59, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt they were interested in "eliminating" a priori "knowledge." They examined the assumptions of analytic philosophy, and committed themselves to empirically responsible inquiry. An encouraging sign that they were on the right track was that some results were unexpected, even surprising (and backed up by masses of convergent results from differing methodologies.) Further detail is available in Chapter 6 of Lakoff and Johnson's Philosophy in the Flesh. One example of a rejected assumption is that classical categories are defined by necessary and sufficient conditions. As it turns out, categories may be more usefully seen as having radial structure, and varying degrees of membership. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:26, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
What I mean by a priori is knowledge that is neither derived from concrete percepts, thus innate in our minds. Also, perhaps a priori is not the correct term for: Knowledge that resists integration and thus can't be derived by inductive methods. For instance, needing to have an entire box of sentence cards in order to derive first principles. Guidedog (talk) 16:37, 24 September 2012 (UTC)


Gay Objectivist crossover slashfic[edit]

What do you think sex between John Galt and Howard Roark would be like? I imagine that in lieu of foreplay, there would be a good deal of haggling over blowjobs. And I figure both of them to be tops... Roark: "I fellate and I fellate well! A man who works for others without payment is a slave! I do no believe that slavery is noble. Not in any form, nor for any purpose, whatsoever! I don't give head in order to have sex. I have sex in order to give head." Galt: "You seek semen. I seek pleasure. You exist for the sake of performing fellation. I exist for the sake inserting my penis through your anus. Seduction will not make me function; lust is not my incentive. It is not being a bottom I wish to avoid, but orgasm that I seek."

--"Shut up, Brx." 01:13, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Damn, I never particularly thought of myself as gay, but even I have to admit that's kinda hot. I turned Rourke into a woman when I read that, that was hot. Since your so interested in gay sex; I guess we all fall somewhere on the Kinsey scale. I imagine John Galt would be the top, stolidly employing reason and logic to convince Howard Roark to move to the valley to design a little brokeback mountain cabin in the valley. Although I don't know why they would prefer Homosexual sex to Hetero. I guess your homosexual perspective has provided a little insight. After all if two people feel they exist for one another, how can I say it's not in their self-interest to love men like Galt or write gay fan fics. Keep writing, maybe you'll make a good living sharing your homesexual insight with the rest of the objectivist community. Guidedog (talk) 12:00, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Atlas Shrugged Movie on Netflix[edit]

I'll wait for the movie...on Netflix. (Orgasms are better for the bottom!) Matzosphere (talk) 02:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I am pretty sure the first part just came out. There were some things I didn't like about it, but it seemed to stay true to the general plot. Guidedog (talk) 16:40, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Netflix? Just bittorrent it. Somehow that seems very much more libertarian. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 19:39, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a new Libertarian economic model: Cleptocratic ownership. I can see it now, "You own what you can defend." You'll find a lot of crackpots under the 'libertarian' umbrella. Guidedog (talk) 19:52, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Cool Quotes[edit]

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters can not be trusted in large ones either." --Albert Einstein (allegedly) Guidedog (talk) 22:10, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Not Your Dad's Climate Change Denial[edit]

The climate change debate has been ongoing, and both sides seem to be passionate assholes that will do everything to discredit the other side. On one side you have a group of people that believe change will happen, that it is inevitable, and we are all very doomed no matter what we do. Millions of beings will leave the ecosystem in a sudden flash extinction. In the extremists minds the middle east will be consumed in an apocalyptic war for resources, as searing heat engulfs the globe, as armies clash in the final throws of Armageddon, as God and Satan fight it out to see who rules earth, and then you have the eco-nuts. Guidedog (talk) 22:02, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Quote from Matt Ridley:

In the climate debate, we hear a lot from those who think disaster is inexorable if not inevitable, and a lot from those who think it is all a hoax. We hardly ever allow the moderate “lukewarmers” a voice: those who suspect that the net positive feedbacks from water vapor in the atmosphere are low, so that we face only 1 to 2 degrees Celsius of warming this century; that the Greenland ice sheet may melt but no faster than its current rate of less than 1 percent per century; that net increases in rainfall (and carbon dioxide concentration) may improve agricultural productivity; that ecosystems have survived sudden temperature lurches before; and that adaptation to gradual change may be both cheaper and less ecologically damaging than a rapid and brutal decision to give up fossil fuels cold turkey.
We’ve already seen some evidence that humans can forestall warming-related catastrophes. A good example is malaria, which was once widely predicted to get worse as a result of climate change. Yet. . . [m]alaria-specific mortality plummeted in the first decade of the current century by an astonishing 25 percent. The weather may well have grown more hospitable to mosquitoes during that time. But any effects of warming were more than counteracted by pesticides, new antimalarial drugs, better drainage, and economic development.
Just as policy can make the climate crisis worse—mandating biofuels has not only encouraged rain forest destruction, releasing carbon, but driven millions into poverty and hunger—technology can make it better. If plant breeders boost rice yields, then people may get richer and afford better protection against extreme weather. If nuclear engineers make fusion (or thorium fission) cost-effective, then carbon emissions may suddenly fall. If gas replaces coal . . . then carbon emissions may rise more slowly. . . . We will combat our ecological threats in the future by innovating to meet them as they arise, not through the mass fear stoked by worst-case scenarios. ~~Matt Ridley

End quote from Matt Ridley Guidedog (talk) 22:02, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

I've always thought that Matt Ridley was a pillock. By "moderate" he means all but denialist. Or, to put it another way, he's enough of a scientist to understand that it's real but he still wants to drive his SUV. Innocent Bystander (talk) 22:16, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
To extend the Malaria example, I could argue that all technologies will take global warming into consideration. By worrying about global warming we fix it. While still driving land yachts. Guidedog (talk) 22:20, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

The Andon Cord and RationalWiki[edit]

The Andon Cord is a red cord that runs the entire length of an assembly line. Not every assembly line has one, but those that do tend to be more productive and the quality and speed of work is higher. The reason for this is that anyone on the floor, for any personal reason related to his work can pull the cord, and the entire production line halts.

