Natural Language Processing (NLP) per Wikipedia: “Is a subfield of linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages, in particular how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of natural language data.” The field has seen tremendous advances during the recent explosion of … Continue reading Recent advances in Natural Language Processing- Some Woolly speculations
“Common sense is a chaotic aggregate of disparate conceptions, and one can find there anything that one like.” -Antonio Gramsci I. Chesterton's fence is the principle that: "Reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood. " (Courtesy of Wikipedia) It sounds so very reasonable- simply a more … Continue reading Chesterton’s fence and thinking using sayings
This is an old puzzle- I recall reading it in Ted Chiang and I think other places as well. It's a great example of how seemingly reasonable intuitions can lead us astray. Premise 1. There could exist a book that contains infallibly accurate information about the future. Premise 2. A robot could read this book. … Continue reading Paradox of the book and the robot
A little bit of prodding suggests that beliefs are not so simple as they seem. Consider for example Tamar Gendler's concept of an Aelief- a kind of belief-like state. An Aelief, per Wikipedia is: "...an automatic or habitual belief-like attitude, particularly one that is in tension with a person's explicit beliefs. For example, a person standing … Continue reading Four parts of belief
Here's a fun little philosophy mini-game. Nozick imagines an experience machine, capable of generating experiences, just as vivid, rich and pleasurable as the real thing- for the whole range of desirable human experiences. Nozick argues that experiences had in such a machine would be inherently less meaningful than their real world equivalents. It seems to me … Continue reading Philosophical minigame: How much do different activities lose through the experience machine?
I. The Easterlin paradox is the observation that country level happiness does not seem to increase overtime with income- even though there are many reasons to think it should- for example, income gives us choices, security, additional consumption and so on. The paradox grows even weirder when we reflect that individual increases in income do … Continue reading Why we can’t (usefully) dismiss concern about the income of others as envious
I. Plausibly there are actually two problems of interpersonal utility comparison- the epistemic problem and the ontological problem. The epistemic problem is the problem of how we could know that a given comparison is correct. The ontological problem is the problem of why we should think such comparisons are meaningful- anymore than measuring temperature against … Continue reading [WIP] [Technical] Extending the veil of ignorance argument for utilitarianism into an argument for ‘egalitarian’ interpersonal utility comparison