About the Head
Welcome to the guest house of my head.
I made this website as a sort of backup copy of my mind, or at least the part of my mind I can share–my ideas–or at least the part of my ideas I think might be worth sharing, either because I don’t know of anyone else who’s already espousing or entertaining said ideas or because I don’t think said ideas are being espoused or entertained enough. Since I aim to be a gracious host, feel free to pirate, or pocket, a copy of anything you find in the guest house. And if you think there’s anything–any idea–my guest house is lacking, or which ought to be removed from the guest house, or modified–for example, to make certain ideas more “handicap accessible” or compliant with the codes or jargon of various fields of expertise–well then, that’s why each post has a comments section. And by the way, just because Madeinhead looks like a blog, doesn’t mean you have to treat it as one. The most valuable way to connect Madeinhead posts is not chronologically, and so I encourage you to instead navigate by category, tag, or inter-post hyperlinks. And as usual, if you find a dead link, let me know. Yes, in the comments section.
Before we go any further inside, here’s a better picture of my head’s exterior:
Below is a list of First Principles that much inform the contents of Madeinhead. They’ve come in handy for me; may they come in handy for you:
- Analogies are valid ways to build up an understanding of the world. For more on this, go here: http://prelectur.stanford.edu/lecturers/hofstadter/analogy.html.
- Always look for the third option. If the consensus is, “Go through door number one,” look for door number two. If, as is more often the case, the consensus advises to choose between doors one and two, look for door number three.
- “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein said this. It’s true for at least two reasons. One, there’s more stuff we don’t know yet than stuff we already know. The stuff we don’t know yet, we have to hypothesize or imagine. Two, we haven’t found much knowledge yet capable of fulfilling us, perfecting us, anchoring us in the big picture, which means that our knowledge is, to the extent we’re not yet satisfied superhuman saints, useless.
- Ideas count. Marx has killed thousands per word written. Whoever wrote Deuteronomy has a pretty high score in that game as well.
- Categories were made to be mated. Compared. Cross-pollinated. Analogized. Of course, analogies between big, major categories of human expertise tend to offend the relevant experts. And so long as only one analogy is being used to compare two very big or disparate concepts, the experts are right to object. To wield analogy well requires using more than one of them to get an understanding of how the two analogized concepts relate, just as more than one geographical coordinate is required to get an understanding of how two locations are related in space.
- Language can, should, will, and must describe all reality. Especially when one considers that mathematics is a form of language.
- Human nature exists and is a handy tool for predicting and understanding human behavior. If you manage to consider not just human nature’s genetic side, but its memetic side as well, you can even start to derive some pretty viable proscriptive ethics for humanity.
- Progress exists. New things happen under the sun, Ecclesiastes.
- Multiple explanations can be either complementary or contradictory. E.g. a causal explanation does not rule out a teleological explanation, nor vice versa.
- “World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural.” Louis MacNeice said it, Hubble (the telescope) confirmed it. If you stare too long at a deep-field picture of 20,000 galaxies, you’ll start to realize it’s staring back at you.