The undo feature is like a big Andon cord that stretches the entire length of this wiki. So in my brief career here at Rationalwiki I have been rolled back and undone several times. A lot of people would think that this would be frustrating to me, it isn't. I realize that the roll back feature is one of the most important features of wikis. It allows anyone, at any time, to stop production on an article. A lot of articles are permanently halted, the stalemate unresolved. This is what disturbs me. If we are going to have an Andon cord we need to start using it like one.

When the Andon cord is pulled, management runs from the office to the floor. While in some factories one might suspect any halt in production to be met with yelling, cursing and threats of severance checks, that would defeat the purpose of the Andon cord. Instead, management comes out with questions. They want to know why this individual pulled the cord they want to adapt their assembly so that no one needs to pull the cord because their work is not affected. They want to solve the problem so that no one else has the problem that this individual has.

So some possible considerations would be, moderators need to be on the floor on talk pages. They need to ask questions about why edit wars happen. Then they can modify the rules section so by following the rules no one has to have a flame war to produce quality articles. Guidedog (talk) 14:49, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

My prediction for the Skeptic's response to this post: "But this is a wiki, not a factory." Guidedog (talk) 14:56, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Right you are, this is a wiki, not a factory, and the metaphor of wiki as assembly line does not fit very well. For one thing, the topology of interaction is completely different: an assembly line is generally structured as a bus whose nodes may be fed by trees. A wiki is more like a partially connected mesh, with the possibility of full connection in which any article may link to any other article as well as outwards into the "world-wide" web, and any user has a direct channel to communicate with any other user, if they wish.
For another thing, closer to the core of the set of differences, a wiki is a post-industrial organization. We are not in the business of mass producing interchangeable, fungible items of commerce. What we do here more closely resembles the construction of wax comb in a beehive: independent autonomous workers, in what appears to be unguided chaotic activity, perform unsynchronized micro-tasks in aid of a constantly changing emergent patterned structure which fits the needs of the moment. It is a metaphor that must be handled with care, since I've met skilled professionals who very much resented having poseurs in suits call them "worker bees."
Your notion of what moderators do here is a bit disconnected from what goes on in actual practice. You yourself are a sysop, the last time I looked. If you think that moderators are here to guide us with a firm hand, you are deluded. Time to consider things as they are, not as you wish they were. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:15, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
There is a wiki that works roughly the way Guidedog imagines; sadly however, the manager is ignorant of shop-floor proceedings, and the foremen are incompetent. The good, productive workers were sacked for pulling the andon cord, or saw how things worked and got work elsewhere. SophieWilder 21:22, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh metaphors, so many differences. That's not the problem though, metaphors are used to share similarities. The problem is when others try to use the metaphor to attack the similarity. This is a form of genetic fallacy. An invited one, but I would still say it's pure rhetoric to argue in this way. You say, some factory managers rule with authoritarian tenacity, I simply was suggesting that if people are stopping production every five seconds they might have grievances that need mediation. If every time a new worker comes to the wiki and they have grievances about an article that keep them from creating original work this obviously hurts quality. The sooner these things are resolved the better. Building a common set of best practices can apply to the workers whether they have more autonomy than assembly line workers or not. This would be akin to your metaphor as each bee has a genetic behavior to build hexagonal honey comb, not square or triangular. In fact I argue as W. Edward Deming argued, that assembly line workers have a great deal of autonomy, even though their roles are defined by procedure. Also, it is because of this autonomy that we need procedure. In addition, we already have a procedure which is defined by the software of the wiki (rollbacks). So even if we autonomously follow a wiki code set by mediation, we will still need further mediation once in a while. I am encouraged by the tolerances and quality that can be created when a worker's attitude and style are taken into account. Guidedog (talk) 01:38, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
For a metaphor to work, there needs to be some degree of fit between source (Toyota production line) and target (Rational Wiki) domains. You say that "the undo feature is like a big Andon cord that stretches the entire length of this wiki." No, undoing one of your edits does not bring the wiki to a prompt halt. It may be a useful signal to you, that the quality of your input needs to improve, but other editors do not come scrambling to see what is the matter and fix it.
I've heard that quality procedures on Japanese production lines are not necessarily that dramatic. If a worker finds an unacceptable number of the incoming parts are not up to snuff, she simply goes to the upstream operator and tells her to get her process under control. End of problem. At RW, we don't even agree on what the desired mean of any parameter might be, much less have a way of telling what is three standard deviations from it, so that kind of quality control metaphor has no meaning here. It's a wiki, not a production line, and the culture here is far more heterogeneous than that of a Japanese car factory.
Your contributions would be more effective if your writing style were more tightly focused. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 12:16, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Nah I think the metaphor was fine. We are producing articles to a certain quality. We aren't independent as it is only when we can agree on edits that anything gets done. We need moderation to set the example of behavior. Guidedog (talk) 00:55, 29 September 2012 (UTC)