Tag Archives: Elliot Temple

Elliot Temple is a philosopher. He focuses on epistemology.

elliottemple.com & curi.us

A Better Way to Brainstorm

I found out a better way of brainstorming in ET’s latest video stream.

The way I usually did brainstorming:

  1. Think of a topic
  2. Think of some topic categories
  3. Brainstorm about those topic categories until satisfied

The better way of doing brainstorming:

  1. Think of a topic
  2. Brainstorm freely
  3. Organise into categories after the brainstorming
  4. Repeat #2 & #3 until satisfied

The first example might get you stuck within the categories you first thought of. The second example does not limit your brainstorming in that way but lets you brainstorm freely, independent of category. When you are satisfied with your brainstorming you can organise the whole thing into categories for a better overview.

Programming and Philosophy

I am learning programming. The programming language I chose to learn is Scheme.

Why learn Scheme, a symbolic programming language, of all things?

The reason is that I want to understand the conceptual thinking of programming. Regarding programming, Curi (Elliot Temple), told me:

you need the big picture instead of to treat it like a bunch of math.

Scheme looks to have good resources for doing that. From Simply Scheme’s foreword:

It [Simply Scheme] emphasizes programming as a way to express ideas, rather than just a way to get computers to perform tasks.

This is the essence of how good philosophy works as well: learning to understand concepts, integrating them into the big picture, and avoiding contradictions in the process. Objectivism teaches this. In Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, Ayn Rand writes:

There are two different methods of learning: by memorizing and by understanding. The first belongs primarily to the perceptual level of a human consciousness, the second to the conceptual.
[…] The second method of learning—by a process of understanding—is possible only to man. To understand means to focus on the content of a given subject (as against the sensory—visual or auditory—form in which it is communicated), to isolate its essentials, to establish its relationship to the previously known, and to integrate it with the appropriate categories of other subjects. Integration is the essential part of understanding.

Rand, in Atlas Shrugged:

Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

Do you see the similarities between good philosophy and Scheme programming?

By learning programming I work on philosophy – and by learning philosophy I work on my programming.

I am using Simply Scheme to learn Scheme.

Discussion Tree: An Analysis of Discussions in Idea Tree Form

Discussion trees are a subcategory of idea trees. Discussion trees can help you analyse discussions and see where they fall apart (if that happens) and what questions have been answered and how.

Below is a discussion tree of one discussion that I had with a friend on whether people can change.


You can see the discussion tree in bigger format:
nikluk’ discussion tree – “Can ppl change?”

Elliot Temple (curi) gives feedback and comments on my discussion tree in this stream (timestamped).

Coronavirus Strategy

Not all strategies to handle the coronavirus are equal. The Hammer and the Dance explains important stuff that everyone should be aware of. Plenty of the details in the article could be debated, but I think that the core message is correct. We need to act fast and hard, so that we can contain the spread and return to normal life as soon as possible, without needlessly killing off a lot of people.

Elliot Temple wrote a summary:

Absolutely don’t give up and intentionally let everyone get the disease. And we don’t need total lockdown for 18+ months to wait for a vaccine, either. Instead, we must immediately do roughly 4-6 weeks of lockdown to get the disease under control (every day counts against an exponential pandemic). Once it stops spreading exponentially, we can manage it using testing and contact tracing, and ongoing mild and cost-effective lockdown measures while awaiting a vaccine. Any time spent on half-measures right now is condemning people to die and hurting the economy without solving the main problem. If we don’t get this right, the hospital system will be overwhelmed and millions will die as hospitals turn them away. We’re already on course for disaster, in a matter of days, if we don’t make this policy change.

I agree with Elliot.