In defense of rationality and dynamic programming

Karl Popper defines rationality as: basing beliefs on logical arguments and evidence. Irrationality is everything else. He also defines comprehensive rationality as: only logical arguments and evidence are valid basis for belief. But this belief itself can only be accepted by choice or faith, so comprehensive rationality is self-contradictory. It also excludes a lot of …

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Victory at life

In most (modern) board games, there’s a phase where you build an engine, and a phase where you use that engine to achieve victory. This is not explicit, it’s just that in the first part of the game you choose things that give you more power, while in the last few rounds you maximize victory …

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Ascendency

What makes one system more organized than another? More developed, more … civilized? How can we measure advancement? In Ecology, the Ascendent Perspective, Robert Ulanowicz has an answer. Along the way, he answers even bigger questions, like: how do we reconcile the inexorable increase in entropy with the constant growth, learning, and making going on around …

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Reading: Ecology, the Ascendent Perspective

Complexity in Ecological Systems. by Robert E. Ulanowicz It’s about ecology, complexity, and a considerable bit of philosophy. Very readable. Unfortunately only available in dead-tree. “Life itself cannot exist in a wholly deterministic world!” Concept: auto-catalytic loops This book explains how evolution works. Evolution works by “try shit and see what happens” — perturb and test, …

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