Saturday February 16, 2002

Are you a cooperationist? I was thinking about reading Edmund Wilson after my brain synapse book and I stumbled across this essay after reading David Mertz's introduction to programming Tk with Python. Now that I think of it, that path of discovery supports his viewpoint in this article. I wonder if EW is a computer guy like Mertz...

He has a fun little test to see how the brain computes using prejudices and not with mathematics and while I like his rip of Wilson, recently I'm finding myself tempted by the same fallacies as Wilson, namely, over-reductionist thinking. The problem with being a amateur scientificalistically thinking sorta person is getting too hot on one subject and using it to explain everything.

One simple insight of most moderately sophisticated philosophy of science is that sciences explain in myriad orthogonal levels. The true stories told by physics (whether by today's physics, or by some future physics which corrects today's mistakes) neither contradict nor affirm the true stories of sociology, or even chemistry (themselves, of course, subject to the same fallibilist caveats). One type of truth may speak at one level of explanation, and another truth at quite a different level.

The other reason I'm putting this link in my blog is that I like the dude's retro style. I had a web page like that back in the mid 90's also. Notice how he got fancy with the horizontal bars instead of just using the old <HR>'s and some of you may even recognize the old gopher icons that used to tell you if you were going to be dumped into the world of gopher. It used to be that if you were really taking care of your readers, you made custom icons for all the items in your bulleted lists of links. Man, they just don't make 'em like that any more.

Here's your word for the day: orthography