April 25, 2010

Of limited interest

I haven't posted much because I've been so happy lately that it feels like I've been living entirely in the present, with almost no reflection or planning. This works because I've finally cultivated some good, simple habits - work hard, eat right, exercise, save $, love, and party at least twice a week. Plus I'm doing this in nice surroundings and self-employed, setting my own hours, rates and so on.

A simple life, but with rules that I easily adhere to, so the illusion of control is not required. Things are set in motion, and I follow them, with complex behavior emerging from the interaction of a few simple systems.

April 21, 2010

Some things really did happen

Am distracted / engrossed in life and so little to post here, but some more from that Sokal book that I want to keep online.

Whether the accused in a murder trial is or is not guilty depends on the assessment of old-fashioned positivity evidence, if such evidence is available. Any innocent readers who find themselves in the dock will do well to appeal to it. It is the lawyers for the guilty ones who fall back on postmodern lines of defence.
Eric Hobsbawm, On History pviii, quoted in Sokal p321

It is [...] pretty suicidal for embattled minorities to embrace Michel Foucault, let alone Jacques Derrida. The minority view was always that power could be undermined by truth ...Once you read Foucault as saying that truth is simply an effect of power, you've had it. ...But American departments of literature, history and sociology contain large numbers of self-described leftists who have confused radical doubts about objectivity with political radicalism, and are in a mess.
Alan Ryan, quoted in Sokal p95

April 07, 2010

Turtles all the way

...the non-fundamental ontology of everyday life (solids and fluids) can seem as a kind of "coarse-grained" macroscopic approximation to the more fundamental microscopic ontology of quarks and electrons; indeed, the former should be (at least in principle) derivable as a logical consequence of the underlying fundamental theory.
...it means that what appear in the older theory to be a fundamental entity is, in reality, a non-fundamental entity derivable as a "coarse-grained: version of something deeper.
In this view, reality is composed of a hierarchy of "scales"... The theory on each scale emerges from the theory on the next finer-scale by ignoring some of the (irrelevant) details of the latter. And the ontology of the theory on each scale - in particular, its "unobservable" theoretical entities - can be understood, at least in principle, as arising from the "collective" or "emergent" effects of a more fundamental theory at a finer scale.