Ikkyu: Zen Quote of the Day


Since that mischievous creature Called the Buddha Was born into the world How many people Have been fooled! That is from the Kyoto Zen Abbot, Ikkyu, who lived from 1394 to 1481. Zen, like the ancient Greek Skeptics, was one of the worlds first serious anti-Bullshit movements. Take nothing to be sacred, not even the […]

Quine on Popper: Positive on Falsification


Hillary Putnam (yes, THAT Putnam) has a nice blog post reminding us that Quine was, in the main, in agreement with Karl Popper that confirmation is NOT the goal of scientific inquiry. He quotes from Quine’s In Pursuit of Truth: “Traditional epistemology sought grounds in sensory experience capable of implying our theories about the world […]

Self-Control & Brain Size: Lessons from our Animal Cousins


Evan MacLean, et al. did a comparative study on the Evolution of Self-Control, specifically the connection between brain size and cognition across 36 different species. They found that brain size positively corrolates with self-control. Given that self-control is one of the key components of higher-cognitive capacity, one of the primary things that makes our species […]

Boolean Algebra Basics: Lattices for Your Brain – Reference Guide


The Boolean Algebra is named after George Boole, a self-taught mathematician. Let that be a lesson to you: Training trumps everything! Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting up some reviews of some of the recent research in the intersection of complexity theory and cognitive science. However, these include references to the concepts of […]

Eliezer Yudkowski: Quote of the Day – Bayesian Probability & Chickens


Q: Why did the Bayesian cross the road? A: I’ll need more information to answer this question. — Eliezer Yudkowski Don’t know what Bayesian Probability is? Don’t worry, I’ll be explaining it in the appendix section of this months issue of the Rational Action Journal. Now go lift something heavy, Nick Horton

Wittgenstein vs Schrodinger: Quote of the Day


Wittgenstein: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.” Schrödinger: “But it is only here that speaking becomes worthwhile.” From Popper’s paper, “the nature of philosophical problems”, in *Conjectures & Refutations”. He notes that Schrödinger upon seeing the manuscript didn’t remember saying this, but liked it regardless. No matter who said it, it’s important.

Misery is Good? What You Can Learn From The REAL Last Samurai – On Will & the Power of Training


Today’s episode of the Iron Samurai podcast begins with a quote from Xenophon, the great Greek historian, philosopher, soldier for Sparta, and student of Socrates: “Your obstacles are not rivers, mountains, or other people. Your obstacle is yourself.” Also! The story of the Old Man and the Stairs The story of the REAL Last Samurai, […]

Xenophanes: Quote of the Day


The gods did not reveal, from the beginning, All things to us; but in the course of time, Through seeking we may learn, and know things better, But as for certain truth, no man has known it, Nor will he know it; neither of the gods, Nor yet of all things of which I speak. […]

Oscar Wilde: Quote of the Day


“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” — Oscar Wilde Calling your mistake an ‘experience’ is only meaningful if you Learned from it Do things differently in the future. That’s how improvement works: from lifting to life. If you refuse to take this process seriously, you do so at your own peril. You’ll […]

Behavioral Game Theory: Thinking, Learning, Teaching [Mathematical Models in Psychology]


In this chapter on Behavioral Game Theory, the authors (Colin Camerer, Teck-Hua Ho, and Juin Kuan Chong) attempt to tackle the “hard” problem in psychology-modeling: Making accurate, testable, predictions about human behavior. “Because game theory predictions are sharp, it is not hard to spot likely deviations and counter-examples. Until recently, most of the experimental literature […]

The Second Coming, by W.B. Yeats: Quote of the Day


Today’s quote is a poem by W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming. My Grandfather and I used to listen to Yeats read his own poetry on these old cassette tapes my grandparents had. Long before I began reading anything “serious”, I was listening to lines like these in that lyrical cadence Yeats was famous for. It’s […]

Why George Got His Snatch Drunk – How to Find the Zone (the Right Way)


Grab a glass of bourbon and chalk up. It’s time to break barbells! In today’s episode of the Iron Samurai Podcast: Why was George drinking with his snatch? Do bourbon-goggles work with barbells? Why your brain sucks and won’t shut up… I heard that! How to avoid falling off of a cliff What is that […]

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